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Opposing nuclear because of the land it uses looks very odd indeed to us

Summary:
That varied people oppose nuclear power is both fine and a fact of life. That, in our opinion, near all do through not understanding the issue might be more about us than them. But to oppose nuclear because of a blot on the landscape seems absurd even then:A coalition of actors, broadcasters and entrepreneurs is warning that building work to replace Sizewell nuclear power station will “lay waste” to swathes of Suffolk’s most idyllic landscape.Bill Turnbull, the broadcaster; actors Bill Nighy and Diana Quick; the novelist Esther Freud and renowned sculptor Maggi Hambling are among those voicing their opposition to the movement of tons of construction materials and waste to and from the site.They say the plans could mean 1,500 lorries a day thundering through the quiet Suffolk countryside,

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That varied people oppose nuclear power is both fine and a fact of life. That, in our opinion, near all do through not understanding the issue might be more about us than them. But to oppose nuclear because of a blot on the landscape seems absurd even then:

A coalition of actors, broadcasters and entrepreneurs is warning that building work to replace Sizewell nuclear power station will “lay waste” to swathes of Suffolk’s most idyllic landscape.

Bill Turnbull, the broadcaster; actors Bill Nighy and Diana Quick; the novelist Esther Freud and renowned sculptor Maggi Hambling are among those voicing their opposition to the movement of tons of construction materials and waste to and from the site.

They say the plans could mean 1,500 lorries a day thundering through the quiet Suffolk countryside, with construction work disrupting the lives of residents and carving up farms and communities for years to come.

We don’t doubt in the slightest that there will be some disruption and noise and lorries and so on. But to ask Thomas Sowell’s question, compared to what?

Note that Sizewell C will be pretty much where A and B already are. No one’s going to be using that land for much else given the general and unjustified queasiness about reusing nuclear occupied land. But compared to what?

Say that we tried to gain 1,600 MW of power from solar panels? One estimate would give us 6,400 acres. Or 10 square miles. Or 0.7% of the entire county of Suffolk. This would be more or less disruptive of that landscape? And if we use windmills instead? 150 foot birdchoppers invoke the Hay Wain in what manner?

Sure, complain about nuclear all you’d like but to moan about the footprint of it is to be absurd. For the one thing that nuclear is really conservative in is its use of is land.

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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