LAST RESORT : Sellafield

BRITAIN
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The Independent Travel
While revelations about a malfunction at a nuclear power station in Anglesey leaked out this week, I was being reassured about the harmlessness of the industry. The venue was the Visitors' Centre at Sellafield. British Nuclear Fuels' extensive site on the Cumbrian coast is something of a theme park, where the theme is fission and the mission is to convince the public that nuclear power is a necessary non-evil.

My education has evidently been inadequate. "All sources of energy damage the environment", says a silky voiceover, listing solar and wind power along with coal and oil. On the way to Sellafield you pass three modern windmills, which I accept some could see as causing visual harm. But the negative impact of solar power has hitherto eluded me.

The final exhibit is a tableau of what can only be described as a nuclear family, in the year 2050. To quote the official literature, "Grandad remembers the dirty old days of old-fashioned fuels, while the younger generation takes plentiful clean energy very much for granted. An entertaining glimpse of tomorrow's lifestyle." Or should that read half-lifestyle?

Sellafield Visitors' Centre (019467 27027) opens 10am-6pm daily, admission free

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