The Blackwater estuary is littered with fragments of old industries. Roman red hills for salt extraction, Saxon fish weirs, Thames lighters, sunken to protect the sea wall, to protect in turn, agricultural land and Bradwell A.
Bradwell A is a large decommissioned Nuclear Power station. Decommissioned in 2002 it is as much part of the old industries as the Roman red hills. It’s remnants albeit a lot larger and far more problematic. As part of the British Nuclear Culture Bradwell A has a heritage that might result in Bradwell B.
Plans for Bradwell B, a much larger Nuclear Power Station are drawn up. Permissions are being gained. The idea sold. The long term result for the estuary is part guesswork.
The baffle wall pictured above is a structure in the river,used for extracting and depositing cooling water. Used by Bradwell A for 60 years. Resulting in a 1 C degree warmer river. Stories are told of Mullet enjoying the warmth of the deposited water and gathering in large shoals around the baffle wall. Will it ever be taken down? Will it gain a cultural meaning ? At the moment the baffle wall looks like it is developing the characteristics of an artificial reef.
As a keen user of water, swimming, kayaking and sailing, my research will look at rising sea levels, the shifting of the coast line, the mapping of water. Thanks to the DYCP grant , I’ll be working with users of this water, marine scientists, artists and the Nuclear Culture Research group from Goldsmiths. Trying to draw all knowledge together into my own creative practice.
Feel free to contact me if you are interested and want to know more.