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The unimportance of being right

March 2008

Misplaced Trust

Mox_plant

‘If they had had listened to us, the country would have saved £100s of millions.’ That was the entirely fair comment by nuclear expert and star parliamentary researcher David Lowry when I saw him today.

In 2000 there was an impassioned campaign by, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to expose the idiocy of spending on Mox. That argument was won. No rational case was presented by Government. Out of loyalty, inertia, ignorance and misplaced trust in Government, MPs refused to act to stop the madness.

The past public debate was muted in spite of imaginative stunts by FOE, and repeated parliamentary questions. There is no public interest now even though the Government has confessed that the project failed utterly.

Stop20mox20shipments

A commenter on my blog added,“And because of the MOX plant failure we have to ship Plutonium to complete the orders BNFL took! Presumably sub-contracting to another country is a cost beyond the £473m plant cost write-off.

Also it seems the transport used will be an ordinary single-hulled ro-ro ferry, without armed escort, to transport the Plutonium!

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/dirty-bomb-threat-as-uk-ships-plutonium-to-france-793488.html

Seems the "War on Terror" is very selectively applied when it comes to nuclear industry interests.

I'm amazed that little serious thought (in public) is given to what a commando-type-squad armed with modern man-portable anti-tank weapons could do to one of the new nuclear power stations the government desires.”

Was there any point is all our science and reason based arguments eight years ago? It changed nothing. The only justification would be if there was recognition now that a dreadful mistake has been made.

Sadly, not much chance of that.

I tabled the following EDM:

MIXED OXIDE PLANT 11.03.2008

That this House is appalled at the revelation that the Sellafield mixed oxide (MOX) plant is one of the most comprehensive and catastrophic failures in Britain's industrial history; recalls that it was built at a cost of £473 million to produce 120 tons a year of nuclear fuel but has managed only 5.3 tons in five years of operation resulting in plans to ship plutonium to France; recalls the science-based campaign by environmental groups, The Independent and hon. Members which exposed the futility of this proposition in the year 2000; and condemns the naivety and scientific illiteracy of those who invested taxpayers' money in Mox in the absence of rational evidence of its viability.