Scotland is presently heavily reliant on Nuclear and yet the SNP have vowed to turn their backs on it to comply with a grass roots CND caucus within their membership. Go to any SNP conference and see the amount of members sporting CND badges. Now I thought CND stands for Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. I don’t think it is the CNE(Campaign against Nuclear Energy) Modern Nuclear power station are a long way from the old Magnox power station whose original aim was to produce fissionable material for nuclear weapons with energy as a by-product. Modern Nuclear, and in that I am considering liquid salt and thorium, do not per se produce nuclear weapons grade plutonium. We really need to have a grown up discussion about nuclear energy in Scotland and for that we have to ditch the CND rhetoric and look closely at emerging technologies, the capacity and the employment that goes with them. Otherwise we will end up in a backwater of world productivity faced with horrendous energy costs and a declining population as people follow the jobs. We have been there before post the Clearances and anyone who doesn’t understand should read Jim Hunters book “The Making of a Crofting Community”. Clearances were first driven by North Country sheep farmers (the landowners reputation was created by the need for land for wool production and the financial opportunities that rode it’s back*) forcing the people off the land into a coastal existence from which emerged the kelping industry(soda production). As that dropped away due to cheaper imports from France, economic migration drew people first to Glasgow and then to the Americas and the antipodes. We ignore Nuclear as an energy source at our peril.
*I make no apology for the behaviour of many Lords, Ladies and landowners whose greed mirrors that of the landowners of the 21st century where wind has replaced sheep. Had today’s landowners the feudal power still I have no doubt that we would see a similar forced clearance.