Keeping nuclear and other coastal sites safe from climate change

Robert L. Wilby, Robert J. Nicholls, Rachel Warren, Howard S. Wheater, Derek Clarke, Richard J. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

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