EDF is a French energy company. It is one of the six energy companies that control the United Kingdom’s energy supply and enjoys the rights privileges and advantages of it being part of an oligarchy. It specialises in nuclear power and has a number of nuclear generating plants which create heat by means of a chain reaction, uses the heat to make steam which drives a turbine which in turn generates electricity which in turn is fed into the national grid. The nuclear plants create nuclear waste in copious quantities which takes thousands of years to decay into a condition in which the waste in not dangerous.
One of EDF’s plants has been found to have a crack in the works from which nuclear waste may leak. It has been temporarily closed, so that it may be repaired and the public may not be endangered by leakage of nuclear waste. Out of safety concnerns another four of EDF’s nuclear plants have been closed for investigations. The company and the authorities tell us that we have nothing to fear; these are merely very conservative safety measures and that we may all sleep safely.
All nuclear plants in the United Kingdom are coming to an end of their natural lives, and are being pushed to perform longer than they were designed to perform. The reason is simply the failure of any government of the United Kingdom for the past twenty years to have an energy policy. Mr Blair’s government wrote down an energy policy, which at the time had value only if you want to read a series of words without meaning espousing values and aspirations based on political dogma. There was no policy setting out how the nation’s energy needs would be met.
So the legacy of this political neglect includes aging power stations that are being closed, ostensibly for short periods. If there will be a cold winter this year the legacy will include power cuss, which will mean not only lights going out but also central heating pumps not working.
The present government’s energy policy does not provide any means of ensuring that the nation gets energy, save by leaving it to the oligarchs, including EDF, to supply our heat and power. It will end in tears. In the meantime I suggest that if you can, get some micro generation of power and heat, pray to whatever deity you choose for a mild winter or leave for warmer climes when the winter comes.