We offer our sympathies to the families who lost loved ones in the accident at Chernobyl 30 years ago. However, despite our concerns about the safety of nuclear power, the accident should not distract us from its benefits and cause us to slow down development.
All human inventions pose risks and in the case of Chernobyl these cannot compare with those which we accept from transport by sea and air, or the toll on our roads, which in our country claims the lives of five people each day.
In the application of any technology we must balance risks against advantages, and in the case of nuclear the benefits are overwhelming.
It is carbon-free and does not contribute to climate change, which is of great concern to all of us, with rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns leading to floods and storms.
Nuclear power is the cheapest and safest form of energy available and can guarantee security for our children, grandchildren and future generations.
By 2050 as much as 75 per cent of our electricity will come from nuclear, with a potential market of £1tn a year.
Our government, therefore, now favours new development particularly of small modular reactors, and their manufacture could create hundreds of jobs for our region with its history of electrical power engineering.
The best tribute we can make to the Chernobyl families is to ensure that we learn from their experiences and extend our use of nuclear energy to ensure the future of energy supplies our country.
John David Simnett
Bright Planet Education