New Objections to Apple's Irish Data Center Focus on Proximity to Nuclear Power Plants

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple continues to defend its proposed data center in Galway County, Ireland, during an oral hearing brought together from an appeal by independent planning body An Bord Pleanála. This time, those against the company's site in Derrydonnell Forest argued that it is planning to build in a location that's too close to a local nuclear power plant (via Business Insider).

    Oscar Gonzalez, who works in data center site selection at Apple, defended the company's west coast of Ireland location, stating that it meets Apple's goal of being at least 320km from the nearest nuclear facility. According to a few witnesses present at the oral hearing, however, the Derrydonnell Forest location was so desired by Apple that the company manufactured the arbitrary 320km rule of thumb to eliminate areas of Ireland that are specially designated for data center construction.

    The nearest nuclear facility to the proposed site - called Wylfa Nuclear Power Station - is located in Wales and is approximately 280km away, but it's been closed down for a few years, so its use as a violation of Apple's own rules didn't hold much water during the oral hearings. The second farthest site that is currently operating, located in Sellafield in the United Kingdom, is about 370km from Derrydonnel Forest.

    Gonzalez said that Apple first and foremost attempts to "minimize the risk" of site selection, referring to the 320km rule, but when it has to accept compromises it does so "reluctantly." Engineer Allan Daly pointed out that Apple's ruleset for picking and choosing data center locations remains largely nebulous on a plot-by-plot basis, suggesting the company "picks and chooses" when it decides to meet them. "The distances to nuclear facilities, military installation and fuel distribution centers are arbitrary, and can be increased or decreased," Daly wrote.

    In response, Gonzalez stuck to Apple's reluctant compromise point, explaining that as time passes, potential data center sites are evaluated by different rules and perspective as Apple's "huge growth in demand" changes the need for such sites. Other protestors of the Derrydonnel Forest location have attempted to use its negative impact on the population of local bats and badgers, and poor water maintenance that could flood a local golf course, as their main points of contention against Apple.

    Article Link: New Objections to Apple's Irish Data Center Focus on Proximity to Nuclear Power Plants
  2. robotica macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    What are the real reasons Apple want to build a data centre in the middle of a forest?

    They haven't adequately explained the reasons for that and why they don't want to use other locations ear marked for data centres.
  3. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    More importantly, what's the distance to Craggy island?
  4. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    As we know from TC there is the official stance and there is the stance that offers the most benefit. official stance is for TC to play politician and say all the right things.

    In relation to this story, they can and will build it where the most benefit is for them.

    When you use things like environment friendlyness to push sales and setup rules, geez it sucks when media actually does thier research and starts calling the bluff. :)
  5. Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015

    Apple, you can come to Portugal and build a data center here. We don't have nuclear power plants.

    We don't ask for that much money as Irish people ask.

    We have good qualified people here that have to immigrate to (countries like IE and UK) to find a job.

    Too bad you have to pay taxes here... :/
    --- Post Merged, Jun 1, 2016 ---
    Probably because they have a source of cold water there, which they can use to cool the servers.

    And because it's practically interference free from radio radiations, but I don't see big advantage there, as DDR4 memory will have ECC as standard.
  6. Mactendo macrumors 68000

    Oct 3, 2012
    What a stubbornness. Probably Tim picked this location himself.
  7. Aston441 macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2014
    Wut? What does the distance to an electricity plant have to do with anything? Wouldn't they want to be close to get cheap power?
  8. b-dogg, Jun 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016

    b-dogg macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2009
    What's more important: the distance to the closed down power plant in Wales in The UK or the badger families set in this magical Forrest?

    The person placing these objections sounds like an Eco-warrior / NIMBY. The same people in Ireland who don't want any industry in their area - yet moan about emigration. Also, probably this same guy who complains about a decommissioned nuclear power plant across the Irish Sea in a DIFFERENT COUNTRY would have issues with construction of wind turbines in Ireland for "visual pollution".

    I'm sure he'll be on Irish radio lapping up all the free air time this week. Can't wait. Will give him a great platform next time he runs for the Green Party in local elections.

    Hopefully common sense will prevail.
  9. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    Yeah it's really lame when a private company has the gall to "pick and choose" what land they pay tons of money for so they can build stuff that creates jobs and its own clean electricity
  10. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    If Apple wanted to pay tons of money for a spot in the middle of Yellowstone National Park they should be able to?
  11. acgmph macrumors member


    Sep 17, 2015
    Around the world
    Yeah, how dare they oppose the awesomeness of Apple because of a bunch of trees? Those 50 full-time jobs they'll create with the datacenter will save the local economy for sure... Who needs trees?? People need more jobs! Good paying, hard working, COAL jobs! Sounds familiar?
    And here:
  12. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    The more I read of the story the more I hope their planning request is refused. Apple are obviously playing a very dangerous political and environmental game just because they want to benefit themselves first and foremost, it's a giant arrogant corporation, they couldn't care less about the people or animals or nuclear power stations in the area, anymore then they do their customers.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 1, 2016 ---
    Nature and the environment is FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more important then a flipping data centre!
    Do you also support all the destruction of the Amazon rain forest? All the insects and plants that are yet to be discovered there that are now destroyed, insects and plants that could hold the keys to the cure of cancer or AIDS or other diseases? Because they do find cures for these things from that forest.

    Their are PLENTY of other places Apple can use, it just doesn't want to for most likely stupid reasons or costs, just like how they won't include features in their products to increase profits to the max.
  13. neuropsychguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    While Apple shouldn't be allowed to build just anywhere, that's not at all like the site of the proposed data center and isn't what the commenter implied. There's a golf course down the road from the proposed site. This forest is an area of undeveloped land, not a national park or national forest. Look at the picture in this article:

    The objections to the location likely have some merit but this isn't Apple trying to invade a protected forest.
  14. mytdave macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2002
    What the hell does a nuclear power plant have to do with anything? Who the hell cares where they build it? Why do people get their panties in a bunch over all kinds of stupid ****? If it were my back yard and Apple said, "hey, I'd like to build a data center here," I'd say "hell yeah, when would you like to start?"
  15. Pbrutto, Jun 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016

    Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    Wow, the hate was quick....I was referring to apples right to attempt to purchase land wherever, and the owner of that lands right to refuse to sell it to them. I was also making fun of the audacity of the person quoted to imply that "picking and choosing" was somehow not okay as I am sure millions of decisions are made in the corporate world everyday that have to do with picking and choosing. Finally, before I worry about Apple and a data center that had solar panels and is in a forest let's compare? Apple (who's brand spanking new hq will feature 0 removed dirt, massive amounts of landscaping, green space, solar, renewable, Walmart, Halliburton, Raytheon, Canadian oil sands, fracking, the great pacific (and now with Atlantic) garbage patch......seriously.....Apple purchased 2 forests 2 or 3 years ago that were way bigger than this and they will probably plant an equal number of trees to replace it. Fanboy or not: we really want to rag on Apple for giving a *hit compared to 95% of all other companies?

    Edit: another of Ireland's concerns about the proposed location: "poor water maintenance that could flood a local golf course"
  16. smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
  17. scuac macrumors member


    Mar 2, 2008
    To all asking what does the power plant have to do with this? A lot! Data centers are huge power hogs. Proximity to a power plant and ease of connection to it are crucial considerations when choosing the location. That is why Apple's requirement is ridiculous, they should want to be closer to a power plant. Waiting to find out their real reason to want to build there.
  18. autrefois macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2003
    Somewhere in the USA
    And if Father Ted found out about it, would he be out protesting?
    Hmm, according to Wikipedia Dermot Morgan passed on 28 February 1998. Tim Cook joined Apple in March 1998. Coincidence?
  19. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    If it's for sale sure, but Apple has neither expressed a desire to buy land in Yellowstone nor the gov't to sell. So your question is loaded and irrelevant because that isn't what is going on here. Apple is buying land that isn't a national park, isn't protected, and is for sale and developable according to the laws of Ireland.

    Honestly, there is already a nuke plant nearby. It seems like the area has already become industrialized. The plot Apple is looking at is next to a golf course and other fields. The patch of trees that will be torn down is hardly a forest. It's more like a thick cluster.

    I'm no expert on Irish environmental regulations, but it is part of the EU, which does have strict environmental impact rules. Not sure what else there is other than to stop all human development for the rest of time.
  20. Gaspode67 macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2008
    Oxon, UK
    Damn! You beat me to it!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 1, 2016 ---
    Father Jack was approached for a statement. Unfortunately the rules prevent us from publishing it here....
  21. ConnYoungy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    I think you mean "Sellafield in England", because Wales and Ireland are also in the UK
  22. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    I saw Medicine Man too. :)

    There are a few chemo-therapies that involve plants native to rain forests but this still seems like an overreach in support of conservation; there are plenty of good reasons to preserve natural environments without invoking a moonshot.
  23. b-dogg macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2009
    Northern Ireland is in the UK, Galway is in the west of Ireland. I live in Dundalk which is one of the closest areas to Sellafield (the active Nuclear plant) across the Irish Sea. The issue of a decommissioned Nuclear power plant in Wales (also across the Irish Sea in a different country) is a nonsense.

    Apple is one of the few companies that take renewable energy seriously. I'd rather them than a pharmaceutical plant in there. Also, the golf course objection is pretty laughable. Did that effect the local wildlife when it was constructed?!
  24. Gaspode67 macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2008
    Oxon, UK
    Ahem! Ireland (as in the Republic of Ireland) is definitely NOT in the UK.

    UK stands for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    Great Britain consists of England, Scotland, and Wales.
    Republic of Ireland is a separate sovereign state (following the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1922).
  25. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Regardless of whether the land resides in a national park or not, a company doesn't get to do whatever it wants because it can pay a lot of money--at least not *all* the time. Even if the plot of land is a run down parking lot, Apple has to follow the regulations and laws of the community it wishes to enter and if they have the power to reject the data center then Apple can go somewhere else.

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