Image: This geological map showing the northern part of the Ennerdale granite was drawn up by Professor David Smythe, who will attend next week’s public meeting. The shaded area is the Ennerdale granite, which reaches the shore of Buttermere and is within a few hundred metres of the southern tip of Crummock Water
“Steven Quas is among the Buttermere and Loweswater residents who have arranged Thursday’s meeting for 6.30pm, with the talk due to start at 7pm and last an hour before questions are invited.
“Mr Quas said it was initially planned to be by invitation only, aimed at local councillors and business people and non-government organisations, but had since been opened up to the public because of the interest it had generated.”
Professor David Smythe
Professor Stuart Haszeldine
Professor Andy Blowers
Thursday 6th Sept at 7pm
The Eco Centre, Cockermouth School
Castlegate Drive CS13 9HP
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are planning a trip to the Lake District. Perhaps they will be the first celebrities to take a stand opposing the mutation of the Lake District …. to the Nuke District ? The Lake District could do with some heroes to stop the government plan for the heart being ripped out of our wonderfully diverse geology and replaced with ever increasing quantities of high level nuclear wastes.
Japan’s Science Council wants a rethink on the future of nuclear power. Also the top scientists have advised putting a limit on the amount of high level waste produced because science has its limits no geology is guaranteed to keep the waste safe from humans and the environment.
They also say that the deep geological disposal plans should be scrapped and that waste should be kept at or near ground level for centuries if need be. So says the most technologically advanced nation on earth.
Today in Carlisle in the pouring rain – monitored by Special Branch who introduced themselves most cordially (not kidding!) Radiation Free Lakeland provided the public with their only chance to vote
“Do you want a nuclear dump under Cumbria?”
200 people vote NO
6 vote YES
The ONLY public vote to take place reveals a convincing 97% against the government plan for a nuclear dump under the Silloth or Eskdale area or any other “most promising site” in West Cumbria’s leaky geology. The vote took place over 2 hours from 10 till 12.
The colossal amount of waste the government plan to dump is over one million cubic metres. This was illustrated by a one cubic metre box, if one million of these are placed in a row that row would stretch from Carlisle to Paris and one third of the way back.
This volume is inconsistent with MRWS’ assertions that”most of the waste is already at Sellafield.” The waste currently held at Sellafield occupies only a small portion of the 6km site.
Where is this one million + cubic metres of waste coming from? New build? America? Europe? all of the above?
The following is from West Cumbria and North Lakes Friends of the Earth….. it speaks for itself!
August 21st 2012
Nuclear dump would be ‘disastrous’ for tourism
Campaigners against West Cumbria ‘volunteering’ to host a nuclear dump say it would be disastrous for the National Park’s image and tourist industry. They have conducted a survey of more than 500 visitors in Keswick, which found that 89% of people thought a dump would have an impact on the image of the National Park, and all of these thought it would be negative.
Campaigners from Friends of the Earth, Save Our Lake District – Don’t Dump Cumbria! and Radiation Free Lakeland interviewed 562 visitors between July 25th and August 13th, without saying who they were until each interview was over. They asked whether the presence of a nuclear dump either next to the National Park or underneath it would affect the Lake District’s image, and if so in what way.
Visitors said they thought it would put people off coming and would be detrimental to the image of unspoilt landscape, natural beauty, clean air and clean water. A visitor from Newcastle said ‘It’s always come across as a natural place. I can’t think of anything that could impact it more than nuclear waste’. One from Spain said ‘This is the best place in England. It would spoil this place which we love’. More worrying for the tourist industry is the comment from another Newcastle visitor: ‘Image is fragile and once destroyed it is not easily mended.’
People also mentioned concerns about leaks, safety, the impact on health, wildlife, the ecosystem, and the nuclear industry’s negative reputation. The idea of burying waste with no real certainty about what will happen to it in the long term future was also worrying – ‘not being responsible for future generations’ as one visitor from Northern Ireland put it.
The scale of the construction works was a concern too. One visitor from Lancashire said ‘It would be a huge building project and we come to the Lakes to get away from all that’.
Some people thought that the negative image attached to radioactive waste and the nuclear industry is a ‘stigma’ which might not be altogether deserved and some said that it would not affect their own plans to visit. One visitor from Northern Ireland said he didn’t like the idea but it wouldn’t stop him from coming to England’s ‘jewel in the crown’.
Dr. Ruth Balogh, nuclear issues campaigner for W Cumbria & N Lakes FoE said:
‘This survey shows how detrimental these plans are to the image of the Lake District, and how damaging they would be to the tourist industry. The MRWS Partnership conducted a study about how the dump might affect the Lake District ‘brand’, and this also showed how detrimental it would be. But they think it can be ‘mitigated’. This survey shows they might have to recruit a miracle worker to succeed! And once an image has been tainted – as the nuclear industry itself knows to its cost – it’s extremely difficult if not impossible to repair.
‘We urge local people to make their views known to their local councillors, who are going to take the crucial decision in the coming weeks.’
Further information about the survey
People were approached in the street in Keswick and after establishing that they were visitors, they were asked where they came from, and the following question was put to them:
‘Here in Cumbria the local authorities are exploring the possibility of burying the UK’s high level nuclear waste near the Lake District National Park, or underneath it. We’d like to know how you think this would affect the image of the Lake District if this were to go ahead. Do you think it would affect the image ? ‘ yes / no
People who said ‘yes’ were then asked:
‘Please tell us in what way you think it would affect the Lake District and its image ‘
A total of 562 responses was obtained, from visitors coming from all parts of the UK, and from much further afield including Spain, France, Ireland, Canada, Norway, Germany, China, Singapore, and the USA.
A total of 498 people said ‘yes’ = 88.6%. The number of people who thought it would not affect the image was 60 = 10.6%. These percentages have been rounded up. Four people said they didn’t know or had no opinion.
Imagine this cube is a big 1 metre squared – the nuclear waste proposed for the dump lined up in one metre cubes would stretch from Carlisle to Paris and a third of the way back…
If you are not out already and enjoying yourself at Solfest Music Festival – the hottest music festival ever (or even if you are – take half an hour out!!)
Join us in Carlisle on Saturday 25th August from 10.30am Radiation Free Lakeland will be providing the only chance for the public to vote whether or not they want a nuke dump under Cumbria. Before the point of no return and the “most promising” site is chosen.
Following the Nirex NO in 1997 this question should not even be asked of Cumbria. The new deal now includes plutonium and spent fuel that “could go critical but it wouldn’t matter” so says Alun Ellis the ‘repository manager’ – this would give a whole new meaning to Solfest’s warm friendly atmosphere.
As well as the (only) public vote we will have a cube with dimensions of 1m to illustrate some mind boggling facts…
1 million cubic metres placed in a row as cubes would produce a wall of radioactive waste that is 1 metre high, 1 metre wide, and 1 million metres long.
As 1,000 metres = 1 kilometre, that wall would be an astonishing 1,000 km, or 620 miles in length.
That is a wall of just the radioactive waste material itself, excluding containers.
These are the simple maths of that :-
1,000 mtrs = 1 km = 0.62 mile
1 million mtrs = 1,000 km = 620 miles
To put that in perspective, these are some examples of what could be built using 1 million cubes, each measuring 1 cubic metre.
CARLISLE TO PARIS in a straight line is 762.67 km, or 474 miles.
A wall measuring 1 metre high, 1 metre wide, and 1,000 kilometres long could start in Carlisle, go all the way to Paris, and continue for a further 146 miles beyond Paris.
That wall would be 620 miles long.
A HUGE HADRIANS WALL
Hadrian’s Wall is 120 km or 73 miles long.
Divide 1,000 by 120 = 8.33
Our 1 million cubes could cross the country from Bowness-on Solway to Segedunum, Wallsend, 8 times and still leave 40 cubes unused.
We could therefore build a new Hadrian’s wall that is 1 metre wide, 8 metres high (or 26 feet), and 73 miles long – all made from radioactive waste material.
26 feet may be approaching the height of an average 2 storied house, or certainly up to the roof gutters.
JUMBO JET, CONCORD AND SPACE STATION CATCHALL
If we concentrate our building efforts vertically instead of horizontally, we could enter the Space Race.
Jumbo Jet cruising altitude 39,000 ft or 12,000 mtrs – 12km.
Concorde cruising altitude 56,000 ft or 17,000 mtrs – 17km
International Space Station 220 miles or 354 km orbit from Earth.
Stack our 1 million cubes one on top of the other, and we can build a column that is 1 metre square and 1,000 km or 620 miles high.
The International Space Station would crash into our coulmn just over a third of the way up it. Cruising Jumbo jets and Concorde would crash very close to the bottom at less than 20 km up.
Divide 1,000 km by 12 km (83.33) and we see that we could build a wall 1 metre wide, 83 mtrs long, and 12 km high and impede passing Jumbo’s at an altitude of 39,000 feet. That would be a wall considerably wider than a football pitch with the top barely visible with the human eye from sea level.
Divide 1,000 km by 17 km (58.82) for a wall 58 mtrs long that would impede Concorde at 56,000 feet. The top of that could disappear from view. Those mind-boggling theoretical structures would be literally put in the shade if we decided to join the Space race.
Divide 1,000 km by 354 km (2.82) and we could build a wall 1 mtr by 2 mtrs, and 354 km high and impede the passing International Space Station. We would still have enough cubes left over to build a 3rd column 292 km high, just 62 km short of 354 km.
All of those walls or vertical columns would consist of radioactive material, and nothing else.
SURFACE AREA AND CONTAMINATION
It is estimated that the decay of medium activity waste can take 10 and 20 thousand years+ before it reaches safer levels.
Higher activity waste need to be isolated from humans and the environment for millions of years.
Containment of the waste will consist of copper, stainless steel, cast iron, grout, cement and rock, or combinations of those.
Far shorter periods of decay and decomposition can be expected for copper, stainless steel, cast iron, and grout, so radioactive leakage is expected.
(confirmed in a Webcast video on the MRWS web site, approximately 38 minutes into the video).
The surface area of radioactive waste material exposed by leakage will depend on the size of individual packages of the waste.
For example, a 1 cubic metre package of waste will have 6 sides, each measuring 1 square metre for a total surface area of 6 square metres.
Cut that block in half, and we gain 2 extra sides for a total surface area of 8 square metres.
Put 2 cubes together, and we lose 2 sides for a total surface area of 10 square metres for our 2 cubes instead of 12.
Our wall from Carlisle through Paris would have a surface area of 4 times 1 million square metres plus 1 square metre on each end for a total surface area of 4,000 002 sq mtrs.
1 million individual cubes would give us 6,000,000 sq mtrs.
We could take that 6,000,000 sq mtrs surface area and lay a theoretical track 1 metre wide, with a length of 6 million metres or 6,000 km or 3,720 miles.
If we could ride a motorbike along our 1 metre track at a speed of 100 km per hour (62 m.p.h.), it would take for 60 hours or 2.5 days to get from one end of the track to the other.
If that 1 metre wide track was wet all the way, that may give some idea of the surface area that could contribute to radioactive contamination if all containers deteriorated during the next 10,000 to 200,000 years
The only man-made containers that seem to have survived undamaged during the 2,000 years since the time of Jesus Christ and the Romans, have been made of gold. 2,000 years is only one 5th of the minimum estimated decay period of medium waste and one 50th of the minimum decay period for high activity waste.
Those promoting this radioactive waste repository project may point to these mind boggling statistics, (based on very basic schoolboy maths), as scaremongering. Cumbrians have every right to feel scared of such a vast amount of radioactive waste material.
If the MRWS volunteering process goes ahead, the equivalent amount of radioactive waste material of those absolutely GIGANTIC and mind-boggling propotions could be placed below the hills of Cumbria during the next 100 years, and that is only the first phase of the proposed repository development.
The red outline shows the area within which the repository would be sited within the Mercia Mudstone
A Letter to Allerdale Councillors and Concerned Members of the Public from
Professor David Smythe
The MRWS(Managing Radioactive Waste Safely)so-called consultation process has now homed in on two
proposed areas for the repository, based on geological criteria.
The Mercia Mudstone Group (MMG) of northern Allerdale
The Eskdale/Ennerdale granite in Copeland
I have demonstrated to MRWS that both these rock groups are
unsuitable, but my arguments have not been considered properly (this
may lead to Judicial Review, but that is not of concern for the
present); however, I am concerned here with just the Allerdale
rocks. You will note in passing that IF northern Allerdale were to
be chosen, the advantage of treating the waste on-site at Sellafield
has gone, because all the waste would have to be shifted 40-50 km
northwards by road or rail, before it goes underground.
The red outline shows the area within which the repository would be
sited within the MMG, which is found near the surface below glacial
rocks. The outline is demarcated by the British Geological Survey
(BGS) exclusion zones to the east and west. These zones are excluded
because there is future potential for coal or coal-bed methane. To
the north it is bounded by the coast, and to the south because the
layer is too shallow. The underground workings will require about 20
sq km, just over half of the 39 sq km of the red outline. The grid
squares on the map are 1 km by 1 km. There is thus little or no
leeway for lateral movement. They have to be sited in the middle,
below Parkhouse and Blackdyke. Residents will not, of course, see
the workings, but will see three main features:
‘Temporary’ (for 50 years or so) installations including
mutiple vertical shafts and a railhead, over the centre of the
red outline. The spoil will come up these shafts. This surface
installation will require 0.5 – 1 sq km.
Adjacent piles of spoil – around 15 million cubic metres,
equivalent to six pyramids of Cheops in volume. If these are
dumped locally in ‘bunds’ (flat-topped heaps) 5 m high, they
will require around 4 sq km (= 400 Ha = 1000 acres). Spoil from
the MMG has no commercial value (unlike granite), and cannot be
used for anything. The heaps will be highly porous, so there
will be a major engineering problem in isolating them from the
surface and underground water. The MMG is very high in chromium,
a toxic (carcinogenic) metal, which might pose an environmental
There will be a separate permanent installation to the south
(i.e. for 150-250 years), within the blue outline, where the
entrances to sloping tunnels (‘drifts’) would be sited. These
have to be on the higher ground, maybe 5 km away from the centre
of the undergound repository, because of the threat of sea level
rise in the next century or so. This installation does not have
to be confined by the BGS exclusion zone. Again, it will require
0.5 to 1 sq km of land.
In short, the region would be converted into a very large
mineworking such as one sees in South Africa or Zambia, for example.
Allerdale councillors might be unselfishly proposing this area on
your behalf in the national interest – but not so, because the MMG
is a very poor kind of clay rock, which does not match up to the
excellent clay sites being developed now in France or Switzerland.
It will leak radioactive contamination within a short time. So your
councillors are not doing the country any favour, by such a
‘sacrifice’. On the contrary, the best clay rocks are to be found in
large tracts of eastern and southern England, which is where the
government investigations should henceforth be focussed.
If you can attend the meeting (provisionally at Silloth), at which I
am speaking on Sept 7th, you will get the opportunity to hear about
all this in more detail, and to question me and my two colleagues
who will also be speaking. I look forward to meeting you there. In
the mean time I hope you can question your councillors about this,
and ask them why they are currently proposing to move to the next
stage of investigations. My fear is that once the juggernaut of
government-directed and very expensive geological and engineering
investigations gets under way, there will be no chance for Allerdale
to pull out.
The epetition ‘Against nuclear power in the UK’ is closing on
Thursday 16th August so this is your last chance to sign.PLEASE SIGN NOW!! Follow
this link: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/1035 Please sign – I absolutely
promise you will get no spam at all. You will receive one email which asks you to
confirm your signature, please click the link in the email to confirm your signature
before the Thursday deadline. Please share with your friends by email, on facebook,
on twitter, google+ and other networks. The more people that sign, and the more
people that hear about the issue the better. Please encourage your friends to sign
before Thursday. The epetition is for all UK citizens and people normally resident
in the UK. Everyone else can help by sharing the epetition and encouraging your
British friends to sign. PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE NOW!! Follow this
Fallout is a powerful and brave two-part fictional drama, made in the style of a documentary by the Irish Radio and TV station RTE. It deals with the nuclear fallout following a hypothetical disaster in the Sellafield Nuclear Reprocessing Plant in Cumbria on the British coast of the Irish Sea. Mainstream media outlets like RTE are becoming increasingly hamstrung and frightened to tackle dramas like this…
MORE PLUTONIUM REPROCESSING? – NO THANKS!
The UK Government has yet another Nukiller CONsultation underway. This time it is to push for more plutonium reprocessing plants making the hypothetical Fallout docudrama ever more likely.
The CONsultation ends on the 20th August.
There is a briefing and model response provided by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities here: NFLA_RWB_34_Plutonium_reuse
Please write to your councils / your MP and ask them to respond with a resounding no to more of this madness.
EXTRACTS FROM THE NUCLEAR FREE LOCAL AUTHORITIES BRIEFING:
A 2001 study found that compared to a reactor fuelled with conventional nuclear fuel, the number of latent cancer fatalities resulting from an accident with core melt and early containment failure would be higher by 39%, 81% or 131% for full weapons-grade MOX cores, depending on the fraction of actinides released (0.3%, 1.5% or 6%). The population dose resulting from a beyond- design-basis accident involving a LWR using reactor-grade MOX fuel is two to three times greater than the dose resulting from the same accident if weapons-grade MOX is assumed. (3)
It would make sense to examine these health implications before proceeding with the construction of a MoX fuel fabrication plant..
Even if most of the UK’s stockpile of plutonium is fabricated into MoX fuel, there will still be plutonium left that cannot be used in that way which will require management. Spent MoX fuel is much more radioactive because it contains on average five times more plutonium than spent uranium oxide fuel. After 10 years, the heat generation from spent MoX fuel is twice as high as that of spent uranium fuel. After 100 years, it is three times higher. Given the very long half-life of Pu- 242 (380,000 years), and Neptunium-237 (2.14 million years), it is much more complicated to store MOX than normal spent fuel. Instead of partially solving our high level waste problem, using MoX as a reactor fuel creates even bigger waste problems: it needs more and longer cooling; it has to be stored much longer; it is more dangerous; and the costs are therefore higher.
The Government should not make any decisions on plutonium management without a full open and transparent investigation into the waste implications of each option.