Dungeness Power Station’s nuclear reactors were temporarily shut down over safety fears 16 months ago. But they are expected to be turned back on at Station B later this month and will continue to operate before the site is completely closed down in 2028. The two nuclear reactors – Dungeness B-21 and B-22 – are currently out of use due to ongoing inspection and repair work of pipes. Once they’re up and running again, though, the two advanced gas-cooled reactors will generate up to 615 megawatts of power each. Given the level of strict, stringent health and safety measures in places at Dungeness Power Station, it’s extremely unlikely that a nuclear disaster would ever occur. And according to the American Nuclear Society, it is “impossible” for a reactor to explode like a nuclear weapon because weapons contain “very special materials” in very particular configurations, neither of which are present in a nuclear reactor. It means that unless a bomb was dropped on the power station, the most likely reason for a disaster would be a nuclear meltdown, which is caused by an accident with the reactor that results in core damage from overheating. Map shows how far widespread the impact of a Chernobyl-esque disaster at Dungeness would be on the UK, So what if the worst was to happen at Dungeness? How would it change Kent? To put it simply, it would be absolutely disastrous. There’s no way to quantify how many lives would be lost, as that would depend on the nature of the accident and how quickly radiation spreads. But over the course of time, the entire county of Kent and large areas of Sussex, in particular East Sussex towns such as Hastings, would become uninhabitable. Even areas hundreds of miles away, including in France and mainland Europe, would be affected. Maps previously created by the Keep Wales Nuclear Free campaign illustrate the potential widespread impact a nuclear accident can have. It shows that people living in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone, Thanet, Tunbridge Wells and most towns across the county would have to find resettlement elsewhere.
Kent Live 3rd Jan 2020 read more »