In truth, the economic arguments against nuclear power were always stronger than the safety ones.But events in Japan make that seem a little overconfident.
Ah, you say, that is in Japan. We don't have tsunami in Britain.
But perhaps we do. A few years ago I watched a television documentary which suggested that a flood that took place in the Bristol Channel in 1607 may have been caused by a tsunami.
With commendable honesty, a Burnham-on-Sea tourism website has a page discussing the theory:
The flood occurred around 9am on the '20th January 1606', although in the modern calendar this is the 30th January 1607. The event is recorded on plaques in a number of churches, including those at Kingston Seymour in Somerset, and in Monmouthshire at Goldcliff, St. Brides, Redwick and Peterstone.As to what could have caused it:
The Kingston Seymour plaque reads: "An inundation of the sea water by overflowing and breaking down the Sea banks; happened in this Parish of Kingstone-Seamore, and many others adjoining; by reason whereof many Persons were drown'd and much Cattle and Goods, were lost: the water in the Church was five feet high and the greatest part lay on the ground about ten days."
A possible cause of the proposed tsunami is not yet known, but the possibilities include a landslide off the continental shelf between Ireland and Cornwall, or an earthquake along an active fault system in the sea south of Ireland.Maybe the Hinkley Point and Oldbury-on-Severn nuclear stations should not have been built?
This fault system has apparently experienced an earthquake greater than magnitude 4 on the Richter scale within the last 20 years, so the chance of a bigger tsunami earthquake is a possibility. It may also have been a combination, in that an earthquake might have triggered a submarine slide.