Multiple Failures; Dependence Upon External Grid Led to Near-Miss at Scottish Nuclear Power Station

Mining Awareness +

Hunterston B sheep and grid streetview
The electrical grid, sheep at Hunterston B – about 30 miles, 50 km, from Glasgow, Scotland.

Dependence upon external sources of power is one of the most bizarre aspects of nuclear power stations. In the event of electrical grid failures, nuclear cooling systems can be powered with backup generators, which sometimes fail to start up. They also require diesel fuel to run. This is a major achilles heel of nuclear power.

As explained by the US NRC: “The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost, emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators. Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power. Hunterston B is CO2…

View original post 973 more words

Sellafield Nuclear Facility Has Fellside Gas Fired Power Station to Cool Spent Nuclear Fuel; “Reprocess” Nuclear Waste

Mining Awareness +

Fellside Gas Generating Station near Sellafield
Fellside Gas Station and Sellafield

Sellafield Nuclear Facility, in the UK, has its own gas-fired power station! While this appears mostly for “reprocessing” as well as the cooling of “spent” nuclear fuel (i.e. nuclear waste), operating nuclear reactors are also dependent upon outside sources of power. Thus, the need of nuclear power stations to be connected to the electrical grid.

This dependence upon other sources of power is one of the most bizarre aspects of nuclear power. In the event of electrical grid failures, nuclear cooling systems can be powered with backup generators, which sometimes fail to start up and require diesel fuel to run. This is a major achilles heel of nuclear power.

As explained by the US NRC: “The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite…

View original post 267 more words


Do Not Disturb Cumbrian Nuclear Dump

The following letter of objection to NuGen’s 40 (or more) offshore “exploratory” boreholes which would churn up the biggest nuclear dump in the world has been sent to the Marine Management Organisation.  The nuclear industry seemingly has been able to bypass local democracy and cut straight to the chase.  The only chance the public gets to object is now in what the Marine Management Organisation laughingly calls a “public consultation.”  The public however cannot easily find the information or the tools to object.   But here is our strong objection.  Please ask your local representatives if there has been any democratic vote or debate on this and if not why not!  In contrast the wind turbines off Walney were hugely debated by local councillors, one of the concerns being (quite rightly) the churning up of radioactive silts.  *Petition to sign and share.*    Also Please write with your objection before the 12th February quoting MLA/2015/00475 to: 

Dear Marine Management Organisation,

You will be deciding in the next week on an Application from NuGen for 40
offshore boreholes MLA/2015/00475

Radiation Free Lakeland are writing to object strongly to the issuing of
the license to NuGen for 40 offshore boreholes in the vicinity of
Sellafield for the following reasons…

The offshore boreholes would impact negatively on

1. Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ)
2. Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (Directive 2008/56/EC).
3. Water Framework Directive (WFD) (Directive 2000/60/EC);
4. Bathing Waters Directives (BWDs)
5. Shellfish Waters Directive (SFWD)
And would be in breach of the legally binding international OSPAR
convention which enshsrines the “precautionary principle.”

We note that NuGen have not included any mitigation measures with regard
to their borehole activity. The Habitats Regulations make it clear that
no damage to internationally protected wildlife sites will be countenanced
unless there are Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Importance
(IROPI) as described in Article 6(4) of the Habitats Directive

However, even in the case of IROPI, the Habitats Regulations indicate that
any damage or loss of part of an internationally protected site must be
compensated by creation of new habitat of the same type, quality and
extent as that lost to ensure the integrity of the Natura 2000 suite of
sites. In EN-6[7] DECC make it clear that they consider the case for
nuclear power stations comes under IROPI. Loss of or damage to a large
area of the habitats of the Duddon Estuary SPA/Ramsar and part of the
Morecambe Bay SAC along with the Irish Sea Marine Conservation Zones
cannot however be compensated for elsewhere, and if this cannot be done,
the Habitats Directive cannot be complied with.

NuGen reiterate statements throughout their license application such as:
“The survey works are not expected to have an impact to features of
interest within the Drigg Coast SAC. This is disingenuous. To say that
radionuclides are “not expected” to impact on special wildlife sites is
not credible or within the remit of the legally binding international
OSPAR convention which enshrines the “precautionary principle”. Neither
is the statement that: “Any transportation of sediments will be within
background storm levels for the area” as it is now thought that the
increase in radioactive particle finds on Cumbrian beaches in recent years
is due to increased storm surges.

Have NuGen carried out any investigations as to the cumulative effect of:
increased storm surges and resuspension of radioactive particles from
borehole drilling?

It is impossible to mitigate against the resuspension of radionuclides
from the silts of the Irish Sea bed. The Irish Sea has been a dumping
ground for Sellafield’s nuclear wastes and also the now closed Marchon
plant at Whitehaven which is thought to have supplied Sellafield with
thousands of gallons of acids for reprocessing. Sellafield has dumped at
least a quarter of a ton of plutonium into the Irish Sea along with a
cocktail of other radionuclides.

The old Marchon plant has dumped polonium into the Irish Sea and a 2014
report published by the US National Library of Medicine, National
Institutes of Health has said: “Since the cessation of phosphoric acid
production (in 1992) and subsequent closure and decommissioning (2004) of
the Rhodia Consumer Specialties Limited plant in Whitehaven, the
concentration levels of polonium-210 ((210)Po) in local marine materials
have declined towards a level more typical of natural background. However,
enhanced concentrations of (210)Po and lead-210 ((210)Pb), due to this
historic industrial activity (plant discharges and ingrowth of (210)Po
from (210)Pb), have been observed in fish and shellfish samples collected
from this area over the last 20 years.”

What impact would borehole drilling (and the proposed Moorside
infrastructure ) have? Would “historic discharges” of the cocktail of
radionuclides be resuspended?

All the evidence points to the MMO applying the “precautionary principle”
and refusing NuGen a licence to disturb what is in effect the worlds
biggest nuclear dump at the bottom of the Irish Sea.

We would draw the MMO’s attention to the fact that there is a wealth of
evidence that even chronic low level radiation exposure has a detrimental
impact on wildlife …..and humans.

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea

Natura 2000 – The Irish Sea, Morecambe Bay, The Duddon Estuary

Habitats Directive

Polonium from the old Marchon Plant at Whitehaven
History of the Marchon Plant –biggest producer of acid in the world –
essential to Sellafield reprocessing

Environmental effects of chronic low level radioactive contamination

Hot Nature -Sellafield


Below is a letter sent to Stuart Young Leader of Cumbria County Council

Dear Councillor Young,

Has there been any Council debate or democratic vote at all on the 340
onshore and offshore boreholes churning up decades of Sellafields nuclear

Since the 1950s Sellafield has been pumping plutonium and a cocktail of
other radioactive isotopes out of twin sea discharge pipes into the Irish
Sea. Because the radioactive pollution is detectable the pollution can be
traced as it flows into the arc of sea around Britain. In April 1997 the
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia found Sellafield radiation
had reached the Arctic but most of the radioactive sediment ends up on the
sea bed. The Irish Sea bed is basically the worlds biggest nuclear dump.
The one thing you do not do with a nuclear dump on land or sea is disturb
the site and release radionuclides to the biosphere.

But this is exactly what the developers of the proposed Moorside nuclear
plant are doing right now with plans for more.

Radiation Free Lakeland urge Cumbria County Council to write opposing the
offshore disturbance of the biggest nuclear dump in the world.

Please Email the Marine Management Organisation who have to give formal
consent to the offshore borehole drilling:
Quoting MLA/2015/00475 (Deadline 12 Feb.)

When the Walney wind turbines were proposed there was quite rightly debate
and concern by Cumbrian councillors that this would churn up decades of
radioactive sediment from Sellafield. It seems that unlike the wind
industry, the nuclear industry can cut straight to the chase and avoid any
such debate or scrutiny.

NuGen say that borehole drilling by the multi national, Furgo would cause
no more churning up of radioactive sediment than storm surges in the Irish
Sea. This is a false argument as storm surges are thought to have led to
the widely documented increase in hot radioactive particles being washed
up on Cumbrian beaches over the past few years.

Have any environmental surveys have been carried out by NuGen on the
cumulative impact of : increased storm surges and the drilling of 40
boreholes not far from the Sellafield discharge pipes?

We would like to ask if NuGen have exemption from the OSPAR Convention
which says that: By virtue of the precautionary principle, preventive
measures are to be taken when there are reasonable grounds for concern
that human activities may bring about hazards to human health, harm living
resources and marine ecosystems, damage amenities or interfere with other
legitimate uses of the sea, even when there is no conclusive evidence of a
causal relationship

The Environment Agency do not carry out their own sampling, preferring to
leave it to the nuclear industry to essentially self regulate This is
already happening with the 300 onshore boreholes on the green fields
between Sellafield and Beckermet. Decades of radioactive seepage is
planned to be brought to the surface to be pumped into to the river Ehen,
ending up in the Irish Sea.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Freedom of Information Request answer from the Environment Agency
indicates that the nuclear industry is out of control….literally


NuGen the developers of the proposed Moorside nuclear plant are drilling
and blasting around 350 boreholes in an area between Sellafield and the
village of Beckermet. This is happening both onshore and offshore to
investigate the geology for the proposed Moorside nuclear
plant. The 300 onshore boreholes were given the go ahead by
delegated decision from one council official in Copeland. In
other words there was no scrutiny. Radioactive wastes from decades of
Sellafield leakage are now being brought up by these boreholes from deep
underground to be dumped directly into the River Ehen. Incredibly the
nuclear industry is responsible for reporting radioactive contamination to
the Environment agency, in other words the nuclear industry is both
poacher and gamekeeper. There is no truly independent scrutiny.

The offshore investigation is to: inform the design of cooling water
tunnels. NuGen plan to drill/blast 40 boreholes in the seabed off
Sellafield to survey the area in preparation for the proposed enormous
direct cooling system and the outfall and intake pipes for the biggest
nuclear development in Europe
When the Walney Wind Turbines some distance away were being discussed by
Cumbrian Councillors there was concern because of the churning up of
radioactively contaminated silts. The NuGen test boreholes are in an area
directly in the path of decades of nuclear dumping. It seems that NuGen
have the advantage of bypassing Cumbria County Councils planning regime
and are able to cut straight to the chase. The Marine Management
Organisation have to give formal consent.
The application for 40 boreholes is available to view on the public
register of the Marine Management Organisation but despite this being a
public consultation it is not easy to find.
Email: Quoting
MLA/2015/00475 Write to Mark Herbert¨Marine Licensing Case
Officer Her Majestys Government – Marine Management
Organisation Lancaster House¨Hampshire Court¨Newcastle Upon
TyneNE4 7YH Tel: 0300 123 1032 Web: Twitter: @the_MMO Facebook:

The Marine Management Organisations tag line is: Enabling sustainable
growth in our marine area.

More links
Walney Wind Turbines:

Walney Extension Community Fund

Concern over Radioactive Silt being churned up

Fugro Borehole Drilling (300 on the land) Around 40 on the Irish Sea Bed
just off Sellafield.
Learn More at Radiation Free Lakeland:



Pipe Sleeve Corrosion “Substantial Safety Hazard” for V.C. Summer-Vogtle AP1000 Nuclear Power Stations Under Construction

This is the same dangerous new nuclear power plant that Cumbrians are being aggressively groomed to accept with open arms!!

Mining Awareness +

pipe sleeve public domain via wikimedia

These nuclear power stations are still under construction and, yet, are already suffering from dangerous corrosion, presumably due to substandard steel. Radiation in operating reactors speeds up corrosion. This is part of a laundry list of defects reported at these sites, since the beginning of last September (see US NRC list below). Were they found because CB&I just “bailed out” and sold its nuclear construction business to Westinghouse (now a Toshiba subsidiary)? “Jan. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — CB&I (NYSE: CBI) today announced it has completed the sale of its nuclear construction business to Westinghouse Electric Company LLC effective Dec. 31, 2015. “We have completed all of the required closing requirements and have transferred total responsibility for the Stone & Webster nuclear construction business to Westinghouse,…,” said Philip K. Asherman, CB&I’s President and Chief Executive Officer.” Read more here:

How many defects have not been found and not corrected?…

View original post 1,151 more words


Perception is Everything

Twenty years ago the Lake District National Park declared that a famous stand of beech trees in the Rusland valley were “dead diseased and dying”  not to mention “ugly” and that in the interests of public safety the trees should be clearfelled. Video from 1997

Many people disagreed and thought the line of 200 year old trees a thing of beauty.

Scientists and tree experts also lent their weight to the long campaign in spite of the local great and good from Cumbria Wildlife Trust to Friends of the Lake District backing up the plan to clearfell.

The Lake District National park’s vision of what is safe and beautiful did not extend to the Rusland beeches 20 years ago. Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.

An example of beauty being in the eye of the beholder is news that the former head of the LDNPA is lending his weight to the ‘beautifying’ of proposed new nuclear build at the Lakeland village of Beckermet.

The ‘Moorside’  proposal (over an area of three farms  by the river Ehen floodplain) would trash increasingly threatened wildlife, special sites of scientific and historic interest, miles of hedgerow and would double Sellafield’s sprawl visible from many Lakeland peaks.  It would be the biggest new nuclear build in Europe.

Former LDNPA boss Paul Tiplday is one of the “judges” of this unprecedented nuclear greenwash and grooming exercise in the plan to more than double the footprint of Sellafield.   “The Royal Institute of British Architects has launched an open design competition for architectural elements on Cumbria’s £10 billion Moorside nuclear power station The unprecedented contest – described as a world first for the nuclear industry – aims to create a ‘positive lasting legacy’ for the 3.6GW triple-reactor plant. The surprise announcement comes a decade after former RIBA president Jack Pringle condemned government plans for a new wave of nuclear power stations on cost and safety grounds (see AJ 04.05.06). Backed by plant operator NuGen, the RIBA contest seeks ideas for the 200 hectare site’s visitor centre, accommodation block and masterplan. A separate competition – organised by the Landscape Institute (LI) – has also been launched to find ‘creative and sustainable’ proposals for the controversial facility’s surroundings”.

20 years ago the LDNPA sought to protect the safety of Cumbrians from falling branches – and all credit to them for that.   Taking it to the extreme and clearfelling all trees at the side of the road would have been an over reaction to what would always be, even in the awful worst case scenario, a localised threat.

Nuclear new build no matter how it is dressed up would use the same old crappy and dangerous technology next to what is already the most hazardous nuclear site in the world.  The waste from “high burn” new build would be four times as radioactive.

This would not be a localised threat.

As the crow flies the “dead, diseased and dying” Rusland beeches are just 22 miles from the proposed Moorside site which has been described by former US nuclear regulator Arnie Gundersen as “Chernobyl on Steroids”

But it will be ‘beautiful’ and the former Head of the LDNPA will help choose the architectural look.   No one got to look at why former Head of the LDNPA Paul Tiplady was suspended on full pay pending an independent investigation which it seems (??) never concluded.  Mr Tiplady’s wife, a well regarded social historian, interestingly, has a background in “nuclear and defence.

The present head of the LDNPA, Richard Leafe, instead of opposing dangerous new nuclear build in order to protect the public, has,  incredibly offered up the Lake District as a playground for the proposed boom and boost influx of nuclear workers, telling the government that: “We’ll  have to find a way of getting the temporary workers to release some of their adrenaline in the Lake District national park at the weekends”

Maybe Moorside should be something architecturally similar to Gotham… And like Gotham remain as a dystopian fantasy.    The Rusland Beeches are real and beautiful.



400 % Spike in Rare Birth Defects Near Leaking Hanford Nuclear Site

Let’s blame it on the mosquitoes?

Fukushima Emergency


Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : The Hanford Nuclear site in Washington is attracting renewed attention as rare birth defects, including babies born with parts of their brain missing, spike around the facility. An epidemiologist assigned by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims the incidents are not focused near the Hanford site, prompting the question how it can be that the CDC official failed to notice that the Hanford site is located in the center of the cluster.

File image: Ancephalic child.

Incidence 400 percent above normal. The Washington State Health Department is trying to identify the cause of an unusually high number of rare birth defects in south central Washington, around the leaking Hanford nuclear site. In 2013, seven cases of anencephaly, a rare and often fatal birth defect were reported in a remote region of Washington State, clustered around…

View original post 58 more words

Willie McRae Death, Nuclear Waste Dumping in Scotland, Group Continues to Call for Inquiry

Thanks to Mining Awareness for this …Remember Willie McRae

Mining Awareness +

Area Loch Doon sheep
Loch Doon area sheep
Mullwharchar Loch Doon
Mullwharchar Loch Doon which the late Willie McRae helped save from becoming a nuclear waste dump

In June 2015 over 12,000 signatures were delivered to Scotland’s Lord Advocate calling for the fatal accident inquiry to which Willie McRae is entitled by law.

Willie McRae had successfully worked to stop a nuclear waste dump in Ayrshire, Scotland and “At the time of his death, McRae had been working to counter plans to dump nuclear waste from the Dounreay Nuclear Power Development Establishment into the sea. Due to his house being burgled on repeated occasions prior to his death, he had taken to carrying a copy of the documents relating to his Dounreay work with him at all times. However, they were not found following his death, and the sole other copy which was kept in his office was stolen when it was burgled, no…

View original post 1,216 more words