The UK has announced that they are going to build another nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, Sommerset. The construction is to be done by two state owned foreign firms, a French(EDF) and a Chinese(CGN).
The estimated cost to finish the plant varies from 18 billion pounds to an all in with financing costs included to 29.7 billion. The carrot of jobs for 26 000 people may wilt somewhat when the foreign firms wish to bring their own experts into the UK to work.
The world is still trying to cope with the Fukushima disaster which is still leaking radioactivity more than five years since the cores melted. In spite of this, the proponents of nuclear power try to portray it as a “green” source of energy because the reactors do not spew carbon dioxide.
The cement industry is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. Nuclear power plants use a great deal of cement in construction.
If the new plant can be made more safe that the UK’s Sellafield, that would be a vast improvement. The ponds at Sellafield are open to the sky and crammed with spent fuel that is still intensely radioactive. The ponds were decommissioned in 1974 but remain dangerous.
But in the 40 years since the ponds were abandoned, the entire system has broken down. Locks, gantries, lifts and valves are all broken, missing or seized up.
The concrete is riddled with cracks - including not just the ones that you can see, but also those out of sight in the connecting tunnels. The entire environment is far too radioactive for anyone to be able to enter. The Ecologist
Sellafield is the site of the nuclear pile known as Windscale, where one of the worst nuclear accidents happened. It was the worst nuclear disaster that the world had seen until the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl blew up. Devastation to the countryside was mitigated by last minute filters attached to the stacks. In spite of the filters, radiation leaked and was blamed for hundreds of cases of cancer in the area.
The plant is going ahead in spite of thousands of people opposing it. Some oppose the project because of safety, some object because the disposal of nuclear waste is difficult and others object because of the heavy involvement of the Chinese government.
European News Weekly
Blogger, gardener, farmer. Working toward food security and a 30 foot
diet. Addicted to reading. Love this planet, especially my little corner
on Vancouver Island, Canada