Western Daily Press - Editorial, 31 May 2007

NUCLEAR power is supposed to be the answer to many of our future energy problems.

Gas and oil supplies are dwindling which means that one day atomic energy could be one of our last hopes.

But despite its many virtues, the nuclear industry has always been blighted with fears over safety.

The power of the atom is colossal. Radioactive leaks can cause irrevocable damage to people and the environment for many years.

High-profile disasters such as Chernobyl are still etched in people's memories and do little to ease their fears, no matter how many years ago they were.

So the latest incident in South Gloucestershire will do little to change the minds of the naysayers.

Plant bosses at Oldbury have stressed that the fire happened away from the nuclear reactor, that there were no radioactive leaks and no one was injured.

But coming less than a week after the plant was reopened after a two-year safety inspection, it will do little to settle people's nerves

Campaigners have said that switching the plant back on is like playing a game of Russian roulette.

This may be a knee-jerk reaction but it still shows that nuclear power's public image is far from squeaky clean.


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