Radioactive Laundry Heading to a Drain Near You.
The Environment Agency “do not hold information” about where Sellafield
is sending its highly radioactive laundry – Tim Farron MP has been asked:
who the hell does hold information about Sellafield’s hot pants and is
anyone monitoring them?
A Cumbrian laundry, Shortridge, supplying some of the most prestigious
hotels in the Lake District has a lucrative contract to provide a
contingency laundry for Sellafield’s “non active” towels and underwear.
The “highly active” laundry is sent to Wales according to Shortridge
managers. There is no monitoring once the laundry leaves Sellafield, no
checks once it arrives at Shortridge, the same laundry used by Cumbrian
Hotels. Baroness Verma recently commented about the intimate relationship
between the nuclear industry and tourism, this perhaps refers to the use
of the same laundry? The Environment Agency has confirmed the appalling
situation which, despite assurances, opens up another new pathway for
routine and accidental contamination.
Shortridge have assured Cumbrian antinuclear campaigners that Sellafield
checks the laundry is “non active.” Shortridge laundry must be very
trusting indeed given Sellafield’s recent £700,000 fine for illegally and apparently unwittingly
dumping bags of radioactive waste including intermediate level waste in
ordinary landfill at Lillyhall. Hanging on to radioactive pants is no
easy task as a couple of years ago Sellafield admitted that bags of
workers’ underwear were scattered willy nilly all over a Cumbrian road.
Of real concern is the fact that Sellafield and the Environment Agency are
keeping schtum about exactly where the highly active laundry is contracted
out to. No one is admitting to taking in the active laundry. Shortridge
have denied that they wash active laundry and say that it is sent to
The only nuclear laundry in Wales, Unitech is based in the Ebbw River
valley at Crumlin, home to the potnoodle and they deny taking in
Sellafield’s dirty washing despite having a contract with them and being licensed to receive radioactive laundry from anywhere in the UK .
It is a fair old trek to take radioactive
washing from Cumbria to South Wales. The Environment Agency have refused
to answer Freedom of Information questions about where the highly
contaminated clothing from Sellafield is sent and their refusal has been
upheld by the Information Commissioner who says that the “Environment
Agency does not hold this information” Really? Then
just who is monitoring Sellafield’s hot pants? Following this hand
washing from the Environment Agency of any responsibility or scrutiny we
asked Natural Resources Wales for information.
Like the Environment Agency in England Natural Resources Wales is the
regulatory body responsible for water pollution. Recently they have
worked with South Wales children on a ‘Yellow Fish’ campaign where drains
are marked using the Yellow Fish stencil to raise awareness, “anything
going down drains will ultimately end up entering watercourses and the
Surprising then that radioactive discharges from the nuclear
laundry only a mile from Crumlin school (3 to 11 year olds) are being poured into the sewer
system that enters Cardiff East Treatment Works: “Discharge only occurs
after treatment of the water in accordance with accepted best available
techniques (BAT), this removes the bulk of the radioactivity”.
The nuclear laundry in Crumlin is run by Unitech, an American company
originally called Interstate Nuclear Services. In 1974, the Atomic Energy
Commission granted INS/UniTech a license to operate a nuclear laundry
facility in Honolulu, Hawaii.
More recently the nuclear laundry in America has been the subject of local
campaigns to have them removed from residential areas. Meanwhile Regulators in the
UK are bending over backwards to accommodate the nuclear industry with
consents to operate on industrial estates in the midst of residential
areas that were previously unnuclearised such as Lillyhall in Cumbria.
Unitech in common with all nuclear installations uses ‘dilution is the
solution to pollution’ as its method of treating radioactive discharges,
simply increasing the amount of fresh water it uses so the concentrations
of radionuclides in discharges meet “standards.”
This month a report has been released from the School of Biosciences,
Cardiff University revealing that pollutants in South Wales rivers are
reaching dangerous levels: “Between 2008 and 2010, we sampled eggs of a
river passerine, the Eurasian dipper (Cinclus cinclus). .. some egg
contaminants were at or approaching levels sufficient for adverse effects
on avian development.” As well as tipping radioactive nuclides into the
drains, the nuclear laundry at Crumlin also dumps a cocktail of chemicals
including fluorocarbons. These chemicals are reapplied to the nuclear
laundry following each wash.
Both the Cumbrian and South Wales laundries discharge their water to the
The Cumbrian laundry also services the tourist industry, washing the
sheets and tablecloths of some of the most prestigious hotels in Cumbria.
The Welsh laundry is based on the same industrial estate as the largest
bakery in Wales, Braces Bakery, in fact they are neighbours alongside a
crisp factory that recently went up in flames.
Fracking is BAD and people are right to be objecting to the predicted
toxic impact. Fracking Activists are aided by a proper Dick Dastardly name:’Fracking’ and a media willing to tell the public about the ongoing campaigning. In stark contrast politicians and the mainstream press are turning pretty much a deliberate blind eye to the real time toxic overloading of our rivers,
sea, wildlife and our children from nuclear crap. Anti Nuclear Campaigners struggle to tell the story of our ongoing poisoning in the mainstream media. Even Plaid Cymru a
previously anti nuclear party is bending over backwards to pave the way for much more and much worse new nuclear build –
imagine the toxic tsunami of nuclear laundry heading your way.
If it wasn’t so serious it would be fracking hilarious.
Previously reported by Radiation Free Lakeland
Sellafield hot pants dropped on road
Unitech Laundry – South Wales
Hawaii Nuclear Laundry
Nuclear Laundry Dumping Radioactive Material into Sante Fe Sewage System
Nuclear Laundry razed – Columbia, South Carolina
Dilution is the solution to pollution!
Tell it to the birds
Shortridge Laundry – Cumbria
Shortridge Nuclear Contract
Chemicals reapplied after every wash
A stones throw from the nuclear laundry
Crisp Factory goes up in flames
Plaid Cymru pro new nuclear
Note for Reporters
For Freedom of Information correspondence please contact Radiation Free Lakeland:
rafl @ mariannebirkby.plus.com