Expert accuses government and corporations of collusion over nuclear weapons projects
WESTMINSTER is pouring billions into a dodgy nuclear power project to hide the mammoth development costs of Trident weapons of mass destruction, an Oxford academic has claimed.
Peter Wynn Kirby, a nuclear and environmental specialist at the University of Oxford, has accused the UK Government of backing the Hinkley weapons plan “at almost any price” as a means of “hiding the true costs” of Trident nuclear weapons renewal.
Kirby, writing for the New York Times, cites a University of Sussex report that considers corporate nuclear development in the energy and military sectors as a means of combining development costs.
The claim combines two of the most contentious and unpopular spending decisions of the current UK Government – one to spend beyond £100bn on more weapons of mass destruction, the other to build a costly nuclear power station despite cheaper renewable alternatives.
Kirby, writing for the newspaper, said: “For proponents of Trident, civilian nuclear projects are a way of ‘masking’ the high costs of developing a new fleet of nuclear submarines, according to the report.
“Merging programs like research and development or skills training across civilian and military sectors helps cut back on military spending. It also helps maintain the talent pool for nuclear specialists.
“One can certainly say that the British government is using an ill-advised civilian nuclear energy project as a convoluted means of financing a submarine program,” he adds.
He describes this policy as a “stealth initiative”.
Kirby’s explanation provides one plausible theory for why the Tory leadership are determined to push ahead with the Hinkley project, despite warnings from energy experts that the expensive nuclear project will push up consumer costs, and provide excessive power to French and Chinese investors over the UK energy market.
The Hinkley deal is for a new nuclear reactor in Somerset next to its sister plants Hinkley Point A and B with French energy company EDF and the Chinese General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN).
Environmental groups have warned that the UK Government has failed to consider renewable options as a way of providing safe and cheap energy alternatives.
Picture courtesy of Auz
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