JAMIE Black (Letters, January 24) writes in favour of the nuclear power industry, citing all the usual claims of sustainable energy, long-term employment and carbon-free power and criticises the Scottish Government for its anti-nuclear stance.

Certainly, the industry provides long-term jobs. The clean-up of Dounreay is expected to take until the late 2070s. He talks of an excellent 50-year track record of running nuclear power in Scotland; roughly the length of time they chucked unrecorded quantities and types of radioactive waste into the infamous "shaft", until it exploded, showering the local beach with radioactive particles. He also fails to mention the astronomical costs of building and the even more eye-watering costs of decommisioning these facilities.

Consider also Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl (100,000-plus associated deaths and even as far away as Wales and Scotland, agricultural land was unusable for years).

Nuclear energy is a dangerous and unproven technology whose pollution lasts for thousands of years. No thanks.

David Hay, Minard, Argyll.

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The big questions over cladding

WHILST understanding the Fire Brigades Union being concerned about the slow replacement of illegal cladding on high buildings in Scotland ("‘Lives at risk’ over cladding", The Herald, January 23) I cannot help but ask how such cladding got installed in the first place.

On large projects the fire brigade is generally consulted as part of the building warrant process. As such it is in prime position to point out areas of non-compliance. Yet when I wrote (twice) to Scottish Fire and Rescue seeking a copy of its observations regarding the cladding on the QEUH building - which was discovered to be illegal - it declined to release this information. Building control for its part has steadfastly refused repeated requests for sight of the cladding fire certificates which would be required in order to ascertain compliance.

Furthermore, contrary to what the article states, “limited combustibility” does not apply in Scotland. In England it is defined as a material having a Eurocode classification of A2s3d2. The "s3" designation means it gives off the maximum volume of smoke when ignited. However in Scotland the same classification A2s3d2 is deemed to be "non combustible". This is despite smoke being a product of combustion.

It’s one of a number of contradictions within the two sets of regulations. HPL cladding is another area. In England such cladding with a BS index of performance below 20 is deemed "low risk" whereas in Scotland the index limit is 12 for "low risk". The HPL cladding installed on the Glasgow Children's Hospital had an index of 19 despite it being required to be "low risk". Yet it seems the fire brigade did not spot this.

My own view, based on 40 years' interfacing with fire prevention officers, is that many have inadequate knowledge as regards any fire consequences when assessing materials. For instance, at a 2018 Holyrood committee meeting into fire safety an FBU representative stated that the lack of a combustibility classification for materials in the Scottish building regulations was a major concern for the FBU. This is despite such a classification having been incorporated into the regulations a full 14 years previously (BSEN 13501).

Robert Menzies, Falkirk.

Lawyers right to boycott

THE news that defence lawyers would be prepared to boycott juryless trials ("Boycott by lawyers set to derail juryless rape trials", The Herald, January 23) hardly comes as a surprise.

I may be mistaken here, but my understanding is that the aim of these trials would be to increase the conviction rate. What responsible lawyer would recommend that an accused person should agree to take part in such a trial, as it would seem from the outset to be biased against them?

Alan Jenkins, Glasgow.

The Herald: Should there be a surcharge for single-use coffee cups?Should there be a surcharge for single-use coffee cups? (Image: Newsquest)

Reusable cups are the future

WHAT a nonsense from the Scottish Tourism Alliance ("Single-use coffee cup charge ‘opposed’", The Herald, January 24). Does it just oppose anything with the words "Lorna Slater" in it? Of course the people who buy drinks in single-use cups are paying for them. The retailers don't get them for free, so the cost of their purchase is included in the price of every drink. Then what happens to these cups?

Occasionally, some are recycled but the majority are either abandoned to litter our streets or get put in bins for landfill.

A far more sensible solution is for retailers to sell reusable cups, for customers to buy them and then to use them for their drinks. While members of the Scottish Tourism Alliance can continue to use single-use cups, although paying just that bit extra for the privilege, those of us with our own reusable cup will save, retailers will save on storage space, our streets will be cleaner and less refuse will go to landfill.

Wins all round, except for the Scottish Tourism Alliance with its apparently antiquated views.

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.

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Music block is a disgrace

I WISH to express my anger and despair at a council that acts to diminish the educational experience of children under its care ("Private music tuition halted in city’s Gaelic schools", The Herald, January 20); at the shameless incompetence inherent in admitting to two whole decades of ignorance of what was happening under its watch; and at the highly-irregular misinformation (I’m being generous) when it implies that an equivalent service is available through its CREATE program to pupils at these Gaelic medium education (GME) primary schools.

These instrumental music lessons at GME schools provide a very high-quality service at a bargain price. The sole result of stopping them: fewer children will successfully learn to play musical instruments. We do not close the gap between those who can afford tuition and those who cannot; we widen it. There are many children who will not take a private lesson outside school at twice the price or more.

The councillors have taken a singularly positive, beautiful thing - children playing music - and bludgeoned it. For what?

Robert Anderson, Glasgow.

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You can't beat Glasgow fare

YOU report that Asian-inspired Wagamama will open a restaurant in Glasgow ("Restaurant to open branch in St Enoch", The Herald, January 24).

The thought of Glaswegians ordering tteokbokki, gochujang rice, or shichimi tofu amuses my cynical mind.

I'll stick to mince and tatties, or even the boiled beef and carrots of the old days of music hall.

David Miller, Milngavie.