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DAVID Hay (Letters, April 18) in response to my letter (April 14) claims that we need politicians to control the excesses of scientists and engineers.

He identifies Dounreay, an experimental but atypical nuclear station, as his reason for political control. Dounreay was not part of the SSE and North of Scotland hydro which I mentioned but controlled by the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Everything done at Dounreay, including the construction of the shaft for waste storage which energises Mr Hay, had to receive political approval by the UK government at the time before it could go ahead. It is always easy to point to errors in new technology but without experimentation we don’t progress and reap the benefits. Chernobyl was a reactor design rejected as unsafe by the West and the explosion caused by switching off safety systems. As for Fukushima, 20,000 died from the tsunami and none from the damage to the nuclear station. But thousands died from the unnecessary forced removal from nearby required by government as a result of unrealistic fear of radiation.

Professor Tony Trewavas

Scientific Alliance Scotland

7-9 North St David Street

Edinburgh.
 

Current Issues


Future costs of UK energy supply

The Scientific Alliance recently published part 1 of an examination of National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios, dealing with security of supply. We are now pleased to publish part 2 - cost of supply. The authors - Dr Capell Aris and Colin Gibson - conclude that building more gas and nuclear stations would be considerably less expensive than any of the NG scenarios, as well as offering better energy security.

What's New

14 October 2016: Read the new report by Dr Capell Aris, published jointly with the Adam Smith Institute - Solar power in Britain: the Impossible Dream