"Gentle Steps" to geological disposal

Whitehaven News – letter “Gentle Steps” to Geological Dump (DECC) ….

Letter Published in Whitehaven News – Friday 21st Oct

Dear Editor
The plan to build new reactors at what is already the most dangerous
nuclear site in Europe and to find a ‘solution’ to the waste problem.
has ratcheted up a gear following the findings of the Weightman report.

For the plan for new build at Sellafield and other chosen sites to go
ahead there needs to be seen to be a “solution” to the nuclear waste
problem.

The DECC “solution” is to dig a 1000 metre hole to dump the high level
wastes and spent fuel in Cumbria’s leaky geology. The resulting slag
heap(s) ripped from Lakeland geology could be the equivalent of up to
several Great Pyramids.

Link to Prof David Smythe’s presentation on Rock Spoil
https://mariannewildart.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/rock-spoil-great-pyramids-in-cumbria-11oct11.pdf

“No possible underground repository site can be found within the area of Allerdale and Copeland district councils, that would be geologically safe.

In addition to the insurmountable geological problems, the NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) is misleading the elected officials and the general public of West Cumbria as to the scale of environmental blight to be caused, were such a repository to be excavated.

The MRWS: (Managing Radioactive Waste Safely) partners need to ask some searching questions of the NDA; in particular, why the figures from the NDA’s own environmental assessment, used herein, have not been presented in a more honest and transparent way.”
Professor David Smythe

yours sincerely,
Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Great Pyramids – Spoil Heaps in Cumbria


“No possible underground repository site can be found within the area of Allerdale and Copeland district councils, that would be geologically safe.

In addition to the insurmountable geological problems, the NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) is misleading the elected officials and the general public of West Cumbria as to the scale of environmental blight to be caused, were such a repository to be excavated.

The MRWS: (Managing Radioactive Waste Safely) partners need to ask some searching questions of the NDA; in particular, why the figures from the NDA’s own environmental assessment, used herein, have not been presented in a more honest and transparent way.”

Professor David Smythe

 
Tim Farron MP has agreed to ask the following questions of the Department of Energy and 
Climate Change on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland
To DECC:
1.Is the former Nirex proposed repository site at Longlands farm
regarded as geologically suitable for the deep disposal of nuclear waste
and, if so, what new evidence, subsequent to the 1997 decision not to
proceed with the construction of a Rock Characterisation Facility at
this site, has led to this conclusion?

2. To detail the process followed for selection of members of the
Criteria Proposals Group (CPG) and a Criteria Review Panel (CRP), set up
in February 2007 to develop the geological criteria for screening out
unsuitable sites for deep geological disposal of nuclear wastes.

3. The NDA's assurances to Cumbria County Council do not tally with
projected excavation.  Has the NDA seriously miscalculated the amount of
rock spoil from excavation of a geological nuclear dump up to 1000 metre
deep and 10 kilometres square?

Power Point Presentation -Rock Spoil - Great Pyramids in Cumbria 11oct11
The Scafell Range + Slag Heap

World’s Biggest Slag Heap

West Cumbria is famous for being the place where you can find the World’s Biggest Liar. Now the Department of Energy and Climate Change are pushing for West Cumbria to be the place where you can find the World’s Biggest Slag Heap.

Nominations are already coming in for what this huge slag heap, ripped out of Lakeland geology, could be called:

  • Robson’s Pile
  • Partnership Peaks (not forgetting the Partnership Pit !)
  • Teardrops o’ Ruskin
  • Tremor Towers
  • Seismic Surprise
  • or perhaps “The Bung” ?

http://www.santonbridgeinn.com/liar/
http://davidsmythe.org/nuclear/nuclear.htm
http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/michael-baron/public-servants-and-private-chats-about-dumping-nuclear-waste-in-west-cumbr

UNSUITABILITY OF ESKDALE GRANITE FOR GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL OF HIGH LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE

a paper by  Prof David Smythe

Unsuitability of the Eskdale Granite oct2011

Below is a letter to Cumbria County Council from geoscientist Professor David Smythe

Sent to CCC by email – 6th Oct 2011

Dear Mr Kemp

I have just sent off a new paper to MRWS:Cumbria regarding the
unsuitability of the Eskdale granite as a host rock for a waste
repository, and attach a copy for your attention. It includes some
comments on the volumes of rock spoil to be created and then either
re-used later as backfill and/or taken off-site.

I believe that the letter you received from Mark Gough of NDA, dated
19 May 2011, is misleading on this point. Here are some
calculations, based upon the volumes of ‘higher strength’ rock spoil
which would be created.

The volume to be removed (if not left in Eskdale) is 6640921 cu. m.
(from ref. [5] of my paper). That is based on the volume of space to
be created underground, and therefore refers to solid rock. This
volume could be stored as a berm 1000 m long by 200 m across and 35
m high. Actually it will be about 50% greater in volume (e.g. 50 m
not 35 m high) because rock spoil is less dense than solid granite.
The NDA clearly can’t leave that in Eskdale (along with the
additional rock spoil berms of about half this volume again) to
remain for up to 50 years and then re-used as backfill). NDA will
presumably ship it out – granite cuttings do have a value as
aggregate. But we have to address the road and rail usage of
removing it.

Multiply the volume by the density of solid granite (2.7 tonnes per
cu. m) to get the weight. That makes 17930487 tonnes. A road lorry
has a 44 tonne capacity, so that makes 407511 loads. Spread over 10
years (a maximum figure for the excavation phase), that means 112
loads per day – or a lorryload every 4 minutes during a working day
of 8 hours, every day of the week, for 10 years. The road traffic is
clearly double that because the returning empty lorries have to be
counted as well.

This is completely at odds with the assurances you have been given
by NDA:

“we have assumed that all of the excavated rock spoil could be
stored on the surface and then either re-used in construction and
backfilling, or for landscaping and site restoration. Under this
scenario there would be no requirement to transport rock spoil
off-site.”

Please note that similar figures will apply if the host rock is some
other kind of ‘higher strength’or ‘lower strength’ rock. Note that
the evaporite scenario (the third generic host rock type) does not
apply to West Cumbria.

So is CCC going to permit this kind of long-term environmental
damage within the National Park?

I await your comments with interest.

Yours sincerely

David Smythe

Stepping out on a Jolly

Are We There Yet?Rather than spending taxpayer’s money on a jolly this week to see France’s research into geological dumping the DECC sponsored Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely (!) Partnership should go for a walk up Scafell. A walk up England’s highest mountain would give the Partnership a sense of the scale of DECC’s proposal for a huge hole in the ground. Radiation Free Lakeland would be happy to organise a day guiding members of the Partnership to the top of Scafell. We would, of course, avoid the “Bad Step.” We could then look down to
get some idea of the depth of the geological dump proposed – 1000 metres.

Scafell is a mere 978 metres.

In looking for a Cumbrian dump for intermediate level nuclear wastes,
Nirex found in the 1990s that the geology of the Lake District leads to
upward waterflows into the aquifer surrounding the mountains. The Inquiry revealed difficulties in identifying a large volume of rock in West Cumbria to avoid fast routes for radionuclide escape through watery fractures and faults. A much larger volume of rock would be needed for the plan for a dump containing spent nuclear fuel and high level wastes which being hotter and more volatile must be spaced further apart.

Residents of Bure, France, are “embracing” that underground research laboratory about as much as Nevada welcomed the now abandoned Yucca Mountain nuclear dump. Bure’s aquifers run through the proposed storage site. Public opposition to nuclear power in France is rising because of the waste problem.

Maybe there isn’t enough rock in the world to isolate high level nuclear waste from humans and the environment into eternity? No where in the world has done this. Maybe it is more honest to say there is no ‘solution’ and to just stop producing high level nuclear wastes? Certainly this Partnership ‘process’ should be scrapped now before more public money is spent on “steps towards” a worlds first, high level nuclear waste geological dump,- located somewhere as yet unspecified (for DECC’s sake don’t scare the horses!) in West Cumbria.

Fact-finding repository visit for West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safety Partnership members

http://www.greenpeace.de/fileadmin/gpd/user_upload/themen/atomkraft/GPI_nucl_waste_crisis_in_France_briefing_30may06.pdf