New Communist Party of Britain
This is just one section of the Main Political Resolution adopted at the 2009 16th Congress of the New Communist Party of Britain.
An index to the other sections can be found here -> [2009 Policy Documents]
Britain, along with most of the developed world, has to pay higher prices for oil and other petroleum products as demand exceeds supply on finite resources. This has meant, among other things, that consumers have seen their domestic energy bills soaring. It has brought hardship to the working class and the winter saw many elderly people on low incomes struggling — facing a choice between food and heating.
The extraction of Britain’s carbon energy reserves has reduced to such an extent that it is now dependent on imported oil, gas and coal [ despite having vast deposits of coal under the ground ] and it can no longer offset the price of the North Sea oil against the price of importing carbon energy from abroad.
The Brown government is following the policy set out by Blair, of opting for a new generation of nuclear power stations to resolve the problem. Britain’s current ageing nuclear power stations provide around 20 per cent of the country’s energy. But this will decline to nothing over the next decade as old power stations are decommissioned.
Plans now exist for building at least 11 nuclear power plants, largely near the sites of old plants around the coastline. These will be constructed and run by private firms. They, of course, are in the business of making profit and the enormous costs of decommissioning old plants and dealing with existing radioactive waste will fall on the shoulders of the working class. Indeed, the privatisation of all the utilities, including energy, is designed purely for the benefit of capitalism and is against the interests of the working class. Not only does it distance these vital services from democratic control — it hinders national planning of resources.
The New Communist Party has for two decades opposed the development of nuclear power and we remain opposed for several reasons:
The toxic plutonium waste generated presents a serious hazard for thousands of years to come and there is no safe way to dispose of it;
The plutonium produced can be used in nuclear weapons and it is probable that the Government favours nuclear power as a resource for a new generation of nuclear weapons;
When waste disposal is included in the costs of nuclear power, it becomes the most expensive form of energy available;
The dangers of nuclear accidents are enormous, for human beings and the environment;
Existing nuclear power stations and reprocessing facilities have led to a dangerous rise in radioactive pollution in their vicinity — with birds near Sellafield being so affected that their droppings are considered to be dangerous radioactive waste and practically the whole of the Irish Sea is suffering from increased radioactivity.
The New Communist Party supports an integrated energy policy, using a variety of energy sources including “green” sources such as solar power, wind, hydro, wave and geothermal energy. We call for an increase in the research and development of these sources combined with increased emphasis on energy efficiency.
If vast sums of money are spent on a nuclear power, the safer, renewable, sources of energy will be deprived of money and will be squeezed to the margin, when in fact they need to be supported and backed by Government policy.
We also call for the development of the clean uses of coal to generate power without polluting emissions.
Britain’s coalfields were closed down following a long political battle between the Government and the National Union of Mineworkers over several generations and in line with EU energy policies.
We call for a reversal of this policy and investment to redevelop Britain’s extensive coalfields and end Britain’s dependence on imported energy sources.