A couple of interesting but regrettably not widely read posts (here) have appeared about the infamous one megawatt turbine that caught fire during the recent storms ‘raising questions about the ability of wind farms to cope with the weather’ (Daily Mail 9th Dec). An article in the same Mail issue carried out a predictable assassination of wind in general which concluded that the wind conspiracy is why we’ve ‘been neglecting for years the development of nuclear power.’ Well, as is pointed out in these posts, it so happened that the entire 460mw Hunterston nuclear power station closed down at the same time for two days because of damage to power lines, but unaccountably, the news failed to make the pages of the Daily Mail.
So here, in the interests of balance, is what they might have printed (but I’m sure won’t):
THE END OF THE ROAD FOR NUCLEAR?
The energy world was rocked today by the failure of the Hunterston B nuclear power station to cope with the recent storms. The multimillion pound plant simply shut up shop at the first sign of bad weather, plunging anxious electricity customers into two days of turmoil and raising serious questions about the future of nuclear power in Great Britain.
“You just can’t rely on these things” a source close to the plant said. “One day they’re on and another day they’re off. It’s just a waste of all that money that’s been poured into this plant. If they can’t cope with the first puff of wind, how will we ever be able to put our faith in them again?”
Despite this catastrophe, the Government is pushing ahead with a programme to build dozens more, dotting the countryside with expensive concrete towers, when much cheaper and more reliable alternatives exist. A government spokesman told us off the record: “It’s madness. You bet the bank on these monsters and they just switch off when they feel like it. We’re due a fundamental rethink as a result of this, I can tell you.”
Meanwhile a small wind turbine in Scotland suffered from an electrical fault. All of the other hundreds of turbines were unaffected by the storm.