May 21, 2011
New study assesses effects of a tsunami hitting Hinkley Point
campaigners have this week released details of a new study showing
the effects of a huge tsunami hitting Hinkley Point power station.
The Stop Hinkley group says the new analysis has been prompted
by the seriousness of the radiation releases into the environment
after Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident in March.
The new research paper by Professor Chris Busby, Dai Williams
and Cecily Collingridge from The Green Audit asks "What would
have happened to the fallout if a tsunami damaged Hinkley Point
on 11th March 2011?"
It includes an animation, pictured below, tracking the path of a
plume following a six hour release of radiation.
The two-page study concludes: "What is clear from these calculations is
that radioactivity at the levels being released from Fukushima
would contaminate the Home Counties and London and would rapidly
make the south of England uninhabitable."
Stop Hinkley's Crispin Aubrey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The
sobering simulation brings home the fact that although the Hinkley
site may seem remote from large and growing population centres,
the nature of weather patterns would ensure that millions would
be exposed to the plume."
added: "Whilst the prospect of a tsunami in Somerset may
seem remote, that cannot be said of coolant losses, which are
"At Hinkley Point B there have been a total of six such
incidents since 2005, one of which was a direct leak from Reactor
No.4, and a total of 47 coolant loss incidents across the UK."
Cecily Collingridge, one of the new reports authors, added:
"There are serious doubts as to whether the governments
safety review goes far enough in making sure we avoid the type
of disaster envisaged in this scenario. We really need to appreciate
what we might be letting ourselves in for."
An EDF Energy spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com it would not
be issuing a response to such a "hypothetical" report.
EDF has previously said it is committed to implementing the recommendations
of the government's Weightman Report on the safety of UK nuclear
EDF welcomed the interim report from Dr Mike Weightman into the
implications of events at Fukushima, adding that it welcomed the
interim conclusions that the UK nuclear power industry has reacted
responsibly and appropriately to events in Japan,
displaying a leadership for safety and a strong safety culture.
Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz also welcomed the Secretary of
State Chris Huhnes assessment that the report reassured
the Government that new nuclear can be part of the future energy
Mr de Rivaz added: "Within days of the tsunami we undertook
our own internal review of the implications of Fukushima. We took
immediate actions to check our back up systems, organise refresher
training for employees and review our Emergency Plan. We also
began our longer term planning and put in place formal arrangements
to ensure that any learnings from Japan are fed into our safety
processes. As a result, we are in a position to begin implementing
Dr Weightmans recommendations today."
"Continuous improvement is part of the safety culture of
EDF Energy. We invest on average over £300 million each
year in our plants to ensure they remain at the forefront of nuclear
safety. This same principle means that lessons from Japan will
further enhance safety."