World's Oldest Nuclear Power Plant Shuts Down Today

Today, in the UK, the world’s oldest nuclear power plant shut down. Actually, it did so just a few hours ago.

The British nuclear power plant, which had been running for 44 years, shut down at about 11:00 GMT (or 6:00 am EST) today. The area may not be without nuclear power for too long, though. Another nuclear power plant is planned for a site nearby — it is supposed to go up by 2025.

Do the residents care? Well, it seems they don’t have much choice in the matter.
“Some local residents who have lived in this quaint village for decades say they had no choice when the plant was first built in the 1960s and have little prospect of preventing a new station now, given that the Oldbury site has already been shortlisted for new nuclear plants by the government,” Reuters reports.

“A joint venture of two German utilities, E.ON and RWE, plans to build a new Oldbury nuclear plant more than six times the capacity of the current station by 2025, relying on a strong government drive in favour of nuclear power to help reduce carbon emissions.”

Residents are particularly opposed to the cooling towers that would be included in the proposed pressurized water reactors (PWR) the power plant is supposed to use, which would likely spoil the resident’s view of the surrounding landscape. But Horizon, the German joint venture behind the power plant, brushes the concern aside, noting that they’d just be about 15 meters (49 feet) higher than the existing reactor buildings. Oh, that’s all? (Sarcasm)

“The project is early in the planning stages, and Horizon is still far away from applying for necessary planning and environmental permits from UK agencies and the local government, which will give Olbury-on-Severn residents a say,” Reuters reports.

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