Friday 11 May 2018

"Secret nuclear deal?" ask Greenpeace

For longer than for any other campaigning organisation, I've been a Greenpeace supporter, and feel compelled to reproduced here their latest email in full:

Everyone knew it’d come to this.

After years of delays and ballooning budgets, the next wave of new nuclear plants is in serious trouble.

Nuclear companies - led by Hitachi - are now demanding government support to keep their projects from collapsing. [1]

Instead of laughing them out of Westminster, the government is meeting these companies behind closed doors - and won’t say what they’re discussing. [2]

But some information is leaking out, and it doesn’t look good. Japanese newspapers claim that Theresa May has promised to back Hitachi’s construction loans for the Wylfa nuclear plant. [3]

This could mean that if something goes wrong, we'd have to step in and pay the bill.

That’s no way to run a country. Will you ask your MP to speak out against these secret nuclear deals?
Let’s be real: funding new nuclear plants is a terrible idea, secretly or otherwise.

The first plant is still ten years away from producing a spark of power [4] - that’s too late to help us meet our climate targets. Meanwhile, offshore wind and other renewable power is cheap, quicker to build and increasingly easy to store for when we need it. [5]

Your MP has a good record of speaking out against nuclear power, but people on both sides of the debate can see the problem with ministers negotiating a huge deal like this in secret.

So right now we have a chance to shine some light on this. Here’s the plan.

The minister in charge of nuclear negotiations is Greg Clark. He’s done some good things in the past, but he’s getting this one badly wrong.

Sometimes it's easy for ministers to ignore public pressure, but they can be influenced by other politicians.

If dozens of MPs tell Greg Clark that they’re worried about the secrecy surrounding this deal, it’ll be much harder for him to keep the details hidden. Will you ask your MP to speak out?

We don’t need to flood anyone’s inbox today though. Unique, well-written messages are the best way to get an MP’s attention, so make sure you’ve got a bit of time and headspace for this before you jump in.
If you’ve been involved in our campaign to stop the Hinkley nuclear plant I don’t have to tell you about the government’s love for wildly expensive nuclear deals.

But what these companies want is actually even worse. With Hinkley, we’d only pay for the power it actually generates, even if that power is ten years late and way overpriced.

If our government starts backing these new projects, we’re all bought in - and could end up footing the bill if things go wrong.

And the risks are very real. Hitachi has a sketchy track record with nuclear projects [6] - and the technology they’re using is pretty unreliable. [7] There’s a reason investors are backing away!

If these talks carry on in secret, there’s a good chance we could get locked into a bad deal that we can’t back out of. Let’s get our MPs speaking out on this now, before it’s too late. Hit the button to start your message.
Thanks for taking time to help build a better world.



1. Hitachi seeks to clear clouds over Horizon - The Times

2. Could we be about to see a wave of public money for new nuclear? - Unearthed

3. Hitachi's U.K. nuclear project to get guarantees from government - media - Reuters (via Mainichi)

4. Has nuclear been stuffed by the Hinkley turkey? - The Times

5. How we can use wind power when there's no wind - Greenpeace

6. Briefing: Hitachi’s nuclear safety breaches - Greenpeace

7. Briefing: The failings of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor - Prof. Steve Thomas, University of Greenwich