Joined-up thinking. It requires opposable thumbs, you know.


This makes me want to laugh/cry …

So anyways, we’re all pretty much agreed that we need to do something about providing for our future energy needs, right?

Some folks say we need nuclear power, and some folks are dead against it, and of course the recent events in Japan just add fuel (caesium, uranium, a dash of plutonium) to the debate.

I’m not taking sides here. Just saying, is all.

So here’s one you might have missed recently …

A couple of weeks back, the management of Oldbury nuclear power station was forced to reassure residents that there were no safety concerns after steam was seen rising from one of the reactor buildings.

Phil Sprague, site director at the South Gloucestershire power station, told the BBC that the steam release was caused by an electrical fault during routine maintenance. Safety measures shut down a turbine and steam produced in the station’s boilers was released instead of being sent to the turbine. “The inbuilt safety measures shut down the turbine exactly as it’s supposed to do in this sort of the event,” he said.

The two Magnox reactors at the site are over 40 years old and are due to be closed down permanently on June 30 this year. However, Magnox Ltd., the company which operates the plant (and others) on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is seeking to extend the lives of both into 2012.

The government last year earmarked the Oldbury site as being suitable for new nuclear power stations, and Horizon Nuclear Power, a consortium of energy industry giants E.ON and RWE, has put forward plans to build two or three new reactors which would supply up to six times as much power as the existing facility.

Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, councillors on South Gloucestershire Council rejected plans for a wind farm close to … Oldbury Power Station.

Planning officers had recommended approving the scheme, which would have produced enough power for 5,500 homes. One resident complained that the four turbines would have been “grossly out of proportion” with the surroundings. Councillors said the impact on the landscape would be too severe.

For those of you who don’t live Round These Parts … Oldbury is not, and never will be, an area of even average natural beauty.

There are two elderly nuclear reactors there, one of them venting steam. There might be a number of new ones, and yet a bunch of windmills would make the place look ugly.

<Shakes head, mutters you couldn’t make it up etc. Attempts to cadge drink off complete stranger.>


2 Responses to “Joined-up thinking. It requires opposable thumbs, you know.”

  1. 1 Harry Mac

    Agreed – screwed up thinking.

    Did you know wind turbines were refused permission near Hinckley Point nuclear power station – one of the reasons given (honestly, it’s on the record) was that the turbines might be dangerous because one of the blades might blow off and damage the nuclear power station!

    • Indeed. AFAIK (could be wrong) Hinkley was the first site where planning permission was sought for wind turbines. At the time we all thought it would be highly symbolic.

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