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Keeping nuclear and other coastal sites safe from climate change

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard DawsonORCiD



The UK's eight proposed new nuclear power stations are all to be sited on the coast. With a total cradle-to-grave life cycle of at least 160 years, and heightened awareness of inundation risk following the failure of the Fukushima I nuclear plant in Japan this year Britain's nuclear developers have to show how they plan to cope with the possibility of rising sea levels, higher sea temperatures and more extreme weather events over the next two centuries. This paper describes the adaptation options for new nuclear and other major long-lived coastal developments. Despite uncertainty about climate scenarios for the 2200s, it explains how flexibility of design and safety margins can be incorporated from the outset and, when combined with routine environmental monitoring, how sites can be adaptively managed throughout their life cycles.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilby RL, Nicholls RJ, Warren R, Wheater HS, Clarke D, Dawson RJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering

Year: 2011

Volume: 164

Issue: 3

Pages: 129-136

Print publication date: 01/08/2011

Date deposited: 17/08/2011

ISSN (print): 0965-089X

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7672

Publisher: Institution of Civil Engineers/ICE Publishing


DOI: 10.1680/cien.2011.164.3.129

Notes: Journal website:


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