Thirty four years ago yesterday Mrs Thatcher's Conservative Government made its ill-fated Parliamentary announcement it wanted to build 10 new American-designed PWR nuclear power plants in the UK.
The then Energy Secretary David ( now Lord) Howell - our current Chancellor's father -in-law, no less - announced to Parliament:
"The Future success of our nuclear programme is of great importance to the prosperity of this country. I ask all concerned to give active support to the decisions that I have announced. (Official Report, 18 December 1979, columns 287-291)
The Financial Times 34 years ago today editorialized:
"With its nuclear policy statement yesterday the Government hopes to end a decade of uncertainty within the nuclear industry...it firmly believes it has a national asset of great value [in the nuclear industry]."
The "Programme" managed to build one reactor: Sizewell B.
Fast forward 34 years, and what have we learned?
One thing not learned is to make a decision to build a fleet of new nuclear reactors in the wake of a major nuclear accident -- Three Mile Island in 1979, Fukushima in 2011-- with all the uncertainties, safety and economic they create, is imprudent!