Jon Wyatt Photography - Cooling intake at Aberthaw power station in South Glamorgan
Seawater cooling intakes for Aberthaw coal-fired power station, South Glamorgan. The seawater is used to remove sulphur dioxide from exhaust gases produced from burning coal.
The power station both creates and destroys new ecosystems. A nearby protected SSSI site, renowned for its extremely rare Marsh fritillary butterflies, was destroyed in the creation of one of the largest open cast mines in the UK - most of the coal from the mine was burnt at Aberthaw. On the other hand the establishment of the power station site has helped protect rare saline lagoon habitat and many of the endangered species found there.
Aberthaw's future electricity output is to be reduced due to a legal case brought against the UK by the European Commission. The court ruled that between 2008 and 2011 the plant pumped out more than double the legal amount of toxic nitrogen oxides.