We shall force the future generations to make sacrifices for us…

As the United Kingdom and EDF are working out the final terms of the long term contract that EDF requires before it builds a nuclear power plant in Hinckley Point in Somerset, Tokyo Electric Power Company announced that the electricity supply to the cooling system at the damaged Fukushima power plant had failed for four spent reactor ponds at three reactors. Apparently a rat had bitten through the electrical supply shutting down some of the cooling systems.

It will take at least twenty years to decommission the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and it is not clear what will happen to the radioactive waste that the plant holds. Almost certainly it will have to be stored on site for hundreds of years.

Of course, EDF have obtained environmental and safety approvals of the design of their own power plant at Hinckley Point. They recently obtained planning permission to build it and for them the final piece of the jigsaw before they can start building is to have the United Kingdom government sign up to a very long term contract to buy the electricity that the power plant will generate at rates which enable EDF to obtain a reasonable return of their investment.

Nuclear power enables us to enjoy the benefits of electricity, but it carries with it safety issues and a technique which humans of the present generation have developed, not just in the power industry, but also in government finance and many other fields of human activity: we shall not make sacrifices for future generations; we shall force the future generations to make sacrifices for us.

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