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The Sizewell C Project
Received 08 September 2020
From Nuclear Consulting Group (NCG) (Nuclear Consulting Group (NCG))
“Accidents are, by definition, accidental There seem no resounding new revelations over the vulnerability of nuclear to unforeseen natural disasters or through human or engineering-based fault conditions, including accidental or deliberate harm. Accidents are by nature, accidental, and the cost of ignoring this common-sense axiom can prove radiologically catastrophic. Whatever one’s view of the risks and benefits of nuclear, it is clear that the possibility of catastrophic accidents or incidents, and consequent economic liability, must be factored into planning decision-making. To date, insufficient attention has been placed on ‘beyond-design-base cascading accidents/incidents’ regards EDF Sizewell C. Climate change will significantly impact the proposed Sizewell C site. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently reported that extreme sea-level events that used to occur once a century will strike every year in many coasts by 2050, whether climate heating emissions are curbed or not. Thus, UK coastal nuclear plant, including Sizewell, will be increasingly vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surge, tidal ingress, and flooding of reactor and spent fuel stores - and these impacts may occur quicker than nuclear regulatory or industry have planned for. As UK Inst. Mech. Eng. (IME) state in their publication 'Climate Change: Adapting to the Inevitable': The sea level rises projected could significantly redraw the map of the UK, as well as power station sites such as Sizewell. Perhaps alarmingly, IME point out that coastal located nuclear reactors, tincluding Sizewell, together with radioactive waste stores including spent fuel, will be vulnerable to sea-level rise, flooding, storm surge. IME note that coastal nuclear sites, such as Sizewell, may need considerable investment to protect them against rising sea levels, or even abandonment or relocation in the long term. Further, see map below, extrapolated from 'Nature' publication (S.A., Strauss, B.H. New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding. Nat Commun 10, 4844 (2019): doi:10.1038/s41467-019-12808-z ) which strongly suggests that the Sizewell C nuclear plant will be almost completely cut off by flood water once per year by 2050: Sizewell, Land Projected Below 2050 Annual Flood Level [Redacted] In this context it would prove deeply problematic to allow new nuclear build to progress on this site.”