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.

Apple Data Center

"Brenda McGuane and Others" suggest that Apple adopted the 320km radius to eliminate more suitable plots of land in other parts of Ireland. They say: "the selection of sites greater than 320km from nuclear facilities is not a criteria adopted by Apple for its data centres in the US. The criteria has not been adopted by other international corporations."

The fact that the likes of Google and Microsoft have built data centres near Dublin shows that other large tech companies are willing to put their server farms less than 320km away from UK nuclear sites.

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.

Top Rated Comments

robotica Avatar
79 months ago
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.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
acgmph Avatar
79 months ago
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
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?
Here: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-new-data-center-north-carolina-created-50-jobs-2011-11?op=1
And here: https://www.electricireland.ie/business/help/efficiency/fuel-mix-disclosure
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apolloa Avatar
79 months ago
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.
[doublepost=1464788618][/doublepost]
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.
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pbrutto Avatar
79 months ago
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
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
barkomatic Avatar
79 months ago
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
If Apple wanted to pay tons of money for a spot in the middle of Yellowstone National Park they should be able to?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
colmaclean Avatar
79 months ago
More importantly, what's the distance to Craggy island?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
Shazam Music Recognition Control Center

iPhone's Built-In Music Recognition Feature Syncs With Shazam App on iOS 16

Tuesday June 21, 2022 7:37 am PDT by
Since the release of iOS 14.2 in 2020, the iPhone has included a built-in Music Recognition feature in Control Center powered by Shazam. And with iOS 16, and also the iOS 15.6 beta, the feature has received a small but useful upgrade. As noted by Twitter user @someone_andrew, songs identified with Music Recognition in Control Center finally sync with the Shazam app. It also remains...
2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers

Wednesday June 22, 2022 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming two weeks after Apple unveiled the new software at WWDC and released the initial betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. Given...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...