The Big Gamble facing the Lake District
The government is still pressing ahead with a project to build
Europe's largest nuclear power plant just two miles from the Lake
District National Park. As the Japanese have discovered at Fukushima,
accidents can unfortunately happen. The Lake District's Moorside
plan is for three PWR nuclear reactors.
The gamble is over the risk to Cumbria's Tourism livelihood. The
Lake District generates over £1 billion tourism expenditure a year.
The project is organised by a consortium called Nugen....
Both the Lake District National Park Authority and Friends of the Lake District have not opposed the idea of a new nuclear power plant. Friends of the Lakes have only voiced concern at the impact on the landscape of new pylons and the impact of the building on landscape.
They state they are not anti-nuclear.
The risk is low, but in the event of any of the reactors, or the
nearby Sellafield Highly Radioactive Waste stores suffering criticality...over
half the Lake District could be a No Go Zone for at least 20 years.(See
mapping of 30 kilometre Zone) Those who remember the fells being
off limits for the Foot and Mouth crisis need to be aware any nuclear
accident ban would be for decades. Also recall how many years sheep
farmers had to screen their flocks for radioactive contamination
on the Cumbrian fells, and that was from a nuclear accident over
a thousand miles away at Chernobyl. Tens of thousands of people
are still in temporary housing four years after the Fukushima accident.
the official progress report on the 30 year nightmare Japan is trying
to deal with.)
So we approached the Cumbria Tourist Board to ask if they had considered
this mega gamble. Their spokesman replied in July 2015: "With regards
to the proposals for Moorside, as yet we have not made any submissions
to the consultation process, our position is still being considered
by our Board and we will feed into this process in due course."
Ironically this same Tourism Board had objected to a solar power
park proposed at Bothel, some 15 miles outside the National Park.
However the Board receives over £2 million in funding from
a variety of public sector bodies and partnerships.
Moorside will not be built without massive subsidies from the UK
taxpayer and the promoters being given a guaranteed 'strike price'
of double the current cost of generation for 35 years.
If Moorside is not built, thousands of jobs will still be secure
at the Sellafield complex because of the
decades long work on decommissioning nuclear facilities and repackaging
Details of the Moorside proposals here on Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moorside_nuclear_power_station
In July 2016 Cumbria County Council stated that council is
supportive of the Moorside plans in principle, as it recognises
the considerable economic benefits that can be realised for the
economy through NuGen's investments in a new nuclear power station
at Moorside. Cabinet was clear that this investment must be accompanied
by appropriate parallel investment in infrastructure and community
facilities in order to mitigate the impacts of the development,
such as the need for investment in the county‚Äôs roads and infrastructure
to deal with a significant increase in the volume of traffic.
Clearly they haven't heard of Fukushima or Chernobyl....The Lake
District National Park supports New Nuke Reactors
Shocking news (April 2016) that the supposed guardians of the
Lakes national park will be raising no major objections to plans
for Europe's biggest nuclear plant just miles outside the National
Park. The LDNPAuthority states in its Moorside nuclear consultation
response (April 2016) : "We support the principle of a new
build nuclear power station adjacent to Sellafield. The proposal
would continue the long tradition of the nuclear industry in Cumbria
and benefit the national and Cumbrian economy. Our support, is consistent
with that offered in 2011 when this Authority commented on the National
Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation. "
And then the Clean-up takes Centuries
2016:Thirty years after Chernobyl reactor blew up...some 200,000
people, including all of those living in the nearby town of Pripyat,
remain evacuated from regions neighbouring the destroyed reactor.
A 30 km (19 mile) closed exclusion zone was imposed
which is still in place.
2016: Euro 1.5 billion spent on the largest movable structure on
Earth to temporarily seal the melted reactor area....these sort
of projects take many decades....Pic from the EBRD.