Revolting and disgusting (Ian Tinkler)

How very, very sad that the pro-Viking lobby uses the ongoing tragedy of Japan, even while people are dying, to try and justify their windfarm (Bert Morrison and John Scholtz).

Using such a human tragedy which has absolutely nothing to do with the ongoing Viking debate is morally reprehensible and something which revolts and disgusts me and, I am sure, many Shetlanders, to the core.

How ironic that it was only French nuclear power that kept the lights on in Scotland during the pre-Christmas cold snap. Wind power failed totally, not even in Shetland at that time was there enough wind to turn the Burradale aerogenerators.

Ian Tinkler


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  • Steven Cheverton

    • March 21st, 2011 16:56

    Speaking as someone who has yet to make their mind regarding the windfarm I am looking for intelligent and reasoned debate on the issue. Debate that doesn’t descend into personal insults and petty mudslinging. However, the hysterical and overbearing tone of this letter, like so many others on the subject, seems to be the rule rather than the exception. It is perfectly legitimate to discuss the experience at the Fukushima nuclear plant when debating the future of energy supply in the UK. It would be remiss not to mention the inherent dangers that nuclear represents, both in the generation and waste disposal processes. What is ‘morally reprehensible’ is to attack the integrity of correspondants simply because they hold a different view to your own. Furthermore, it is not at all ‘ironic’ that Shetland’s lights were kept on by nuclear power. What is ironic, however, is that you use the very ‘nuclear’ argument to justify your position on the windfarm that you complain so bitterly about others using in the previous paragraph of your own letter!

  • Bert Morrison

    • March 22nd, 2011 11:53

    There are great changes coming in the not so distant future regarding how humanity sources its energy. With an exponential growth in the human population; many of whom seek the affluent lifestyle of the West juxtaposed with peak oil and the inevitable decline of oil and gas production, we are indeed heading to the often quoted ‘Energy Crunch’. If electrical distribution is managed in a ‘Smart Grid’ with investment in energy storage; every joule of energy generated from renewable sources equates to one less joule of hydrocarbon energy consumed and one less molecule of CO2 being released to the atmosphere. This coupled with innovations and initiatives to reduce energy consumption will help make a truly ‘Sustainable planet’.

    Wind from windy places
    Solar from sunny places
    Wave power where waves are prevalent
    Tidal power where the tide runs strongest

    A recent article in an engineering journal says that China is planning to install a 16000 acre solar array in the deserts of Mongolia. This is coupled with a huge investment by the Chinese in wind energy and hydro. They are getting the message and doing something about it, while over in the West we cannot see past the hill over there and the cries of ‘Not in my back yard!’

    Expect plenty more debate in the media about renewables and the future of nuclear.

    Yes adult debate would be good, but I am not holding my breath!

  • ian Tinkler

    • March 23rd, 2011 22:59

    . My letter of 21st march does not express an oppinion for or against Viking, nor for or against Nuclear power. What my letter did was express my revulsion and disgust at the
    attempt to link the potential horror of Fukushima as an argument to support and
    justify of the Viking project… This was a pure scare tactic and amoral black

    With regard to renewable energy, the VE project is all but obsolete. Wind
    generation on this scale and cost should be Maglev designs. Wind power alone is
    too intermittent, wave and tidal are more reliable and tidal is already
    available. Commercial tidal power is already being generated and further, tidal
    power farms approved.

    The Nuclear power option is probable the most efficient carbon free power
    generator, but fission has its own problems. However fusion reactors are not
    that far away, unfortunately fund for research are rarely available. Few
    politicians understand fission and fusion reactors and would rather fund
    windmills! Their kith and kin frequently have shares in the producers of the
    I do not have sufficient knowledge, at this time, of modern nuclear fission
    reactors to have an informed opinion to endorse the one way or the other,
    however, I do have knowledge of the VE project; I reject it totally.

    I again state the following as a matter of actual fact, not as an endorsement of
    Nuclear Fission reactors, but to highlight the inadequacies of wind power “The
    nuclear debate has nothing whatsoever to do with the Viking project, however
    ironic it was that only French nuclear power kept the lights on in Scotland
    during the pre-Christmas cold snap. Wind power failed totally.

    If the VE project was completed with an interconnector at that time, Shetland
    would have been using French nuclear power also!!! Is that what Bert, John and the
    Viking supporters’ group want?

    Ian Tinkler

  • Bert Morrison

    • March 24th, 2011 23:30


    I think you are looking at tidal and wave power somewhat through rose tinted glasses. Both are still in their infancy compared to wind power technology. Installations on the sea whether on the surface or below have to endure an incredibly hostile environment. When this involves systems with moving parts such as the Pelamis, maintenance costs will be significant. There is also the problem that on calm days there are no waves and the tide turns twice per day. The sea does transmit enormous levels of energy and like all technology, it is likely that systems to harness it will get better and more efficient as time progresses.

    The Maglev design of wind turbine is at the conceptual stage from what I can gather? From what I have read there are doubts by some engineers as to whether the Maglev will give the output that it’s designers quote. Time will tell, if it does and is successfull then it does look like a real step ahead for renewables. There is not much information regarding when the first full size Maglev will be built. If the design could be a watershed for wind energy, it should have investors clambering over each other for it?

    The current design of Nuclear reactor for the UK is the French designed European Pressurised Reactor (EPR). It is designed to be inherantly safe and is currently going through the approval stage in the UK. How safe it is, time will tell. It will of course come with all the issues around radioactive materials and waste which has to be carefully looked after; some of it for thousands of years. There is also the decommisioning issue which we will give future generations. The substitution test is – would we welcome an EPR in Shetland if it is so safe and if not, why would we expect someone in the Bristol Channel to welcome it?

    Nuclear fusion is the holy grail of energy, can we guarantee it will be ever made to work? We are told it is still a long way a way. If it can work, why is it not recieving an open cheque book of investment to accelerate its progress?

    You reject Viking Energy totally with no margin of doubt, but the UK and the Earth in general has to wean itself off hydrocarbons. For the sake of the planet, surely renewable energy will play an important part in the future and wind is a significant proportion of the earths harnessable green energy. Once offshore oil and gas is finished for Shetland (optimistic 40 years?), what will it have to sustain its economy? Fishing, mechanised agriculture and tourism may well be crucified eventually by fuel prices. Are we rejecting the saviour of our childrens future. As the father of a two year old and a four year old that worries me.

  • ian Tinkler

    • March 27th, 2011 9:12

    Are we rejecting the saviour of our childrens future? Bert, If you trully feel your childrens future depends on Viking energy alone, rational argument is pointless.
    I have two children also. Their future depend on education, an unspoilt enviroment and I hope their ability to put enviromental protection above personal wealth.


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