Among other good news stories are that GlaxoSmithKline, has announced £275 million of new investment at three of its manufacturing sites in the UK. London City Airport has announced a £344 million expansion, and Deutsche Borse’s shareholders have overwhelmingly approved its merger with the London Stock Exchange. A record 31.7million are now in work, and unemployment has dropped to 4.9 per cent, and mortgages have fallen.
I am increasingly a fan of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Nick Timothy. He was behind the abolition of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, and he is also the man who encouraged the PM to put on hold plans to build the most expensive power station in the world, at Hinkley Point.
Mrs May is rightly nervous of putting this huge venture into the hands of foreign powers. France and China have never been our bosom pals, and if push comes to shove, should we trust either not to sabotage the project, or leave the UK energy industry vulnerable?
There is a strong case for nuclear power, as in the future we cannot rely entirely upon renewables, and coal fired power stations are systematically being decommissioned. However the technology EDF is planning to use at Hinkley Point is already out of date, and it is questionable whether it is advisable to build one massive susceptible power station, but instead build a succession of mini nuclear power stations.
The Government has been assessing suitable sites for these modular reactors, following the announcement by George Osborne in the Budget earlier this year, including the sites of former nuclear and coal-fired power stations in Wales, Hartlepool, Sizewell and Sellafield. Previous plans were dropped under the Coalition after pressure from Liberal Democrat Ministers.
Small reactors are attractive because they can also be built in factories and assembled on-site. They take less time to build and commission than conventional nuclear power stations, produce less power, need to be built near water for cooling as with all nuclear installations, and should be relatively close to the communities they serve.
A number of companies are already working on plans, and Simon Marshall of Westinghouse, one of these companies, said the new power stations could help the UK become a leader in energy instead of being forced to buy it from abroad.
He added: "It seems to me the Government is very interested in this technology. I think there's a recognition that years ago the UK was a technology provider, now it's a buyer. Small modular reactors are the last remaining chance for the UK to get back in the premier league.
Hopefully this is what Mrs May and her Chief of Staff are taking time to consider, it will be interesting to see.
There is an air of excitement as British competitors begin to set off for Rio. However the news has been dominated largely by doping irregularities in Russia, and sadly not enough attention has been given to those setting off from the UK.
We have our own Ote Hall Olympic heroine who set off last week to compete in the Olympics. Milly Kruger who was born in Zimbabwe and now lives in Wivelsfield, will ride under the Zimbabwe flag, not as part of the British Eventing Team. Milly’s horse Sam The Man flew out of Stanstead in a special container, wearing a very smart compression suit, to help him cope with the journey.
Having arrived safely, he and Milly who travelled separately, will now continue their training and preparations before the competitions begins. We wish them both the very best of luck, and hope they come home with medals. As with all Olympians, this has been Milly’s dream, and the time effort, blood, sweat and tears she has shed, and the support of her wonderful family, and friends, has been remarkable to watch.