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like a jewel in the tiara of the Fylde coast, the unmistakeable silhouettes
of nuclear reactors Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 at Half Moon Bay can be
seen for miles in all directions.
And what a place to take the kids with just so much to see and do and
so much fun. If you pop down to Lancaster's Maritime Museum there's
a big expensive display to explain it better than I ever could, why
having 2 nuclear reactors in our very own back yard is such a major
benefit, not only to us locals, but to you, the environment, and well,
the whole future of the universe, really.
due to one or two teensy technical problems there hasn't been as much
output as they'd hoped (but hey, we're all still here...) and British Energy has
had to dig deep into our pockets to keep it all going. The Arts sponsorships
(we live in hope), the M6 Link Road Campaign funding, the schools 'educational'
packages - distracting folk from nuclear power all costs us a lot of
money if it's going to be done right.
Difficulties meeting the council tax bill back in 2004 led to Lancaster City Council allowing British Energy an extra 6 months to pay - something LCC aren't noted for, as local taxpayers can testify. They made this decision in secret - but Green Party Councillor Gina Dowding blew the whistle which resulted in her getting a brief suspension from the council and the local community avoiding a loss as BE then agreed to pay the interest which would have accrued as well as the outstanding balance.
Half Moon Bay is a great place for a nuclear reactor site because it's
possible to suck up to 5 million litres of seawater a minute to keep the hot stuff cool. This has the extra advantage of heating
up Morecambe Bay resulting in a massive increase in shellfish. Increased
levels of radioactivitiy have been detected in mussels and shrimps in
Morecambe Bay (10/7/03) - but the Heysham and Sellafield power stations
have been cleared of responsibility - because all their discharges have
been within authorised limits. The City's Environmental Agency officials
are totally baffled over what could be the cause. So come on in, the water's lovely! (Just don't swallow any.)
Apparently the shellfish
are quite safe to eat and are exported to Spain where they make delicious tapas. Despite the Chinese cocklers tragedy this led to a huge influx of cockling gangs with shellfish being hauled out in truckloads. The cockle beds are now more closely regulated.
not having quite the cachet of Sellafield up in Cumbria, Heysham's Power
Stations used to be tourist magnets, attracting coachloads of children
on school trips each year to find out just what Archie the Atom had
mutated into next, but now the tours have been discontinued.
Just about the only place on the Fylde Coast you can't see the reactors
from is Morecambe, which is a huge point in its favour. Sadly, many mums + dads don't seem to share the schools'
view of the benefits of our high-tech neighbour. A pity, as you can still have a lot of fun with
a geiger counter on the sands!
The nearby family holiday camp at Middleton
Sands was also unable to exploit the closeness of
the reactors - a factor which should have brought it up to a competitive
level with foreign tourist resorts. But no, it closed and was demolished to make room for a retirement village named Lakeland View. Apparently the fishing's
Some HOT links if you want more!
British Energy "Making a Powerful Contribution to the economy"
is a ghost city. On the skyline you can see the reactors of Chernobyl.
You can't stay more than a few minutes. In a couple
of thousand years it may improve.
Some of the casualties haven't been born yet.
You can see photos from Pripyat here
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