Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

DECC Reply from one of Our Community

Having attended the consultation with regards to the proposed construction of a new nuclear power station at Oldbury on Severn, held by DECC on 6th February 2010, at Thornbury Leisure centre, I wish to submit the following points to you. Please confirm that these points have been received and that they are taken into account before any decisions are reached regarding the agreement to build a nuclear power station.

1) During the meeting the representatives from DECC confirmed that the proposed site is within a flood group 3 zone which means that the area including Littleton on Severn, Rockhampton, Ham, Berkeley, Shepperdine, and Oldbury are all in an area that is, according to the Environment Agency , “deemed to be at high risk of flooding by fluvial or coastal and tidal flooding”. According to the Government website : communities “Planning Policy Statement 25 sets out Government policy on development and flood risk. It’s aims are to ensure that flood risk is taken into account at all stages in the planning process to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk from flooding, and to direct development away from areas of high risk. Where new development is, exceptionally necessary in such areas, policy aims to make it safe, without increasing flood risk elsewhere, and, where possible reducing flood risk overall”. The problem with this is that a concentrated flood defence around Oldbury is certainly going to make the flood threat for the surrounding areas much worse. If one considers that in 1607 the flood waters reached as far in land as Glastonbury then this will cause a serious threat. It is important to note that DECC has produced its own report on how a Severn Barrage would affect the tides and sediments of the Severn. The big question is, what does this report say, and why are we not allowed to see it? According to an official Dutch report, the consequences of a barrage across the Severn, which would be similar to that at Oosterschelde, is likely to increase water levels in the estuary and shipping lanes will become shallower and harder to manage. The tidal mud flats will begin to disappear and the salt marshes will disappear altogether. The DECC according to the RSPB , have known about this report since 2008. The consequences for a new power station would be heavily affected should the Severn Barrage be built.

2) Of the ten sites being considered for new nuclear power stations by DECC, there is only one which does not have suitable access to water for cooling. This then seems to be a very strange choice when you consider that there are approximately 7723 miles of coastline to choose from. One of the problems caused by not having suitable water for cooling is that an alternative for cooling has to be employed. In this instance it is proposed that 4 large cooling towers will have to be built in the Severn Vale, itself an area of great natural beauty. None of the other sites will require cooling towers. It is totally inappropriate to the area for such a construction to be considered, especially when the views of the Government’s Planning Statement Policy 25 go against such unnecessary building work.

3) It emerged during the consultation that all of the proposed sites would need to send their waste to be deposited in Geological Nuclear storage sites. A major anomaly occurred here, as I was told categorically at the exhibition held at Turnberries by a DECC representative on the evening of 5th February, that only one community had come forward on a voluntary basis to host a Geological Storage facility, and that this was in Cumbria. At the meeting the following day, it was stated that there were two communities that had volunteered, a 100% increase since the previous evening. It was stressed at the meeting that only communities that volunteered would have to have a Nuclear Storage facility. It was also stated that Oldbury would necessarily have to store Nuclear Waste and this will certainly be the case especially if no more communities come forward to volunteer to host a storage site. If then it is agreed that no community will be forced to host Nuclear Waste storage sites and that this is strictly on a voluntary basis, then surely our community should be afforded the same rights. To force this upon our communities goes against our rights as stated under the European Bill of Human Rights and transgresses the whole democratic system.

4) As regards the Geological Survey of the area being carried out, we were told by a DECC representative that some initial drilling has taken place at the site. What we were not told by DECC was the extent of the drilling so far. It was left to a Gentleman from Shepperdine to illuminate us. He had spoken to a construction engineer at the site who told him that the drill he had been operating had been sunk to a depth of over 200 meters and had still not found substantial rock for foundations. Bearing in mind that a Geological survey of the area in 2004 conducted by Dr Haslett of Bath Spa University College and Dr Bryant concluded that two large areas of farmland had been washed away in 1607 by water, and that one of these is the large area now used as the cooling pool for the present reactor. This then, is unstable land situated within a Flood Zone 3 area, and I have seen no evidence coming from DECC to convince me that this is a sensible place to build anything, let alone a Nuclear Reactor.

In conclusion, this is the wrong area for a new Power Plant, and the Government and DECC should come up with an alternative.

Yours, Ashley Haigh resident of Thornbury.


  1. Mr Haigh, an excellent, well crafted letter. I'm a relative latecomer to this issue I regret to say but having received a leaflet from oldburynuclearviewpoint yesterday, it's certainly grabbed my attention. I'll be poring thru the "paperwork" this week before responding to the consultation.
    Peter & Sophie Davis, Thornbury.

  2. Suitable site for a huge reactor?
    I have been told by a top nuclear engineer that one of the two existing reactors at Oldbury slipped eleven inches due to subsidence after it had been built. New holes needed to be drilled in the control block to accomodate the pipework and the reactor has tilted slightly!
    The Nuclear Installtions Inspectorate did not deny this when I met them to discuss the severe graphite corrision in the reactor cores.


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