Business, Finance & Economics

Future flood threat to British nuclear reactors


It isn't fire that is a threat to some British nuclear plants like Sizewell, it's flooding from rising sea levels.


Oli Scarff

A year ago, the world was watching Japan wrestle with the flooded reactors at Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Guardian newspaper has obtained, under a Freedom of Information request, a report partially published two months ago detailing the risks to 12 of 19 nuclear plant sites in the country.

It is the older ones right on the sea cost that are cause for concern. Global warming has led to a rise in sea levels around this island.

"Sea level rise, especially in the south east of England, will mean that some of these sites will be under water within 100 years," according to flood specialist David Crichton.

But the British government authority in charge of the power plants claimed that nuclear power stations in Britain are designed to withstand a one in ten-thousand year flood.

After last year's events in Japan, nuclear-power skeptics will want something more than a designers life-time guarantee.