Nuclear Families

Ed Thompson

Published on 19/09/11

© Ed Thompson

In the county of Kent: the Garden of Eng­land, a num­ber of people live in a national nature reserve, their idyllic lives aren’t dis­turbed in the ways many fam­il­ies are in mod­ern Bri­tain, there is little anti-social beha­viour and the kids are free to play out­side until dusk without fear­ing the 21st cen­tury child catch­ers. The only real catch is that at night there is a sus­tained hum­ming mur­mur from the two Nuc­lear PowerStation’s that are loc­ated just two hun­dred metres away.

Six fam­il­ies, all with young chil­dren, live in The Coast­guard Cot­tages which are hid­den around the side of the Dun­ge­ness A & B Nuc­lear PowerStation’s and it’s four nuc­lear react­ors; The Coast­guard Cot­tages were there long before the first Nuc­lear Power Sta­tion, Dun­ge­ness A, was built back in 1965, and the cot­tages have some­how man­aged to remain hab­it­able whilst only being a couple of hun­dred metres from the Nuc­lear PowerStation’s peri­meter fencing.

 (Ed Thompson)

© Ed Thompson

Because of the cot­tages prox­im­ity to the two nuc­lear power sta­tions the rents in the cot­tages are low, which means that fam­il­ies who had pre­vi­ously only been able to afford to live in urban areas, hous­ing estates and trailer park homes can have their own slice of para­dise liv­ing in a national nature reserve, the remote­ness gives an ele­ment of free­dom, par­tic­u­larly to the chil­dren, who are able to have a child­hood free to explore and play out­side without fear.

Like many of the prop­er­ties loc­ated in Dun­ge­ness you’d prob­ably first see them and think ‘Why the Hell would you build those houses next to a Nuc­lear Power­Sta­tion?’, but the real ques­tion you should be ask­ing your­self is ‘Why the Hell build a Nuc­lear Power­Sta­tion in a National Nature Reserve!’ The area of Dun­ge­ness is the world’s largest shingle pen­in­su­lar. The area has over 600 dif­fer­ent types of plants, 1/3rd of all those found in Bri­tain, not that you’d be able to tell by look­ing at its sprawl­ing flat shingle vista which gives a desert like feel to the entire area, in fact Dun­ge­ness is England’s only desert.

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