Following my previous post on Hinkley Point C, villagers have asked for a full explanation. I’ll try to make it short.
If you ask EDF whether the design of their mighty wall, now under construction, has taken into account the effects of predicted sea level rise due to climate change, they will answer with a resounding ‘yes!’. But, unfortunately, many experts believe that the science is flawed. Hinkley C’s calculations were made on predictions as of 2012, before ‘climate change feedbacks’ were fully understood. ‘Positive feedbacks’ are events or processes which speed up global warming.
It is now known that the Arctic’s melting permafrost (soil which was once permanently frozen) is now releasing methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than CO2. Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps are melting faster than predicted. More extreme weather events, caused by an increase in global temperatures, could bring storm surges and add to the risk of flooding at Hinkley. It is therefore possible that, as sea levels rise, Hinkley’s sea defences could be deemed insufficient. This would result in the need for costly re-strengthening.
This week we have learnt that there are now plans afoot to temporarily store nuclear waste from other nuclear power UK stations at Hinkley C, no doubt alarming many of us. And now there is a second terrible storm in Mozambique; scientists say it is unprecedented for two such huge cyclones to hit in one season. There is no doubt that poorer nations are paying the price of climate change. I can’t help feeling guilty.
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