PYLONS AND MOORSIDE
Dear *Lakes Parish Council,
Thank you for teaming up with neighbouring councils to fight the pylons.
Cumbrians are increasingly concerned about all the impacts from Moorside.
The online poll in the North West Evening Mail under the article “Councils
Present United Front Against Pylon Plans” reflects this concern.
The Poll asked “What would you prefer?”
6% Said Yes to Pylons;
17% Said Yes to Underground Cables;
7% Said Yes to Offshore Cables and
70% Said No to Moorside.
This is remarkable given that media coverage has focussed narrowly on the
impacts of the pylons rather than the wider impacts from Moorside itself.
We support the councils in opposing the pylons but would suggest that as
with all the many damaging impacts from the proposed “biggest nuclear
development in Europe”, the pylons are being heavily underestimated.
Radiation Free Lakeland have been in correspondence with former US nuclear
regulator Arnie Gundersen who has visited the site and tells us that:
“The position of the transmission corridor (pylons) is critical to plant
reliability and safety. The Moorside corridor is too narrow, being bound
by the sea on one side and the National Park on the other. This means
that extreme weather events can prevent the entire output of the plant
from reaching customers (reliability), and more importantly, it can
prevent emergency power from getting to the plant to keep the atomic
reactor cooling pumps operating (safety). Remember when a nuke shuts
down, it has so much residual heat that it must have ongoing cooling or it
will meltdown. To assure reliability from severe weather, the generated
electricity being transmitted to customers is transmitted in several
directions on different corridors. The proposal for the Moorside atomic
reactors is for 3300 MWe of power generated by three AP1000 nuclear power
plants necessitating several very wide transmission corridors, which the
land itself is unable to sustain. In all likelihood, underground
transmission lines would significantly improve the reliability of the
electric transmission to customers, because the area’s severe
thunderstorms would no longer be an issue. However, underground
transmission corridors would be very expensive, perhaps making the cost of
the site astronomical, and such immense costs would most likely be passed
on to consumers.”
Arnie Gundersen’s statement that there would need to be several
transmission corridors is borne out by the experience at Sellafield where
there are no operational reactors but huge amounts of energy are required
for cooling the wastes and for reprocessing. The Stress Test carried out
for Sellafield in 2012 following the ongoing Fukushima disaster states:
The Sellafield site is a node connection point on the 132 kV District
Network electrical grid in West Cumbria and benefits from several supply
connections to the national grid network. These lines are configured in
pairs with each pair supplied from an independent grid supply and using
different pylon routings. Any single 132 kV grid onnection can supply the
entire site electrical load. Additional lines deliver power to Sellafield
from the adjacent Fellside Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant. However
Fellside is not self sufficient; it requires at least one of the 132kV
grid connection lines to start up and/or to continue to operate. Therefore
Sellafield cannot operate in an “island” mode with supplies from Fellside
alone. The diverse sources of the lines ensure that grid disturbances are
unlikely to affect all of the lines and it is policy never to have more
than two of these feeder lines out of service at any one time for planned
maintenance. Offsite power can fail for a number of reasons and sufficient
operational history exists to evaluate the likelihood of such failures”.
“On grid failure there are significant fuel supplies in onsite storage
tanks to last for several days. Under normal circumstances the fuel supply
contractor can respond with a tanker delivery within forty eight hours
(i.e. well within the duration of the onsite reserves) with further
deliveries being required daily thereafter.”
We wonder how much electricity the government and industry plan to be
directed from Moorside to Sellafield and if that is the reason for the
lack of “several” transmission routes that a former US nuclear regulator
has predicted would be required for Moorside.
Isn’t the West Coast of Cumbria already under enough of an intolerable
nuclear burden without ever more nuclear installations?
Certainly people responding to the Evening Mail poll present a united
voice in saying:
Never Mind the Pylons Say NO to Moorside!
On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland
Councils Present United Voice Against Pylon Plans
Arnie Gundersen in Keswick 2015
We Need to Talk About Moorside