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Our green deficit

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post

The decision by the UK Government not to proceed with the Swansea Bay lagoon is massively disappointing. The Secretary of State for Wales dismisses the case for providing a revolutionary and clean source of energy by stating it would only have created 28 permanent jobs. When did he last stand in a dole queue?

The price the UK Government would have paid for electricity from this lagoon was equivalent to the price they are prepared to pay for nuclear power. But the lagoon has a life twice that of a nuclear power station.

Nuclear power stations may not emit any greenhouse gasses but the process of building them generates huge amounts. And when the government carries out its calculation it never takes account of the cost of decommissioning, which would send the price of electricity through the roof if it were applied in that way.

Trawsfynydd has been in decommissioning mode since 1993. The final clearance of the site is scheduled to begin in 2071. By 2083 the area is expected to have been restored to its pre-nuclear state, 124 years after construction started and 92 years after its closure.

Taxpayers are picking up the tab for that work but none of that cost was built into the strike price the government paid for the electricity. The UK Government are comparing apples with pears and getting bananas.

Once again Swansea and the surrounding area has been let down and the environmental credentials of the UK Government have disappeared without trace.

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