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
66 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
66 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
66 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
66 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
66 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
66 months ago
More importantly, what's the distance to Craggy island?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
2021 back t0 school

Apple Launches 2021 Back to School Promotion: Free AirPods With Eligible Mac or iPad Purchase

Thursday June 17, 2021 4:56 am PDT by
Apple today launched its seasonal back-to-school sale for the upcoming school year in the United States and Canada, offering students free AirPods alongside purchases of select Macs and iPad models. Similar to last year's promotion, this year's offer includes free AirPods alongside the purchase of a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, the new 24-inch iMac, the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and the new M1-powered ...
applecare lower prices

Apple Lowers Prices of AppleCare+ Plans for M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Thursday June 17, 2021 7:33 am PDT by
Apple today lowered the prices of AppleCare+ plans for MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with the M1 chip. Coverage offered by the plans, as well as accidental damage fees, appear to remain unchanged. In the United States, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air now costs $199, down from $249. The new price applies to both M1 and Intel-based MacBook Air models, although Apple no...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
m1 v intel thumb

Intel Processor Market Share May Fall to New Low Next Year Due to Apple Silicon

Friday June 18, 2021 2:06 am PDT by
Intel may see its market share fall to a new low next year, in large part thanks to Apple's decision to move away from using Intel processors in its Mac computers and instead use Apple silicon. Apple announced last year that it would embark on a two-year-long journey to transition all of its Mac computers, both desktops, and laptops, to use its own in-house processors. Apple is expected to...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...
maxresdefault

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Sideloading Apps Would 'Destroy the Security' of the iPhone

Wednesday June 16, 2021 10:49 am PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook this morning participated in a virtual interview at the VivaTech conference, which is described as Europe's biggest startup and tech event. Cook was interviewed by Guillaume Lacroix, CEO and founder of Brut, a media company that creates short-form video content. Much of the discussion centered on privacy, as it often does in interviews that Cook participates in. He...
3nm apple silicon feature

Apple Supplier TSMC Readies 3nm Chip Production for Second Half of 2022

Friday June 18, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMC is preparing to produce 3nm chips in the second half of 2022, and in the coming months, the supplier will begin production of 4nm chips, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple had previously booked the initial capacity of TSMC's 4nm chip production for future Macs and more recently ordered TSMC to begin production of the A15 chip for the upcoming iPhone 13,...