Here’s David Maclean, the English Conservative MP for Penrith and The Border constituency in Cumbria in the north of the country:

Cumbria is a nuclear county. It has Sellafield, the only centre of excellence in this country for nuclear technology.

We couldn’t agree more with Mr Maclean that Cumbria is a nuclear county. We’d like to quibble, however, about his use of the word ‘excellence’.

Sellafield has seen a long series of nuclear leaks and accidents. It sits on the coast of the Irish Sea which, thanks to the plant, is one of the most radioactive stretches of water in the world. That’s a definition of ‘excellence’ that’s new to us.

This ‘excellence’ led the Irish government to take legal action to stop a new reprocessing facility at Sellafield. The action was unsuccessful and the facility went to operation, but at least the Irish police and nuclear watchdog have been granted access to the site.

Mr Maclean went on:

We are willing to have a nuclear reactor in Cumbria. We will take that technology, provided we are not afflicted with more ghastly wind farms.

Oh, those ghastly clean and safe windfarms. Mr Maclean is, of course, making an aesthetic judgement here. We invite you to do the same. Here is a windfarm:

Huiteng Xile Wind Farm

© Greenpeace/ Hu Wei

…and here is the THORP reprocessing plant at Sellafield:

THORP (thermal oxide reprocessing plant). Sellafield, NW England.

© Greenpeace/Robert Morris

Might David Maclean have confused his ‘excellence’ with his ‘ghastly’?

(Thanks to No 2 Nuclear Power for the link)