Scotland on Sunday readers’ letters: Crisis in Ukraine heightens dangers of fuel dependence


The Castoro 10 pipelay vessel lays concrete-coated pipe for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline onto the seabed of the Baltic Sea on August 16, 2018 near Lubmin, Germany. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was ex[ected to transport Russian natural gas from Narva Bay in Russia to Greifswald in Germany, creating an additional, direct natural gas route between Russia and western Europe. Germany has halted the official certification process for the pipeline which is also the target of sanctions by the US. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Germany, for example, is entirely dependent on its pipeline from Russia for oil and gas. It is so dependent it does not even have the facilities to land LNG from tankers. The present and worsening situation in Ukraine merely heightens the dangers. Meanwhile the powers that be nowrunning Scotland are going helter-skelter in a somewhat ludicrous fashion to attempt to shut down or shut off all our nature-endowed supplies ofample oil and gas. And nuclear power is not even considered. It is scarcely believable that supposedly educated people could believe that, in the breathing space these gifts give us before tragedy strikes, some mythical wind-fairy fantasy will keep us alive in the depths of winter.

It means, of course, that the dogma so precious to the Greens and the SNP, the posturing and who’s got the toughest method of making the people suffer style of politics, may have to be altered or abandoned, or at least the time frame adjusted to better suit reality. Every sane person wants climate change tackled. But the adjustment time will clearly have to be lengthened.

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Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

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Nicola Sturgeon calls for further action against the Putin regime. Perhaps Ms Sturgeon should reflect on how her demand for independence from the UK is undermining the security not only of the UK but of NATO. Apart from the disruption and economic uncertainty that another independence referendum would bring, if Scotland were to separate from the world’s fifth largest economy it would be left defenceless, and the most important submarine base in Europe would be closed.

The nuclear strike force based at Faslane is a vital cog in the machinery of Western defence, and without it we would be open to Putin’s nuclear blackmail. You cannot reason with people who are unreasonable. You cannot trust Putin and Lavrov an inch, and other dictators who may emerge to present further threats to our way of life. An independent Scotland would be a gift to Putin. The SNP should end its opposition to nuclear weapons immediately and drop their foolish separation agenda, because unity is strength.

William Loneskie, Lauder, Berwickshire

John F Robins (Letters, 27 February) should note that highly radioactive waste will not be kept at Sellafield for 5,700 years. Eventually it will all go to a deep geological repository like those already under construction in Sweden and Finland.Any deaths from the Windscale or Chernobyl are irrelevant to consideration of modern UK nuclear reactors, whose safety record is excellent. Scaremongering about radioactivity is unhelpful and misleading.Excess electricity can be stored as potential energy in pumped storage hydro schemes but can be used afterwards to generate power only for a short time: less than a day in the case of Cruachan. Since generation stops twice a day as the tide turns, tidal power is unreliable. Only nuclear generation is reliable. Calling it “very dangerous” and “expensive” is sheer mudslinging from ignorance.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

John Robins (Letters, February 27) disagrees with Steuart Campbell and Hugh Pennington (Letters, February 20) in the belief that nuclear power is too dangerous. If that is the case can Mr Robins please explain his fears of nuclear powered submarines using this very technology for 50 years with no problems noted to date.

Reactors like Windscale (Sellafield) and Chernobyl are vastly different to the Rolls Royce mini-nuclear power stations one tenth the size of Hunterston B power station that closed recently after a service of 46 years supplying electricity to 1.7 million households.

I agree that tidal and hydro will generate some power but to be absolutely sure we need nuclear power to “keep the lights on” and with the likes of the Ukraine troubles we cannot rely on imported electricity from the continent.

Michael Baird, Bonar Bridge

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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