From wind turbine to nuclear power fan

I enjoy reading TheSouthern’s letters pages. There are often many well-thought-out and informative submissions from contributors which educate. There are also a few which never fail to entertain.

I was thus entertained while reading a letter from Robin Cross (April 5) on wind turbines and Scottish Government policy which, in the opinion of Mr Cross, is doomed to fail. He further elaborated on the economic and environmental shortcomings of the production of said turbines and concrete bases.

Now I wouldn’t say I had a particularly good memory, but there was something in his case against wind generation which fanned (no pun intended) a spark of memory into a flame of recognition. In February 2007, Mr Cross submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council’s planning department for a wind turbine in his garden (application 07/00281/FUL). A planner noted that Mr Cross lived in a well-established residential area and his home was B-listed. For those unfamiliar with Galashiels, the house is in an elevated position with views across the town. A turbine in this location would be highly visible from a wide area.

But what of the turbine? No small domestic unit attached to the roof for Mr Cross. Indeed the application was for a turbine with a 34ft diameter, fixed to an 84ft tall tower. I assume a tower of these proportions would require a considerable amount of concrete being produced to provide a secure base (CO2 emissions?).

The planner noted in refusal of the application: “The turbine would be of a significant size for a domestic property and the 65kW model proposed would suggest a commercial/industrial use.”

No desire to profit from the feed-in tariffs then, Mr Cross?

I can only assume that the wisdom of the planners in this case hastened the re-evaluation of Mr Cross’s position to one of nuclear generation for our future energy needs. Who knows, we may see an application for a small domestic fast-breeder reactor using the abundant thorium from Mr Cross in the near future.

S. Mitchell

Eildon Crescent

Melrose