Letter: I FIND it ironic your recent edition of the Standard has a piece about swimming in the Prom Lake, which the council found too dangerous in the past, and another page devoted to the delights and wonders of a new Chinese prototype nuclear power station for Bradwell. Let me explain. In 1960, I worked for the UK Atomic Energy Authority, in the health and safety branch. Most of the work was about British power stations like Bradwell, and the newer Advanced Gas Reactors which were still in the design stage. We looked at the American designed boiling water and pressurised water cooled reactors and said “not here, far too dangerous”. Events have proved us right. All the well-known disasters, Seven Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima have been with this design approach. The new Chinese design is claimed to be safer, but the only new safety feature that has been published is they will build it over a large pit in the ground it can drop into in case there is a major disaster. Bradwell and other British designed reactors ran on natural Uranium; the new one runs on the much more dangerous isotopically enriched Uranium, (the sort we didn’t want Iran to have, because you can build bombs with it). We have probably lost the skills to build nuclear power stations ourselves, but there is an alternative, using natural Uranium built in Canada, called Candu, sold to many other countries around the world, and with a flawless safety record. China has recently bought one.
Maldon & Burnham Standard 22nd Oct 2017 read more »