YOUR front page headline today ("Scotland to miss out on the new wave of nuclear power, The Herald, May 3), which implied an unquestioning acceptance of the Westminster Government’s misguided “Great British Nuclear” project, its associated propaganda and pressure on our Scottish Government to submit, was unworthy of you; it also ignored history.

In March this year, the French Nuclear Inspectorate ordered EDF, the nationalised French energy company, to “revise its strategy” for repairing nuclear power plants because stress corrosion has caused new cracks at the Penly 1 Reactor near Dieppe. This came after a disastrous year in which corrosion problems have closed down so many of France’s nuclear power stations, including Penly, that production hit a 30-year low.

On April 15, when Germany closed down its last nuclear reactors, the German government, leading one of the most technically advanced nations in the world, declared: “The nuclear phase-out makes Germany safer and avoids additional high-level nuclear waste. The risks of nuclear power are ultimately unmanageable. No insurance in the world covers the potentially catastrophic extent of damage from a nuclear accident.”

The corrosion problems in France and the German Government’s decision are affirmed by the refusal of private companies to participate in nuclear power without government guarantees of indemnity and funding– not just for the appalling costs of construction, anticipated "downtime” and decommissioning, but the unsolved problem of waste disposal. Avoiding such awful economic truths, Andrew Bowie MP clearly “forgot” to mention the UK Nuclear Energy (Financing) Act which his party drove through Westminster last June, burdening Scotland with a share of the incalculable costs of the new Tory “Great British Nuclear” fiasco.

For over 60 years, the nuclear lobby at Westminster has ensured that UK energy policy remains mired in a technology fatally flawed by insoluble problems of corrosion and waste disposal. While UKAEA Harwell (Energy Technology Support Unit) advised Westminster on investment in energy research, Scotland’s wave energy projects, for instance, were starved of resources until EU investment and political commitment stepped in, making Orkney a world leader in wave and tidal energy production.

I hope the Scottish Government stands firm on its rejection of Westminster’s illogical commitment to nuclear power so that we can join in with other advanced nations in the development and sustainable use of alternative energy sources, of which we have an abundance.

I also hope Scotland will indeed “miss out” on ever again being nominated as a remote and expendable place for disastrous nuclear projects – including the proposal to turn Mullwharchar in Galloway into the UK high-level nuclear waste dump – and 40 years of experiments at Dounreay which have left areas of land and seabed in Caithness contaminated and unusable for at least the next 300 years.

Frances McKie, Evanton.

Read more: UK Government gives up on imposing nuclear energy on Scotland

Don't leave energy to politicians

THE news that the Scottish Government is obdurate in its resistance to taking a share of the UK’s plan to have by 2050, 24GW of nuclear energy contributing to the country’s energy needs, is unsurprising but seriously alarming. At present Scotland is importing 1.5GW from England. When a proportion of that energy has a nuclear source will Scotland stand on its principles and "switch off"?

The Scottish Government published its Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan earlier in the year and specifically stated that nuclear would have no place in the strategy. The Draft Energy Strategy contains almost 200 pages of reading and contains a lot of thoughtful and noble aspirations for the future but fails utterly as a professional strategy document since it does not acknowledge the absolute need for system planning, costs and risks, but relies instead on unsubstantiated beliefs.

We should all be very concerned that the future of one of the most complex systems that mankind has ever designed should be the responsibility of political whim and prejudice. Would you fly in a plane designed by SNP politicians? Almost certainly not. Then why do we believe that the system engineering of the electricity supply should be the responsibility of well-meaning but essentially ignorant politicians? This is not meant to be a criticism of our politicians’ intelligence, simply that they fail to accept that they are so poorly equipped for such a responsibility.

The challenges and risks associated with the transition from fossil fuel to "green" energy sources, albeit essential, is fraught with huge risks, costs, and unpredictable future events. For SNP Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan to say: "Nuclear, in current technologies, will never present value for money”, is not acceptable. She is not qualified to make this kind of assertion, which is probably made as a homage to popularism rather than knowledge.

Furthermore, she states: “We have to invest in our future energy mix on the basis of renewables and hydrogen." Now there is no argument about that, except everyone has to understand that renewables, when integrated into the whole system, particularly onshore wind, is far more expensive than nuclear and an economy reliant on hydrogen will be painfully expensive.

We urgently need an independent, appropriately-skilled engineering and economic resource to manage our future energy strategy and guide our politicians in their formulation of legislation.

Norman McNab, Killearn.

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SNP is doing rather well

JILL Stephenson (Letters, May 3) contends that the SNP hasn't delivered after 16 years in government, but the fact that the voters have returned the party to government over 16 years suggests that it must be doing something right.

True, the SNP isn't perfect and never will be, but my suggestion for its success at the ballot box is that its policies reflect fairness and social justice; the Institute for Fiscal Studies reckons that the poorest tenth of households in Scotland are £580 a year better off than if they lived in England, and Social Security Scotland lists 13 benefits that are better than, or not paid at all, in the rest of the UK.

Ms Stephenson claims that the SNP is "not a governing party"; she appears to have forgotten about the funded child care which saves families around £4,500 a year, that Scotland has the highest per-person number of GPs in the UK, that ScotRail is in public ownership and from this October there will be a six-month pilot to scrap peak rail fares on all routes. The fact that among many other things, there are no prescription charges, no bridge tolls, no university tuition fees, free school meals for children in primaries 1-5 and free personal care for all who need it, also seems to have slipped Ms Stephenson's mind.

I would suggest that for "not a governing party" the SNP is governing rather well.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

Read more: SNP Minister Mairi McAllan hints at further consultation on HPMAs

Bowing down to the Greens

HOW disappointing to see Kate Forbes apparently attempting a U-turn on her previous and eminently sensible attitude to the SNP/Green Party’s draconian and dogmatic plans to decimate huge areas of our fishing industry ("Forbes urges supporters to rally behind First Minister amid SNP turmoil", The Herald, May 3). If this is the case, is it a sop, another one, to the Greens? For a party with a miniscule percentage vote, as they have, the Greens now hold immense power in Scotland and we can be pretty sure they were more than complicit in the pushing of the more controversial parts of the recent gender bill.

Apart from Fergus Ewing ("Former rural affairs minister rips controversial plan to ban fishing to shreds", The Herald, May 3), no-one in the Scottish administration appears to have what it takes to stand up and be counted when they are needed. Surely things cannot continue in this vein for very much longer? At the very least we need changes that do not allow any wildly unrepresentative minority party to hold the sword of Damocles over our vital industries.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

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Can Labour be believed?

AS Sir Keir Starmer dumps yet another “promise”, this time on tuition fees for students in England ("PMQs: Flynn attacks Labour over tuition fee u-turn", heraldscotland, May 3), it might be time to ask exactly what you can believe about any proposed Labour manifesto for government.

Just about every commitment Sir Keir made to his party, just three years ago, to gain the leadership has now been scrapped, as he dresses Labour up in “Red Tory” clothes.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

Sarwar should support Cherry

MHAIRI Black, Jeremy Corbyn and Anas Sarwar are scheduled to appear in the "In Conversation with" series at the Stand Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe. I hope that Mr Sarwar at least will take the opportunity to speak out now or at the event in support of Ms Cherry and freedom of speech ("Decision by Fringe event to drop Cherry from show is ‘plainly unlawful’", The Herald, May 2), even though he disagrees with her stance on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and protection of women's rights, to the extent that his MSPs were whipped to vote for the bill.

I'd also like to hear Humza Yousaf's views on the matter.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.