Jonny Bell Photography | Legacy


November 02, 2016  •  Leave a Comment


The overwhelming priority for those who make decisions about energy must be to avert climate breakdown. They need to keep the lights on, but not by sacrificing the future welfare of humanity and Earth’s living systems. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. It is also better to curse the darkness than to burn your house down.” George Monbiot – Guardian 2016.

George Monbiot’s logic requires acquiescense for environmental thinking. Nuclear Power, and the issues surrounding its' progression and past, poses one of the most perplexing dichotomies for environmental discussion – low carbon energy vs environmental protection. 2 good recent articles below by George Monbiot and Jamie Doward in The Guardian expand on many of the issues:

The Legacy series is a personal journey and a consideration of living on the East Anglian coast alongside Nuclear facilities.

Legacy muses on what we as citizens allow to be permitted now - it is for our benefit, but not for us to live with the enduring impacts.

The expanses around Dunwich are a reminder of these environmental equations, in consideration of nature’s force along our Northern Sea borders. This area of the UK being subject to constant erosion, long shore drift, and tidal surges funneled around our shores and through the Channel.

Dunwich, less than half a mile from Sizwell A + B - and assumed C, was once one of the U.K’s largest ports, a thriving town of around 5,000 people. Land loss at Dunwich is recorded as early as the Domesday Book when over half the taxable farmland was lost to the sea between 1066 and 1086. Now a single fragment and single tombstone of the once great All Saints Church remains, and tales of the ghostly Church Bells ringing off the shore at low tide still abound.

The Figures below illustrate two considerations, first historic land loss at Dunwich and second predicted land loss at Dunwich. Source

Figure 3: Predicted coastlines back to 1050AD based on coastal change analysis. The eastern limit of the medieval town was between the coastlines of 1300 and 1250 AD. Agas map and contemporary air photo shown.

Figure 4: Forecast coastlines for 2080 and 2050AD based on coastal change analysis. Red buffer is the RMSE error in the forecasts.


Coastal ChangeCoastal Change



Whilst significant resource will have been spent modelling Sizewell C, in this instance, for Environmental Impact Assessments, it remains to be seen what responsibility will lie with developers and managers of sites in the future - 50, 100, or 200 years down the line. And whilst we have not had Nuclear disasters in the UK on the scale of Chernobyl or Fukishima, our industry is in no way clean or without fault, in particular where waste, storage, and decomissioning are concerned, both Dunreay and Sellafield have been the centre of institutional lies to cover up exceptionally poor nuclear waste disposal practice.

So with no accurate assessment or calculations of the effects of climate change and sea level rise, and overwhelming predctions that we will exceed 2 Degrees, any available models for coastal change at nuclear sites have very high risk long term considerations, especially when coupled with the nuclear industry's propensities and short term political gains.

There is little doubt that the Nuclear industry and this government are playing lottery with our Legacy.

This UK Conservative government has systematically dismantled the cheaper and more easily deployable renewable energy industry with an argument of cost saving for bill payers, to enable the more expensive, even before decommissioning cost risk accountablility, new Nuclear dynasty to emerge.

The deal has been struck - yet the concerns have not been listened to.

The arguments for have been politically expedient - but in many cases bare faced lies.

Our leaders therefore now have a duty. Having ensured Nuclear Power has to remain the fundamental lynch pin of energy policy in the UK, and as outlined only acquiesced to the greater need for low carbon energy and climate change risk - then greater clarity, honesty and transparency is gowing to be required of financers, developers, industry and governments. Lessons are not being learnt, and answers must be provided before we embark on our most enduring Legacy of all.

Else we allow a Faustian Pact in our name.


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