Keeping nuclear and other coastal sites safe from climate change
- Authors: Robert L. Wilby 1 ; Robert J. Nicholls 2 ; Rachel Warren 3 ; Howard S. Wheater 4 ; Derek Clarke 5 ; Richard J. Dawson 6
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- Source: Proceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering, Volume 164, Issue 3, 01 August 2011 , pages 129 –136
The UK’s eight proposed new nuclear power stations are all to be sited on the coast. With a total cradle-to-grave life cycle of at least 160 years, and heightened awareness of inundation risk following the failure of the Fukushima I nuclear plant in Japan this year, Britain’s nuclear developers have to show how they plan to cope with the possibility of rising sea levels, higher sea temperatures and more extreme weather events over the next two centuries. This paper describes the adaptation options for new nuclear and other major long-lived coastal developments. Despite uncertainty about climate scenarios for the 2200s, it explains how flexibility of design and safety margins can be incorporated from the outset and, when combined with routine environmental monitoring, how sites can be adaptively managed throughout their life cycles.