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Increasing risk to nuclear sites, of sea level rise and tsunamis

Nuclear sites, sea-level rise and tsunamis, guardian.co.uk, Dr Paul Dorfman Co-ordinator, Nuclear Consulting Group  11 March 2012  It seems clear that nuclear facilities will be vulnerable to the effects of global warming (Nuclear power sites face flood and erosion risks, 8 March). As the Institution of Mechanical Engineers    stated in a 2009 report: “Nuclear sites, such as Sizewell, based on the coastline, may need considerable investment to protect them against rising sea levels, or even abandonment/relocation in the long term.”

So, given that proposed new UK reactors, together with  their radioactive waste stores   including spent fuel, will be located on coasts – predicted sea-level rise, shoreline erosion, coastal storms, floods, tidal surges and the evolution of “nuclear islands” stand out as primary concerns.  This means that adapting nuclear power to climate change will entail increased expense for construction, operation, waste storage and decommissioning, and the incurring of significant costs to the environment, public health and welfare.

Robert Griffiths:   Although the risk of floods to nuclear power stations must not be ignored, a much more dangerous threat is that of a tsunami. Oldbury, Berkeley and Hinkley Point are all in the area of England’s only known tsunami. This is reported to have occurred on 20 January in 1607. Plaques on local churches indicate the depth of the water may have been 7 to 8 metres, and it is said to have reached Glastonbury Tor, some 22km inland. Flood and erosion problems can be solved by building sea walls around the plants as we approach 2080. Why is no one worried about an unexpected tsunami on top of rising sea levels?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/11/nuclear-sites-sea-rise-tsunamis?newsfeed=true

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March 12, 2012 - Posted by | climate change, oceans, UK

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