Increased Nuclear Capacity Will Soon Use Up Uranium Supplies

The Journal (Newcastle, England), October 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

Increased Nuclear Capacity Will Soon Use Up Uranium Supplies


The readers of The Journal, who are constantly bombarded by the nuclear lobby, are not being told the facts.

A recent report read: "We have a global shortage of uranium and this could jeopardise plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain."

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Nuclear Agency's Red Book ( its statistical study of world uranium resources and demand ( the World consumed 67,000 tonnes of Uranium in 2002. Only 36,000 was produced from primary sources, with the balance coming from secondary sources, in particular ex-military, as nuclear weapons are decommissioned.

In 2001 the European Commission said that at the current level of consumption, known uranium resources would last 42 years. With military and secondary sources this life-span could be stretched to 72 years.

Yet this rate of usage assumes nuclear power continues to provide only a fraction of the world's energy supply.

If capacity were increased six-fold, then the 72-year supply would last just 12 years.

Enter into this equation that China plans to build 40 new nuclear power stations by 2020.

So how important are renewables in today's energy crisis?

Mr G WILLIAMS,

Wallsend.

Ambushes on our firefighters must not be tolerated

IT is becoming totally unacceptable the way our firefighters responding to emergency calls are being attacked by youths in Ashington and Blyth.

Government action needs to be taken as the problem of hoax calls luring firefighters into an ambush situation has spiralled out of control. The police have moved to rectify the situation but are limited by their resources and cannot give full time protection.

How long will our firefighters have to put up with these attacks?

Being men of honour, our firemen will win this battle. They are determined. Though extra help will not be refused.

Northumberland County Council could also relieve some pressure on the fire brigade by shelving their proposals on changes to the fire station set up.

Four into two does not go. If it is not broken don't mend it. Less is not best.

Discontent just makes matters worse.

GW MCPHERSON,

Bedlington.

Government must reappraise the laws on corporate killings

AFTER five years and an eight-month Old Bailey trial, the two corporations responsible for the Hatfield rail disaster Network Rail (formerly Railtrack) and Balfour Beatty were fined pounds 13.5m for gross negligence.

The judge stated it was the worst case of safety negligence it had ever seen and was shocked that apart from the four who died, hundreds of other passengers lives had been put in danger. The mother of one of the four who died (Steve Arthur) stated that "justice was not done" with five rail executives walking free from the dock.

And severely injured Gary Fallows stated that the money was "a drop in the ocean" to the two corporations concerned; and the public would pay in tax and fares in the long run.

Quite clearly if safety is meant to mean anything at all, the law on corporate manslaughter needs reappraisal because, as in this case, accountability is non-existent!

D MITCHELL,

Gateshead.

Gun law needs to be relaxed and not just for the Olympics

IHEAR with cynical amusement that the Government is to relax gun laws to enable shooting competitors to train here for Tony's latest pet project, the 2012 Olympics that have been awarded to London.

At present anyone taking target shooting competition seriously must travel to Belgium to practice, not being allowed to possess the necessary equipment at home.

Until legislation inspired by ill-informed opinion struck some years ago I was a happy handgunner, member of a well-run club, noisier than bowls but no booze allowed. …

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