Culling at Culham
The Written Parliamentary Answer from the Department of Energy published in Hansard does look stupefyingly boring, listing as it blandly does several columns of anticipated expenditure during each year of this Parliament. But actually it reveals some quite extraordinary plans for future profligate public spending between 2015 and 2020.
The original Question, from the SNP’s Alan Brown, concerned planned spending on nuclear fusion. For decades Her Majesty’s Government has been funding trials for nuclear fusion under the JET programme at Culham, Oxfordshire. To date, whilst it may have provided lucrative employment for many physicists, this has produced not one single kilowatt-hour of useful electricity (whilst consuming a lot of power itself during the research process).
Effectively this Parliamentary Answer reveals we the taxpayers will be forking out at least £45m during this Parliament towards trying to close down this moribund facility. Think how many older peoples’ homes could be insulated with that money. Except that this government no longer has any dedicated programme (in England at any rate) to deliver such lagging for old lags.