CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE FOR NUCLEAR HAZARDS

Hirsch et al. (2005, section D2) document numerous examples of problems experienced at nuclear plants by phenomena which are likely to become more frequent and more severe as a result of climate change − in particular flooding and severe storm events. These events can directly jeopardise the safe operation of nuclear plants and can lead to intermediary problems with safety implications, such as electrical grid failure. Grid failure raises another problem − emergency power systems at nuclear plants using diesel generator are notoriously trouble-prone.

Hirsch et al. (2005) state: “In spite of the fact that the hazards of climate change are becoming more and more obvious, safety reassessments and improvements generally are only implemented – if at all – after an event occurred. This practice is aggravated by the fact that an event in one [nuclear power plant] does not necessarily lead to backfits in another plant, let alone to backfits worldwide.”

Reference:
* Hirsch, Helmut, Oda Becker, Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt, April 2005, “Nuclear Reactor Hazards: Ongoing Dangers of Operating Nuclear Technology in the 21st Century”, Report prepared for Greenpeace International,