English on the Internet - English Magazine


April 18, 2000

After a long delay, I've finally found time to write another article. This week's article is about the environment.

Some of you may have heard of a nuclear power plant called "Sellafield". It is in a region called Cumbria, in the north west of England. The plant reprocesses nuclear fuel so that it can be used again. The British government spent over 800 million pounds to build the plant, in anticipation of lucrative business deals with the Japanese nuclear industry. Throughout its history, Sellafield has been in the news for public health scares and for contamination of the local environment and the Irish sea.

In the last few weeks, there has been a national scandal over the issue of safety at Sellafield. Apparently, safety workers became bored, and falsified their safety reports, to avoid doing work. In a further scandal, it was found that vital nuclear equipment had been deliberately sabotaged. Obviously, the Japanese were outraged and have threatened to cancel the business deal. So, what should the government do? Should it "prop up" this failing industry, to protect the jobs of the workers, or should it "give it up as a bad lot" and stop "throwing good money after bad"?

Another recent news item was on the subject of "wind farms". These are areas in which a large number of wind turbines are used to generate electricity. On the edge of the Atlantic ocean, Britain is ideally placed to generate power from the wind and the waves - it has a huge "wind resource". Most people approve of these wind farms, because they are non-polluting. However, people living near these farms consider them to be a "blot on the landscape" - an "eyesore". They also claim that these farms are very noisy.

If you have any opinions on the issues of nuclear energy and "renewable" sources of energy, or if you would like me to write an article on another topic, then feel free to email me at dareid@btinternet.com

by Duncan - Great Britain, enjoys writing to penpals from all over the world

© April 2000 English on the Internet www.aj.cz