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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 9, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Britain May Turn to Coal In Oil Pinch By Itoberl Musel UPI Stnlor tdltpr When ii comes to vncnty there's no fuel like an old fuel. Nature larded tho earth with coal and oil millions of years ;igo, and In tho power crisis that faces a good part of tho world today these aro still (ho staples man must look to for Immediate relief. That's tho opinion of Dr. Ian Kells of Iho University of New- castle, chairman of a commlttco whoso report six months ago, "Energy for tho was somewhat llko most prophecy, almost com- pletely ignored. Now it is being closely exam- ined as a guide to future British energy policy. Various Plans Fells was one of a number of experts with whom UPI report- ers talked in Europe In pursuit of the plans various nations are making to maintain and ensure power sources now and in tho near distant future. The picture that emerges is not encouraging for Iho immedi- ate present. Franco is relying on its friendship with the Arabs to preserve an adequate oil sup- ply while looking ahead to nu- clear energy. A Swedish source, who asked not to be identified, purloined an Americanism: "We were caught with our ;pants he said. "We'vo neglected to take any vigorous j measures." But ho saw nuclear energy and even coal playing important roles in the Sweden of 1 the 1980s. Italy, West 'Germany and Switzerland are also wondering how to telescope the time lag before nuclear power becomes effective on a large scale. Fells i docs not believe it can be done. "The lead time for a major energy project is 5 to 10 ;he said. "Only a new major airplane takes longer." No Crisis So unless a nation can draw on oil or coal sources old or new, it will be at least 1980 before anyone in Western Europe can proclaim an energy declaration of independence. Eastern ;Europe by contrast has almost no energy crisis since it still receives all the oil it needs from the Soviet Union and Po- land has coal reserves so im- mense it is exporting it to such places as New England. When Fells' remarkable 28- page report landed on the desks of British officials last July it was largely pigeon-holed except by Lord Rothschild, who heads the British government think- tank and who invited the scien- tist over for a discussion of its contents. "The future availability of enough reasonably priced oil to meet the growing needs of the United Kingdom is now in the report said. i It predicted oil might double or treble in price within the decade; that Britain and the European market countries ought not to rely so heavily on i Middle East oil; that there ought to be heavier stockpiling for a possible crisis; that if an energy crisis did come "there is the possibility of serious differences arising between countries formerly in diploma- tic harmony Fells said he would like to see a more coherent British fflvern- ment energy policy to supersede an official document of 1967 whose precb Contained among other miscalculations the statement: "Tho surplus of crude oil seems likely to persist for many years despite tho ex- pansion in world demand." Coal Reserves He said more attention would have to be paid to Britain's coal reserves. "The Germans ran their war machine in 19-14 by extracting five million tons of oil from he said. Britain, ho said, expected to be able to fill two-thirds of its oil requirements from the fields discovered under tho stormy North Sea by 1980, but this did not seem lo take into account how much would bo demanded by her partners In the Common Market. "We still haven't made up our minds on a ;complclo nuclear energy he said. Bui that same day Chairman Arthur Hawkins of Iho Central Electric- ity Generating Board announced a billion program of nuclear power stations largely bused on tho American design, but Bri- tish built, light-water reactor. In reply t" anxious members of a parliamentary commltlee, Hawkins said the order for American rcoclors would not smother the domestic nuclear energy industry and ho would orrtor'British lilRli-tcinperaluro Itns-coolcd ronctoni "m soon as possible." The Cedar Rapids Wed.. 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