New nuclear at Shepperdine will have REAL IMPACT on you!
Our main concerns so far
1. Scale of the development
The new generation of reactors proposed have an output twice that of the old power station at Oldbury. Its cooling needs are such that Horizon Nuclear Power is proposing to construct cooling towers to cool the reactors. Two types of towers are under consideration, both of which will mean the power station will occupy a site at least 4 times the size of the existing plant. The smaller of the two options will involve the construction of 3 or 4 ‘Hybrid‘or fan assisted towers. Even the smaller fan assisted hybrid towers are massive in terms of scale. Each tower will be higher than and as wide as the existing station!!
The fan assisted cooling towers will be noisy and will therefore have an unacceptable impact on the many residents living close to the site.
3. Steam plumes
Each cooling tower will emit a steam plume and this impact has yet to be fully assessed by Horizon. However, we know that in other countries this can create changes in climatic conditions in areas down wind of the towers depositing contaminated drizzle/rain on the communities in these locations and this is totally unacceptable to the local residents affected.
4. Flood Risks
The site is on the River Severn flood plain and within a level 3 risk flood zone (the highest level risk!) which is a ridiculous location for such a nuclear power station. The existing power station has been cut off by floods in the past and this is a very serious issue. The flood defence measures necessary to protect this site will also have a major impact on the area including raising the site and access road to the site above the flood level. This will create a further serious risk of collateral flooding - from flood defences preventing effective drainage of surface water further inland - thus increasing flood risks to surrounding areas. This matter has not even been considered yet!
5. Highly toxic waste stored on site for 150 years plus
Made even more ridiculous given that the site is in a level 3 flood zone! The Government’s plans for a national geological disposal facility for this waste are a long way off reality. They have yet to identify a suitable site within a volunteer community and, even if they do manage to find a community to confirm agreement to host this, it will take decades of testing to confirm whether or not such a site is geologically suitable. If (and it’s a BIG if!) they eventually manage to confirm such a site is suitable it will then take decades to build. In the meantime our community is expected to host the storage of this highly toxic material for an indefinate period. Add to this the fact that it is on the flood plain of the River Severn and this is a totally absurd proposal!
6. The impact on the community during construction
The construction phase will destroy this beautiful area for ever. The damage done by traffic, road widening, temporary accomodation for 5,000 largely migrant workers and so on can not be over stated. South Gloucestershire Council have estimated that the material needed to raise the site alone will require 1500 HGV movements per day for 18 months! The new station will have only minimal long term impact on permenant jobs in the area and the disruption to our community far out weighs this tiny benefit by comparison.
7. Proximity to large populations
The site is far too close to some significant populations including the town of Thornbury (less than 5 miles and a population of circa 12,500), the city of Bristol (less than 10 miles with a population of circa 450,000) and the towns of Chepstow and Lydney directly accross the river! The Department for Energy and Climate Change have, in their own siting documents, suggested that these power stations must not be located close to large populations for safety reasons and we are therefore at a loss to understand why anyone considers this site as suitable.
8. Interference with other renewable energy projects
It is illogical to consider detailed plans for Shepperdine without knowing whether or not a Severn Barrage will go ahead or the details/location of such a barrage. To do so could very well pre-determine the outcome of this hugely important renewable scheme and is definitely not in the long term interests of this country. Now that it would appear that the larger Barrage has been ruled out this makes the smaller options more likely which are closer to the proposed new site at Shepperdine, nr Oldbury.
9. Use of untried technology
The new generation of reactors proposed by Horizon Nuclear Power are not tried and tested any where in the world, nor have they yet been approved for use by UK regulators. Our community does not wish to be guinea pigs for this untried technology. The experiences at Oldbury leave us with serious reservations. We have not forgotten all the teething problems when they built Oldbury and the subsidence which caused cracks in the reactor core etc.