Peter Mandelson’s Sheffield visit promoting the nuclear industry (Star 28 July) underlined the government’s failure to support renewable energy. Nuclear Power is not the key to our energy future. The industry has needed government subsidies throughout the last 50 years and that will clearly continue. It requires fuel in limited supply (uranium) and expansion will lead to high prices as supplies are fought over. The government still has no clear plans on nuclear waste disposal, a dangerous burden for millions of years, while plant decommissioning costs are estimated at £73 billion and definitely rising.
Wind turbines have at least 2000 engineered parts. After a 25 year lifespan they can be dismantled and the location returned to its natural state. They could boost manufacturing jobs alongside an expansion of regional railway, public transport and jobs in the construction industry building energy efficient homes. This is the Green New Deal that is needed to create a million new jobs.
The opportunity to employ South Yorkshire manufacturing skills in futureproofed jobs is passing us by. Vestas, the only wind turbine factory in the UK is about to close. The renewable energy industry needs initial government financial support to expand and get established. The kind of support that continues to be dished out to a nuclear industry that cannot survive without subsidy.
Sheffield council was once a proud member of Nuclear Free Local Authorities. Sadly no more as politicians fall into line with the false portrayal of dirty and dangerous nuclear as a clean solution to climate change. It isn’t and won’t create the massive number of jobs that renewable energy investment can create quickly.
Sheffield Green Party