The government is facing claims that their energy policy is 'flawed', after announcing new incentives for households to produce their own nuclear power. Ministers have been disappointed at the numbers of households fitting solar panels or wind turbines. Research suggests that the poor take-up is down to the widely-held view that they are 'bloody useless'.
Faced with rising fuel bills and increasing pressure to buy 'green' energy, many households are keen on taking advantage of the new 'feed in' tariffs for cottage reactors. The energy minister explains: "Windmills and solar power are fine for houses that only want their lights on during the day or when it's windy. But other householders, perhaps those with televisions, washing machines or pannini presses need a safe and reliable source of low-carbon energy."
Wickes have already started to sell a budget fast breeder reactor, although they recommend their customers don't carry out the commissioning themselves: "there's a helpline for anyone who fancies having a bit of a go at it, but it really needs to be wired up by a competent nuclear scientist", said a spokesman for the company. "And don't place it on an uneven surface or near a pond: any 'fukushima' incidents will invalidate the warranty".
Councils have introduced a new lead-coloured wheelie bin to deal with the nuclear waste. The new bin, which weighs 300 kilos, can be padlocked, which should reduce the temptation for terrorists to make dirty bombs. "We've had approaches from several firms who want the waste contract. Obviously we'll have to run some background checks to make sure they're not Muslims or vegans, but we hope to have the scheme up and running in a month or two." Councils have warned against storing waste material in the loft: "most roof joists just aren't designed to support radioactive barrels for 100,000 years. It could also affect your insurance."
But critics claim the scheme is no more economically viable than household wind turbines. Although even the smallest B&Q gaseous fission reactor can produce 4 megawatts of power, the initial purchase price won't be paid back for 85 years. And the small print commits their children and grandchildren to 200 years of decommissioning, assuming the owner isn't sterilized by poorly fitted shielding.
Residents associations are also unhappy: "these are undoubtedly going to be eye-sores, particularly if they cause eye tumors. The constant hum of atoms being smashed is likely to put chickens off laying in the leafier suburbs, and we really don't want to attract the sort of riff-raff who protest-camp. We're highly critical, which ironically is also the state of my neighbour's reactor".
Hat-tip to Rickwestwell