Nuclear Power: Systemic Risk And Climate Change


Humanity faces a large number of challenges in future decades including increasing population leading to increased competition for dwindling resources and climate change. These challenges could lead to ‘collapse of civilisation’ i.e. the complex system of exchange of good and raw materials, energy, food and water would be susceptible to shocks or many even collapse altogether.

The nuclear industry is unique in the danger it poses from systemic shocks or collapse. Without of power supply, fresh water and human expertise it creates the risk of reactor core meltdown and/or a spent fuel fire which could release massive amounts of radioactivity with catastrophic results.

Although the consultation document has taken into account a possible scenario of a 3.2m sea level rise (SLR):

2.12.63. The main platform would be at a level of 7.3m AOD, which is similar to the 1 in 1000 annual probability extreme still water levels in the year 2110 for the worst credible H++ climate change scenario (3.2m SLR, including land motion). The H++ scenario identified in UKCP09 is beyond the likely range, but within physical plausibility. The main platform would therefore be safe and resilient for its whole operational life against the worst credible climate change predictions.1

only the direct risk from the sea level rise in the vicinity of the power plant has been taken into account. However, it is necessary2 to take into account indirect risks from such a sea level rise and associated climate change factors outline in the H++ scenario.

The full response to the consultation can be found here.