Reactor danger

We must safeguard against nuclear bombs or aircraft strikes on nuclear reactors — a possibility that must be accounted for over the 50-year life of a reactor.

An article in the Scientific American magazine — possibly July 1979 — said the effects of a nuclear bomb being dropped on a reactor would mean most of the radioactive material within the reactor being dispersed.

Lethal doses of radiation poisoning for 50 per cent of the population would be for hundreds of miles downwind. An aircraft strike may be less severe, but still terrible.

Nuclear reactors should be built in nuclear-proof bunkers — preferably on sites suitable for waste disposal, so it can be disposed of on site. We already have an underground power station, Dinorwig, so the cost and technology should not be that prohibitive. And anyway it could go into the terrorism counter-measures budget.

The risk of attack is hopefully small, but the consequence of an incident is so dreadful that it must be avoided.

Other risks, such as tidal waves and earthquakes, while rare in the UK, should also be considered.

Duncan Irvine, Aylesbury

Thank you for your comments. It is our understanding that current nuclear reactor designs do take into account aircraft strikes — Editor