Re: [SystemSafety] nuclear energy - disparate policies?

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:08:35 +0200

On 10/21/13 7:44 PM, René Senden wrote:
> Today I learned from BBC World News that the UK will be developing another
> nuclear facility for the purpose of generating energy.

It's not clear whether it is for the purpose of generating energy, or for the purpose of foreign aid, namely filling French and Chinese state coffers with pounds sterling :-)

[OK, political cynicism is now switched off. But please do check out, for example, ]

> There have been quite different, at times even opposite, political
> (re)considerations w.r.t. nuclear energy in the aftermath of the tragic
> accident in Japan, which happened not so long ago. A very pronounced
> difference in policy is, of course, Germany vs.. well.. most other
> countries…

In Europe, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Belgium for example are all phasing out nuclear power. Japan is having a hard time restarting any. See

> Is it strictly a matter of (inter)national politics or do the different
> national policies also reflect different opinions of the corresponding
> (relevant) experts and scientists serving those countries (whose expert
> judgement I assume to influence the policies set out by the politicians they
> advise) ?

There are considerably different expert opinions in different countries. Read the German and the British reports from their nuclear regulators on the consequences of the Fukushima accident, for example.

The politicians charged with making the decisions about such things are not necessarily well versed in either the history or the engineering. I would doubt that many of them have read, for example, Lorna Arnold's history of the 1957 Windscale meltdown. (The plant was called Calder Hall, then Windscale, and now Sellafield.) That is why they have advisors who are. Any decision on these matters is likely to have a good dose of expert-advisory opinion behind it. But sometimes not, of course.......

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319

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