In your front page story last week about Torness Power Station closing two years earlier than planned, the Scottish Government spokesperson and Dr Dixon of Friends of the Earth seem to agree that “Scotland is well on its way to getting all of our power from renewables”.

This assertion could not be further from reality.

On a typically far-fromrare cold winter day with little wind and no sun, about 40 per cent of the UK’s electricity comes from fossil gas and coal.

This flexible and secure fossil back-up for renewables must always be available.

If it doesn’t come from gas and coal, and we have no coherent plan for storage, then it could be provided by the latest designs of carbon-free nuclear generation plant which promise to be competitive even with coal.

These designs are available now and are being strongly supported by more enlightened nations.

Torness and Hunterston B nuclear plants have provided safe and essentially carbonfree electricity for Scotland since 1976, and have operated reliably well beyond their original design lives.

Renewables need carbonfree back-up and storage, for which there is neither current provision nor expectation at any sane cost to the customer.

If this is not recognised, rising deaths from fuel poverty are inevitable.

The very poor energy density of renewables, and of storage methods, mean that the delivery cost in construction materials and land area will be on an eye-watering scale, a cost that is never acknowledged when renewables are promoted by their operators and by green evangelists like Dr Dixon.

The Torness site already has land area available behind its existing sea-wall defences.

This was planned for Torness 2 back in the mid-1970s.

And it does not need the immediate dismantling of Torness 1.

We should be planning high energy density newnuclear power for Scotland at Torness NOW.

Without it, Scotland cannot ever achieve an affordable zero-carbon economy, nor can it avoid escalating fuel poverty.

The Scottish Government and Dr Dixon are leading us into both escalating fuel poverty and certain failure to reduce carbon emissions.

Keith Burns

East Linton