On September 29th, the US NRC reported piping deviations for the Vogtle AP 1000 “two flanges identified with deviations on Passive Core Cooling System pipe spools for the Vogtle Unit 3 AP1000r project had incorrect raised-face dimensions. This appears to have been caused by the two flanges being transposed due to an inadvertent fabrication error that occurred at the pipe spool supplier’s facilities (CB&I Laurens). The error was subsequently discovered after delivery to the fabrication facility (Aecon Industrial).” And, what does this mean? Did they replace it? Or? An expert assures me that this means that they did the equivalent of forcing a door shut, which doesn’t want to go. It should have been replaced rather than corrected: “The flange configuration was corrected and the Q223 Mechanical Module was delivered to the Vogtle Unit 3 site…” http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2016/20160929en.html Thus, Aecon is potentially producing defective “modules” in…
With your help we can commission a report into the dodgy design of the untried, untested nuclear reactors proposed.
Already we have, thanks to your generosity, commissioned an expert report (to be published in 2017) into the health detriment.
Now we would like to be able to cover the costs of an expert report into the design of these diabolic reactors and why they should not be built anywhere, never mind next to this most dangerous nuclear site …Sellafield!
Calder Hall was opened by the young Queen Elizabeth on 17 October 1956, but it was never a ‘commercial’ civil nuclear plant. Her script writer penned the following for Her Majesty to say from the podium: “This new power, which has proved itself to be such a terrifying weapon of destruction, is harnessed for the first time for the common good of our community.”
In fact it was clearly stated at the time of the plant’s opening, in a remarkable little book entitled Calder Hall: The Story of Britainís First Atomic Power Station, written by Kenneth Jay, and published in October 1956 by the Government’s Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell to mark Calder’s commissioning. Mr Jay wrote:
Major plants built for military purposes such as Calder Hall are being used as prototypes for civil plants . . . the plant has been designed as a dual-purpose plant to produce plutonium for military purposes as well as electric power . . . it would be wrong to pretend that the civil programme has not benefited from, and is not to some extent dependent upon, the military programme.”
An atomic “clock” registered the first generated nuclear power
Calder Hall was closed in March 2003, fifty years after its construction bagan. Interestingly, the first ñ nominally commercial – reactor at Hinkley, the Magnox ëAí plant, was operated for military production purposes too.
The first public hint came with a public announcement on 17 June 1958 by the Ministry of Defence, notably not the Ministry of Fuel and Power that oversaw the civilian nuclear programe – on: ìthe production of plutonium suitable for weapons in the new [nuclear ] power stations programme as an insurance against future defence needs in the Hinkley reactor. .
A week later in the UK Parliament, the Conservative Cabinet minister Paymaster General, Reginald Maudling told MPs: “At the request of the Government, the Central Electricity Generating Board has agreed to a small modification in the design of Hinkley Point and of the next two stations in its programme so as to enable plutonium suitable for military purposes to be extracted should the need arise.
The Government made this request in order to provide the country, at comparatively small cost, with a most valuable insurance against possible future defence requirements. The cost of providing such insurance by any other means would be extremely heavy.”
(The first nuclear power plant on the Hinkley Point site in Somerset was built in the 1960s.)
This was challenged by Mr Mason, who asked:
“Is the Paymaster-General aware that, as far as I am concerned, it is a disgusting imposition on what was primarily termed a peaceful programme in nuclear energy? Of course, I am pleased to hear that it does not interfere with the atomic energy programme prepared by the Government although I accept that with some measure of reservation? Was this really necessary, in view of the fact that we are producing, perhaps at a slow rate, plutonium.Particularly having regard to the fact that the Dounreay atomic breeder is coming into production very soon, was this imposition on our peaceful atomic power programme really necessary?”
The minister retorted:
“The hon. Gentleman says that it is an imposition. The only imposition on the country would have arisen if the Government had met our defence requirements for plutonium by means far more expensive than those proposed in this suggestion.”
The headline story in the Bridgwater Mercury, serving the community around Hinkley, on that day (24 June} was:
“MILITARY PLUTONIUM To be manufactured at Hinkley”
The article explained:
“An ingenious method has been designed for changing the plant without reducing the output of electricity”
CND was reported to be critical, describing this as a “distressing step” insisting:
“The Government is obsessed with a nuclear militarism which seems insane.”
Sadly, with the blinkered push to replace Trident today, not much seems has changed in the 58 years since!
The left wing Tribune magazine of 27 June 1958 was very critical of the deal under the headline
‘Sabotage in the Atom Stations’
“For the sake of making more nuclear weapons, the Government has dealt a heavy blow at the development of atomic power stations.
“Unless this disastrous decision is reversed, we shall pay dearly in more ways than one for the sacrifice made on the grim alter of the H-bomb.”
The late Michael Foot, that great inveterate peace-monger, who later became Labour leader, was then the Tribune editor.
Then, on 3 July 1958, the United Kingdom and United States signed a detailed agreement on co-operation on nuclear weapons development, after several months of Congressional hearings in Washington DC, but no oversight whatsoever in the UK Parliament! As this this formed the basis, within a mere five years, for the UK obtaining the Polaris nuclear WMD system from the UK, and some 20 odd years later for the UK to buy American Trident nuclear WMDs , the failure of Parliament to at least appraise the security merits of this key bilateral atomic arrangement was unconscionable.
A month later Mr Maudling told backbencher Alan Green MP in Parliament that:
“Three nuclear power stations are being modified, but whether they will ever be used to produce military grade plutonium will be for decision later and will depend on defence requirements. The first two stations, at Bradwell and Berkeley, are not being modified and the decision to modify three subsequent stations was taken solely as a precaution for defence purposes.”
“It in no way reflects any change in the assessment of the economics of the British nuclear power stations, and there is therefore no reason whatever why the sale abroad of British nuclear equipment should be in any way affected.”
Following further detailed negotiations, the Ango-American Mutual Defense Agreement on Atomic Energy matters (defence is spelled with an ìsî even in the UK version of the Treaty, demonstrating the origin of the drafts!) , to give it its full treaty title, was amended on 7 May 1959, to permit the exchange of nuclear explosive material including plutonium and enriched uranium for military purposes.
The Times science correspondent wrote on 8 May 1959 under the headline
“Production of Weapons at Short Notice”
“The most important technical fact behind the agreement is that of civil grade – such as will be produced in British civil nuclear power stations- can now be used in weapons”
Within a month, Mr Maudling in Parliament told Tory back bencher, Wing Commander Eric Bullus who had asked the Paymaster-General what change there has been in the intention to modify three nuclear power stations to enable plutonium suitable for military use to be extracted should the need arise.
“Last year Her Majesty’s Government asked the Central Electricity Generating Board to make a small modification in the design of certain power stations to enable plutonium suitable for military purposes to be extracted if need should arise. Having taken into account recent developments, including the latest agreement with the United States, and having re-assessed the fissile material which will become available for military purposes from all sources, it has been decided to restrict the modifications to one power station, namely, Hinkley Point.” Hansard, 22 June 1959 vol 607 columns 847-9 http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1959/jun/22/nuclear-power-stations#column_848
And so it may be seen that the UKs first civil nuclear programme was used as a source of nuclear explosive plutonium for the US military, with Hinkley Point A the prime provider.
Two decades later, Wales national daily, the Western Mail, on 8 October 1984 reported that the largest Magnox reactor in the UK, at Wylfa on Anglesey, had also been used to provide plutonium for the military. Plutonium from both reactors went into the UK military stockpile of nuclear explosives, and could well still be part of the UK Trident warhead stockpile today.
Subsequent research by the Scientists Against Nuclear Arms, published in the prestigious science weekly journal, Nature and presented to the Sizewell B Public Inquiry in 1983-4 and Hinkley C Public Inquiry in 1989, has demonstrated that around 6700 kilogrammes of plutonium, was shipped to the United States under the military exchange agreement, which stipulates explicitly that the material must be used for military purposes by the recipient county.
To put this quantity into context, a nuclear warhead contains around 5 kilos of plutonium so this is a very significant quantity
Earlier this month, a commentary article by Oxford University academic, Dr Peter Wynn Kirby, in The New York Times ( “Britain’s Nuclear Cover-Up, October 11, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/opinion/britains-nuclear-cover-up.html?_r=1) discussed the possibility that he first newbuild nuclear reactor to be built in 20 years in the UK, at Hinkley C, also has military links, this time not to nuclear explosives production, but to nuclear reactor propulsion.
As Dr Kirby states: “A painstaking [100-page] study of obscure British military policy documents, released last month by the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, demonstrates that the government and some of its partners in the defense industry, like Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems, think a robust civilian nuclear industry is essential to revamping Britain’s nuclear submarine program.”
Nuclear deception has a long and undistinguished history: it seems we have come full circle 60 years after the birth of nuclear power as the Siamese twin of military nuclear technology six decades after Calder Hall’s opening.
The National Park Authority defer ratification till end of October. Chance for more people to send in objections to felling.
The Government’s Chief Advisor on medical microbiology is going to write to the Environment Secretary on behalf of the beeches
16th October 1996
Rt Hon John Gummer MP
Dear Mr Gummer,
I have just learned about the decision by the Lake District National Park Authority to fell all the Rusland Beeches, the well known stand of trees in the valley of that name. Can I ask that your department – as ultimate custodian because of the preservation order on the trees- subjects this decision to the most rigorous scrutiny? In particular I would like to request that the benefit of any doubt should be given to the trees rather than to any recommendations based on administrative neatness or risk assessment exercises with high judgemental content. …
The Evening Mail has reported on the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s findings on the incredible incident in April 2015 when a submarine (likely to be carrying nuclear warheads) dragged a fishing boat across the Irish Sea. Why isn’t this headline news across the UK we wonder?
THE lives of four fishermen were put in danger when a Barrow-built submarine became tangled in a trawler’s nets and dragged it across the Irish Sea.
The Karen was trailed backwards at a speed of seven knots – around eight miles an hour – after the sub snagged in the prawn trawler’s nets 15 miles from Ardglass in Northern Ireland.
The sub’s crew was unaware until three hours after the collision, which happened in April 2015. Part of the trawler’s deck had to be lifted and another section was ripped off but the four crew escaped unharmed.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report said the accident occurred because the submarine’s command team detected no noise of trawling.
The actions of the command team of a Royal Navy submarine placed the lives of the crew of the trawler Karen in danger
In its findings, the MAIB said: “The submarine’s command team had assessed that the majority of shipping contacts in the area were merchant vessels.
“However, most were actually trawlers; this was predictable and should have been identified as a significant risk to the safety of the submarine and other vessels when preparing the submarine’s passage plan.
“Had the submarine’s command team appreciated the high density of fishing vessels and then followed Royal Navy guidance on fishing vessel avoidance, the accident would have been avoided because the submarine would have been slowed down and returned to periscope depth when the density of shipping increased.”
The Ministry of Defence has refused to reveal which submarine was responsible.
However, one retired submariner told the Evening Mail it was “highly likely” that the boat involved would have been carrying nuclear weapons, meaning it would have been a Vanguard-class submarine.
“The only thing the MoD is more secretive about than nuclear-powered submarines is submarines carrying nuclear weapons,” the Lancashire-based submariner said.
“Considering the MoD has in the past released extensive detail about incidents involving other submarines, such as Astute grounding in 2010 or onboard HMS Turbulent in 2011 when the reactor overheated, it’s highly likely the secrecy surrounding the identity of the sub involved in this instance is because it was carrying nuclear weapons.”
The four Vanguard boats – Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant and Vengeance – are all in active service and are due to be replaced by four Successor-class submarines from around 2028.
The United States is manipulating humanitarian concern in an effort to protect its proxy militias and its imperial regime-change project in Syria. The media and intellectual classes are dutifully falling in line, promoting a narrative of military aggression under the cover of “protecting civilians.” These same “responsibility to protect” arguments led to the invasions of Iraq and Libya, exponentially increasing the massacres, chaos, and proliferation of violent extremism within those countries. They are hypocritical, designed to further interests of conquest and domination, and will lead to more death and destruction in Syria as well.
The United States has no stake in the wellbeing of Syrian civilians, despite their condemnations of Russia’s offensive in Aleppo. This is clearly shown in the fact that the people they are supporting are guilty of the same crimes they accuse Russia and Syria of: indiscriminate attacks, targeting of civilians, destruction of
Radiation Free Lakeland took the Stop Moorside message to the beautiful setting of the Wasdale Show yesterday.
At our stall, well stocked with information, a quiz and friendly faces, people stopped to chat and sign the Stop Moorside petition which now is nearing 11,ooo signatures. Of all the people we spoke to NOT ONE said they were in favour of new nuclear build next to Sellafield.
This is remarkable given that this area is being bigged up as a “Nuclear Heartland” by Tom Samson the Chief Executive of Nugen (60% Toshiba and 40% Engie).
The heart of Cumbria is alive and well no thanks to the heart tissue destroying Strontium emissions from the nuclear industry. Tissue damage is one of the cocktail of listed diseases on the Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases for nuclear workers (those outside the gates have no CSRLD .. info on health impacts on this pdf TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR STRONTIUM)
While people ‘Stand Up to Cancer’, the Department of Health has released its Review of Childhood Cancer Incidence near Sellafield and Dounreay.
In the Eighties, the families of 19 children living within 20 miles of Sellafield took the site operators to court. The children all had leukaemia. They lost their case, the judge ruling that the radiation dose to the public from the plant was too low to have caused luekaemia.
The Government subscribes to the 1988 Leo Kinlen theory, which suggests that exposure to a common unidentified infection through population mixing results in childhood leukaemia. Prof Kinlen said: “This exposure is greater when people from urban areas mix with rural communities eg when construction workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area.” History is about to repeat itself. The Government plans to parachute into Cumbria 4,000 temporoary workers to work at Beckermet (population 1,600), site of the proposed “biggest new nuclear development in Europe.”
Dr Paul Dorfman, secretary to the UK governmental sceintific advisory Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE), an acknowledged expert on radiation risk, told us: “I, like you, am of the clear opinion that the acknowledged significant increase in childhood leukaemia in Cumbria is associated with radiation releases….However…the view of the key UK governmental radiation risk scientific advisory body (COMARE) is that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is most likely associated with “population mixing.”
“COMARE, and hence the Government state that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is due to a novel virus brought in by a large number of construction workers which then goes on to infect a relatively isolated local population who do not have a defence against this virus.”
“Thus the Government must inform the local community to expect a potential increase in risk of childhood leukaemia following the construction of the planned nuclear facility at Moorside.”
Nuclear power pioneer Dr John Gofman said decades ago: “Licensing a nuclear power plant is…licensing random premeditated murder. When you license a plant, you know what you’re doing, so its premeditated….The evidence on radiation producing cancer is beyond doubt. It’s not a question any more:radiation produces cancer and the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest doses.”
Do you believe, like the government, that “population mixing” is the cause of the acknowledged and well documented excess of childhood leukaemia near Sellafield? Or do you agree with the co-discoverer of plutonium and uranium, Dr John Gofman that there is no safe dose of radiation? Which do you think the government and the industry should take responsibility for:
A) Population Mixing?
B) Cumulative Radioactive Emissions from existing and new reactors?
Sometime in the next day or so The Communities Secretary is going to make a decision whether to overrule Councillors and communities who have said no to fracking in Lancashire. The risk of seismic activity brought on by fracking has been well highlighted. But missing in the risk analysis is the cluster of nuclear installations in the North. Capenhurst in Cheshire enriches uranium, producing highly dangerous uranium Hexaflouride gas. Springfields inbetween Blackpool and Preston then turns this gas into fuel rods, they supply countries worldwide. Once the fuel has been spent in nuclear power plants, it gets loaded onto the railway on its tortuous trip up the dilapidated railroads of the West Coast of Cumbria to Sellafield. At Sellafield the fuel ends up in nitric acids and cooling ponds where it sits for decades. There is “a plan” to dump intermediate and high level wastes in a big hole in the ground in an as yet unspecified place (Cumbria is in the frame). Any one of these stages in the nuclear chain would make the damage from seismic activity far more terrible and longer lasting than from an “ordinary” earthquake. Barrow, also known as Trident Town in Cumbria is the only place in the UK to have ever experienced a liquefaction event from seismic activity…this was over 100 years ago, but the precedent is there. Increasing the risk of seismic activity in a relatively small country which has so many nuclear installations is a total and complete abdication of duty of care to the inhabitants of the U.K and to our neighbouring countries.
letters can still be sent to the Communities Secretary
DEar Communities Secretary,
RAdiation Free Lakeland are a volunteer nuclear safety group based in Cumbria. We add our voice to all those Lancashire Communities and Councils opposing Fracking. Here in Cumbria the new Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) for Sellafield as determined by the Office for Nuclear Regulation has dramatically increased the emergency zone following research on possible seismic activity . As you know Fracking may well trigger seismic events. The release of just 1percent of the radioactivity from Sellafield’s high level liquid wastes would render much of the U.K Uninhabitable and pollute the rest of the world. The U.K. is already too small for the existing nuclear plants and in particular the uniquely vulnerable radioactive wastes at Sellafield.
Please do not approve fracking activity in Lancashire which is just a stones throw from Sellafield in geological and seismic terms.
On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland