The Environment Agency has completed £35,000 worth of flood defence work along the River Severn. The agency has repaired more than a mile of tidal flood bank near Oldbury Nuclear Power Station, which protects an area of low lying land containing approximately 100 properties. See Gloucestershire Gazette 12th Nov 2010.
Photo: Oldbury nuke viewed with my camera from top of Ash Lane, Randwick
This should be a reminder about why we should not be considering a new nuke on this site - see press release from two years ago here - as I said then: "Nirex, Britain’s nuclear waste management agency, has said Oldbury is at “high risk of flooding". Climate change can only add to future problems."
Nirex reported in its summary of ‘Climate and Landscape Change’ that seven out of eleven nuclear reactor sites at that time were not viewed as fit for new nuclear reactors or nuclear waste sites. Four will be vulnerable to flooding and three others vulnerable to coastal erosion. Berkeley (which has since been ruled out) and Oldbury are cited as having a “high risk of flooding”, while Hinkley is at risk of “flooding and erosion”.
On top of this the Government has withdrawn funding from flood defences. Does any of this make sense?
Over the next 5 years, there will be £137m less each year to spend on combating flooding than was committed by Labour - which was already less than that seen necessary by the EA.
Indeed they asked the last Government for £1 billion a year to fight flooding. They gave only £800 million a year. All this will increase flooding risks to communities, particularly here in Gloucestershire (see our comment to press here). A quarter of homes in the UK are at risk of flooding and this could mean that people’s insurance premiums go up.
Even insurer, AXA, has asked the government to clarify its flood defence strategy. AXA claim that it is far from clear where the money will come from to implement the Flood and Water Management Act which passed into law earlier this year. With the effects of climate change and more severe weather conditions, flooding will become more of a problem, not less. The government needs to spend now so that it is not spending later when emergencies happen.
Anyhow all this just should surely confirm to any sane person that a new nuke on this site is crazy. The flood threat issue just seems to be ignored? I would welcome an answer from Oldbury about how they can go ahead? Does it mean we just dismiss those climate change forecasts and sea level rise threats? What world are we leaving for the next generation?