Update from BANNG Meeting 25.04.2017 – Bradwell/Nuclear Power.
By 2030 the UK wants have 16GW capacity from nuclear power – double what we have now to provide 40% of required output. Of the new sites identified as suitable the first is Hinckley point C which it was estimated could cost £25BILLION although some reports put this closer to £37BILLION.
Although Hinckley has been given approval the biggest hurdle is finance – 30% is expected to come from partner company equity and 70% from debt financing – however the banks will not lend money for such schemes without sovereign loan guarantees – meaning if it all goes wrong it is the tax payer that foots the bill. The government has already signed us up to £17BILLION. However if and when Hinckley goes ahead EDF ay not have the resources to fund others – EDF is currently selling assets to raise finance as in France all of the 58 reactors are reaching the end of their life and they are facing £100Billion of life extending costs.
The technology is supplied by AREVA a company in so much financial trouble it had to be rescued by the French government. Areva have a poor safety record and out of 4 reactors currently under construction 3 are faulty and may have to be abandoned. Areva have also been found to falsifying quality control records for upto 50 years at 3 factories.
Some of the sites identified as suitable (Moorside) are only 5-6 miles from fracking sites – this poses a risk from earth quakes. Furthermore there are already documented plans to burry nuclear waste in the used fracking wells.
The Chinese involvement raises many concerns as China has only exported small scale projects in countries such as Pakistan previously. The Chinese are known to have safety and quality standards below that of the UK and there is the added threat to national security.
The UK carries out long period safety studies on proposed developments which can take 5-10 years however there is not he opportunity to conduct such a review on the Chinese reactor at present as it has not been decided which experimental reactor they will supply us with.
A new Nuclear power station would not provide long term employment only short term jobs. An permanent jobs operating the iste are likely to bought in from outside the area.
Bradwell has been chosen as it is an existing site under nuclear friendly ownership (EDF) and has alleged public support (no one is sure where from). If the new power station was built all spent fuel would be stored on site.
It should be considered not suitable due to location, the Blackwater is a low lying shallow estuary with a slow refresh rate (10 days) it is vulnerable to storm surges, costal processes, sea level changes and climate change processes. For a new larger power station large volumes of water would be required for the cooling process and the Blackwater would not be able to meet this supply. It also has been ignored that The Blackwater is a marine protection zone, and the government has said that ‘it is not possible to rule out adverse impact on the environment’ justifying this by saying it is acceptable if in the public interest to harm the environment.
While some may not be concerned Bradwell although a long way by road is just 15 miles from Southend as the crow flies (or not in the case of a nuclear disaster) the exclusion zone around Chernobyl was 18. So that puts lots of people in the danger zone.
Currently we are capable of producing in excess of what Hinckley C would produce from renewables. The costs of nuclear power are known to be rising while the costs of renewables are falling; it was asked why then are the government still pushing ahead with the schemes? Consensus being that no one wants to lose face and back down as this would cause embarrassment for the government and or the partner companies. There is also the bi-product of the Nuclear Power industry – Nuclear war heads – burnt-up Uranium produces Plutonium – the Plutonium from Bradwell when it was operational was used in Nuclear War heads. While we have Trident money will be put into Nuclear Power even if it is not he safest and most economical source.