Monday, 16 May 2011
Environment Agency calculates risk of Oldbury Power Station being hit by a
Tsunami as 1 in 10.
It was with great surprise that I read an exclusive article involving the Environment Agency in the Bristol Evening Post on April 20th 2011.
It gives insight into how they approach risk assessment. According to the Environment Agency and Bristol City Council, they are worried that high tides in the Bristol Channel combined with heavy rainfall over the City and a big swell coming down the Avon, low lying areas of Bristol will flood. Taking this as the Environment Agency assessment, then this must have extreme consequences for the low lying areas bordering the estuary, including Oldbury-on-Severn.
Graham Quarrier, project manager for the Environment Agency says in the article, that we have no worries about a Tsunami such as the one that struck Japan as this is a “one in one thousand year event”. However, if it did happen our current sea defences would be overwhelmed, affecting areas such as Weston-Super-Mare, Clevedon, and Avonmouth. “The existing defences, and those we are planning to construct over the next century, are all designed to prevent flooding from ordinary high tides and storm surges” said Mr Quarrier.
He went on to state however: “Though it is clearly possible that there could be an earthquake out in the Atlantic, the risk is calculated as being a “one in one thousand year event”.
Now, bear in mind that Berkeley Power Station was started in 1956, and according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the final site clearance would not take place until 2092, and be finally finished by 2101.
The existing power station at Oldbury was begun in 1967 and by building a new reactor there now, would mean a continuous nuclear presence on this site for well over a hundred years, meaning that Mr Quarrier’s “one in one thousand year event”, suddenly becomes a one in ten chance during that one hundred year period, of being hit by a devastating Tsunami. This is based directly on the figures supplied by Mr Quarrier and the Environment Agency.
So, Mr Quarrier, I put it to you, that if you and the Environment Agency think a risk factor of one in ten, according to your own statement, is a safe and satisfactory safety margin, I for one beg to differ.
I wonder where Mr Quarrier lives, probably well away from the Severn Estuary, and probably a fair way in land, and very probably a long way from Oldbury-on-Severn.
Ashley Haigh, a Thornbury resident.
Posted by Reg Illingworth at 20:20