Philip Booth added: "Waiting means there are also continuing problems of safety, security and storage of radioactive waste. However Greens would be totally opposed if the plan involved incineration of radioactive waste, even low-level waste. I also think that all of us should be wary that the real agenda here maybe clearing up to make way for bigger, larger reactors. Some within the nuclear industry have publicly stated these licensed sites are an opportunity to build new reactors on."
Philip Booth said: "The enormous cost of decommissioning these nuclear power stations - billions and rising (iv) - reflects the folly of the nuclear industry. To talk of new nuclear power stations is madness. Nuclear is grossly uneconomic, we still haven't sorted what to do with the waste, the safety risks are high, fuel sourcing could also be a problem and despite what is suggested nuclear power still adds to climate change pollution (v). Even a doubling of existing nuclear capacity would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at most 8%."
Philip Booth concluded: "Decommissioning nuclear power stations will become a growth industry in its own right, sustaining jobs in large numbers for many years after electricity production has ceased. This is the time to shift nuclear jobs into decommissioning and switch to more sustainable sources of power like wind energy that provides six times the number of jobs than nuclear power for a given output of power."
Anyone wishing to express an opinion on the decommissioning of Berkeley should write to Penny Wride by November 11 and send it c/o Steve Payne at email@example.com
(i) NDA strategy manager Terry Selby suggested at the meeting at the Berkeley Arms Hotel that one way to reduce the overall decommissioning cost would be to clear 11 reactor sites nationally, including Berkeley's power station by 2030. While Sir Anthony Cleaver, chairman of the NDA, has said present plans left the problem of clearing sites for future generations: "We believe, based on experience in other countries, it ought to be possible to complete the decommissioning of these stations over a 25-year period. We want to achieve decommissioning and clean-up more quickly, more cost effectively, more safely and in a more environmentally- friendly manner."
(ii) Berkeley Town councillor Val Watts said: "Surely it would cause nothing but trouble for people to remove the reactors early and cost the taxpayer extra?" While Cllr Derek Burgess, from Alkington Parish Council, said: "I am very concerned that the 25 years might be a bit short in reducing the level of radio activity."
(iii)John Large, amongst others, demonstrated this at the Trawsfynnyydd public inquiry 2 years ago.
(iv) Estimated to be £56 billion in August - up from £48 billion. If another 100 tonnes of plutonium plus thousands of tonnes of uranium stored at Sellafield, Cumbria, are also classified as waste, the bill will rise by a further £10bn. Other estimates put the figure higher still. Earlier this year, the cost of decommissioning Oldbury was put at £1.3 billion at today's prices. That has risen to £1.4 billion. The eventual cost of decommissioning the Berkeley station, just up the River Severn from Oldbury, is estimated to be £823 million.
(v) Read Dr Dave Toke, co-author of the Green party's alternative energy review in The Guardian (5/010/05):