27 May, 2005

Softer Options

And this is one of the alternatives to the nuclear option. Of course wind power won't solve all our problems, but this pic that my colleague Eamon Ryan took yesterday at the Inauguration of the Arklow Bank wind farm project by Airtricity shows what can be done. Apparently the eight turbines installed to date feature a rotor diameter of 104 meters and a hub height of 73.5 meters. They have permission for 520 megawatts on the site, and the first 7 turbines have an output of 25 megawatts on a good day. A little bit of back of the envelope maths means that the full farm would give half the output of Wylfa Nuclear Plant if the wind was blowing. Interesting.

24 May, 2005

Belly of the Beast

And that's what the inside of a nuclear reactor looks like... Wylfa is the UK's largest nuclear power station, and Trevor Sargent and myself paid a visit there yesterday to meet with plant management and express our concern about the Plant's continued operation. It's only 60 miles from Dún Laoghaire and is on Anglesey Island near Holyhead. Their Head of Information John Byast accompanied us. He is also chairman of the Isle of Anglesey County Council. They brought us into the reactor and allowed us to take photos. I think I have a "what am I doing in the Reactor Building of a Nuclear Power Station" expression in the last shot. We didn't get a chance to sample the bacon baps in the Visitors' Centre even though they come highly recommended by BNFL!