Nuclear Power Stations: Flood Control

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 26th November 2008.

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Photo of Colin Challen Colin Challen Labour, Morley and Rothwell

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the impact of projected changes in (a) sea level and (b) the frequency and severity of storm-related events on the (i) working lifetime and (ii) decommissioning period of new nuclear power stations located on the coast; and what arrangements are in place for funding (A) protective measures and (B) insurance costs for such stations.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State, Department for Energy and Climate Change

Climate change is a key consideration for the future viability of sites for new nuclear power stations. The Government therefore believe that issues relating to flood risk and flood protection should receive national level consideration in the forthcoming Strategic Siting Assessment.

The recent Consultation on the Strategic Siting Assessment Process and Siting Criteria for New Nuclear Power Stations in the UK proposed that sites nominated in the Strategic Siting Assessment process may be unsuitable (on a discretionary basis) unless nominators are able to confirm that they can protect the site against flood-risk throughout the (operational and decommissioning) lifetime of the site, including the potential effects of climate change; and outline the countermeasures they would take to protect the site from flood risk, as far as practicable. Funding arrangements and insurance costs will be the responsibility of the operator.

The consultation closed on the 11 November and consultation responses are currently being analysed. The Government will issue a response to consultation in the new year.

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