Nuclear power's dwindling half-life

The Government's White Paper on nuclear power has come down in favour of a second stab at privatising the more modern parts of the industry. But the sector faces a bleak future. The Government sees no justification on economic or environmental grounds to support the construction of new nuclear capacity for at least 15 years. The sale, expected to generate £3 billion, will leave the old Magnox reactors in public hands. Their huge liabilities are being addressed with the same mixture of creative accounting, wishful thinking and expedient fudging which has characterised both the industry's and the Government's approach to radioactive waste management for many years.

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