Letter: The answer lies in nuclear power

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It is refreshing that the case against wind farms can be aired through the public-spirited Mercury; the excellent letter by Tony Wakefield [December 21] should be essential reading for all.

Successive governments here have never devised an energy policy, preferring to dither aimlessly while our power generation capacity dependent on established means declines.

The dash-for-gas diverted much of this resource for new power stations suddenly springing up in every city which guaranteed rapid consumption leaving that at Peterborough in mothballs, the gas-dependent house-holder under threat, UK now having to import from former Cold War foe and lacking the essential storage for more than a few days.

Nuclear is shunned (partly due to Fukushima), North Sea gas has a few high extraction-cost fields left, UK coal is in decline forcing this fuel to be imported. In addition, our oil-refining capacity is down, partly due to foreign owners who seem to have been able to acquire some of our energy companies as well.

Now enter windfarms and, waiting in the wings, fracking. This latter mimics a virus since water “and chemicals” are injected into the substrate which, for us in East Anglia, holds an aquifer supplying water from boreholes at Bourne and elsewhere.

Huge risks of contamination abound if fracking extends eastwards from Lancashire shale.

The answer does lie in nuclear and its new relation, thorium, which, as your earlier correspondent John Bryant pointed out, can provide clean, cheap and, moreover, safe nuclear power.

On this we should learn from the Chinese who have launched a £270m budget project involving 140 PhD scientists with plans for a plant to be on-line by 2020.

The UK should take notice.

Ian Hart

Lincoln Road, Peterborough