Electricity Supplies

It’s a bit rich of Sir John Major, former British Prime Minister, to castigate the electricity companies for making what he implied were “windfall profits” for which he wishes to introduce a special windfall tax. These companies are only doing what private companies are designed to do: maximize their profits within the constraints imposed by governments.

It was the Major government 1990-1997 which privatized the UK’s electricity supply without placing any requirement on the successor companies to provide by investment for the certainty (not probability) that North Sea oil and gas would run out within a generation. Instead with the usual Tory blind faith in the “market”, it positively encouraged the “dash
for gas”.

After Sizewell B was opened in 1995, the Major and  Blair governments  built no more of the ten new nuclear power stations planned by the Central Electricity Generating Board under Mrs Thatcher. Instead they stood by and watched the present terrifying crisis unfold. The Major government  also shut down in 1994 the successful 250 MW fast breeder reactor at Dounreay whose technology is still needed  to use our huge plutonium stockpile (the biggest in the world) as free nuclear fuel in the future.

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