Specific words of caution

Specific words of caution were given to the builders of Hinkley Point C.

Currently under construction at an estimated cost of £22.9 billion, it is the flagship project of the new generation of nuclear power stations from the Nuclear New Build (NNB) Generation Company, a spin-off of EDF Energy. It is due to operate from 2025 until 2085 when it will be retired, or decommissioned. This 60-year lifespan is significant as our planet may change quite a bit during that time. “It is possible,” one academic said, “that by the time HPC is decommissioned the planet will be 4C warmer with many extreme weather events, and therefore with significant design implications for NNB.”

On 30th January, 1607, a massive storm surge swept up the Bristol channel, swamping large parts of Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Wales. It is estimated that 2,000 people or more drowned, as houses and villages were swept away and around 200 square miles of farmland inundated. In the Church of All Saints at Kingston Seymour, near Weston-super-Mare, a chiselled mark remains showing that the water reached 7.74 metres above sea level. Some 412 years on from that tragic event, an academic chose to recall it in a talk he was giving. They did so not because it was an interesting slice of British meteorological history, but in order to warn that it could happen again. And the audience they wanted to warn? The people in charge of Britain’s nuclear power stations.

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