Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Press Statement from Horizon Nuclear Power

Horizon Nuclear Power, the joint venture between RWE Npower and E.on which is developing Wylfa B has released the below press statement with reference the problems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan:

Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, our heart-felt sympathy goes out to all those who have been affected. 
It would not be appropriate for us to comment on the nuclear incidents which are currently taking place in Japan, given that we do not have first hand involvement. 
However we welcome the statement made on Sunday by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, announcing that the Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, has been asked to prepare a report on the implications and lessons learned from the situation in Japan.  
UK nuclear installations are built with a wealth of safety measures in place to ensure that they can withstand a range of natural disasters and avoid causing harm to the public or to the environment. These installations are assessed extremely thoroughly by the regulators to ensure that containment remains effective even in the most extreme circumstances, and the design that Horizon selects for its proposed installations will also go through this thorough assessment. 
The results of Dr Weightman's analysis will clearly provide an important check on the UK's standards for nuclear installations.


Photon said...

I see Horizon have good links when they want to make a press statement!

The only question is: if these things are so perfectly robust, why is the government ordering a report on what lessons can be learned?

The reality is that very few people in the industry saw the simlpe water flooding of diesel generators as a source of such devastating failure. That is certainly one lesson that should be learned.

Anonymous said...

Photon - They did see the possibility of the generators failing and had battery back-up. But the batteries in turn only had a 4 hour charge. And the battery recharging facility? The very same generators that failed.

Perhaps the future for Japan is to build them inland. Or not to build them at all.

Groundhog Day said...

Anon @ 1710

I don't think Japan can do without nuclear energy. Oil supply is volatile particularly now that the Arab nations are in revolutionary flux. As for wind and wave power, well we have seen what earthquakes and tsunamis can do, wind turbines would be useless as would wave power generators. The Japanese have to rely on nuclear to provide a large percentage of their energy supplies. I think that they should build any future nuclear stations away from the Pacific coast and concentrate them more on the west coast.

Anonymous said...

The mess caused by the nuclear reactors failing and blowing up, the mess and fear that it has created, the worldwide focus by the press, I can sincerely imagine that Terrorist cells are slavering at the prospect of attacking this type of " soft" target.

Anonymous said...

"Terrorist cells are slavering at the prospect of attacking this type of " soft" target"

Aha! Have you ever cruised around the Cemaes area by night? It won't be long before a very new, very big Civil Nuclear Police 4x4 crosses your path.

Anonymous said...

A nuclear Police 4x 4 would frighten the life out of a determined terrorist, I don't think so, the point I was making was, we may have known that Nuclear Plants were potentially dangerous places, but the unfolding events in Japan, make me wonder, what if it was to happen here? It's interesting to hear the comment from the Japanese people, that they are finding it hard to swallow the statements from the Government that everything is ok now, we live and learn don't we..especially that press release from Horizon, are they trying to bribe us by making us feel " safe".

Anonymous said...

Personally I can't see a nuclear Police 4x4 being that much use against a hi-jacked 747 hurtling groundwards at 600mph

Anonymous said...

Its time to ditch this dirty, dangerous and irresponsible means of creating energy.

With Trawsfynydd, Wylfa and the toxic sea currents from Sellafield North Wales has suffered enough.

If the nuclear industry think its reactors are that great, why are they always built in sparsely populated and economically poor communities on the "periphery" rather than in the regions which consume the most electricity like the south east of England?

Anonymous said...

Apparently the batteries were not DURACELL !!

Anonymous said...

"are they trying to bribe us by making us feel " safe"."

To a large extent, yes. Chris 'Who?' Huhne is clearly trying to get ahead of the game and dismiss public concern by ordering a report on the Japanese experience.

It's not to learn lessons, it's to make sure the whole UK new nuclear programme doesn't fall foul of public protest. Except, I'm not sure we're quite that stupid.

Prometheuswrites said...

The power requirements for a data centre (see earlier Druid post re: Anglesey Aluminium site) stipulate two un-interupable and independent supplies from the the main grid.

These conditions would appear to be more stringent than the requirements for the Japanese nuclear plants.

Is there any information regarding the requirements for external power supplies to the Wylfa site?

Anonymous said...

"Personally I can't see a nuclear Police 4x4 being that much use against a hi-jacked 747 hurtling groundwards at 600mph"

Quite so, especially with full tanks for a nice fuel/air fire. May not cause any nuclear havoc, but will likely render the station inoperative and needing a very expensive cleanup. Once upon a time you could claim that such an event was unlikely. Post 9/11, such an event is basically a certainty; the only uncertainty is where and when, so the construction and cleanup costs need to be considered up front. Security theatre at airports is no practical deterrent.

Anonymous said...

"Except, I'm not sure we're quite that stupid."

Oh I don't know. Many are stupid enough to believe the manmade global warming bilge.

Good to see the scaremongerers out in force with their claptrap. Makes a change from that bore going on about no human rights on IoACC I suppose.

Groundhog Day said...

Personally, notwithstanding the tragic events in Japan, I am quite heartened by the fact that despite what has happened we have not had the nuclear holocaust predicted by the doom merchants. The reactors have not spewed out huge amounts of radiation yet and had it not been for the effects of the tsunami the diesel generators and batteries would have coped with the emergency. The earthquake itself did a lot of damage but it appears that the reactors all stood up to what was the biggest quake Japan has ever suffered. I thik that world-wide, the nuclear industry will have learned a great deal from these events in Japan and will surely put those lessons to good use.

kp said...

The horror of it all is simply that 'no-one knows' .... no-one knows what might still happen.

We live with this horrible thought everyday on this island, but for most days we manage to push it to the back of our minds.

Are we right to continue doing so?

Anonymous said...

"We live with this horrible thought everyday on this island, but for most days we manage to push it to the back of our minds."

What, a tsumani?

Anonymous said...

The 1984 Llŷn Peninsula earthquake was 5.4 on the Richter scale. The Fukushima plant was built to withstand a 7, and the recent one was 9.

What level of earthquake will Wylfa B be able to withstand? I hope the answer is at least 7.

Anonymous said...

"What level of earthquake will Wylfa B be able to withstand? I hope the answer is at least 7"

Yup, that sounds logical...