Free passage for fish as well as boats
IN LAST week s issue you reported on the present position relative to tidal power generation, publicising the arguments against the barrage proposal.
IN LAST week's issue you reported on the present position relative to tidal power generation, publicising the arguments against the barrage proposal.
Based upon my professional standing as an Incorporated Engineer and my years of experience since the 1940s of the estuary, I feel I can confidently refute all the contrary arguments.
I have not seen one shred of evidence to support these fears. Being generous I can only assume these objections are based upon abysmal ignorance of what is proposed.
There has been mention of a Severn lake. This cannot be as the basin must remain fully tidal in order to generate any power. Furthermore the tidal range in the basin would remain unchanged depending upon the operation of the barrage. Hence there would be no effect on birdlife.
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I also doubt that many of the nay sayers know anything about tidal flows. At high and low water the tidal flow is zero, rising to a maximum at half tide. This is not a straight line graph but a simple harmonic. This means that power generation at around high or low water will be very low to zero. Therefore gates and locks spaced across the barrage could be left open for about an hour either side of both high and low water, leaving free passage for fish as well as boats.
Two or more locks would be required since, at times, one will require attention. These locks must be big enough to pass the largest ships using the ports on the basin. It would be possible to protect the basin from tidal surges and hence flooding of adjacent land.
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The barrage would also reduce the wave formation. Such changes could only have a beneficial effect for shipping. It has been claimed that the barrage would cost thousands of jobs. Apart from shipping and docking there are probably less than a dozen jobs on the river.
The barrage would definitely create many jobs throughout the country and possibly abroad not only in the construction but also in the production of materials and equipment.
The barrage is the only scheme which would provide a road or rail link but it would require protection from or closure during extreme weather conditions, as does the bridge.
Unfortunately the only scheme which I have seen detailed is totally inadequate as it only provides for generation on part of the ebb tide and apparently made no provision for environmental control.
Although the proposed line from Brean to Lavernock is probably the best solution it cannot be as efficient as the three basin scheme which would have been a much greater undertaking but would have provided power 24-hours-a-day.
One question. How public will be the public consultation be and when and where will it take place?
KENNETH F TUCKER I ENG MIED