Bonkers Scenario: 50 Nukiller Plants and 4 Geological Dumps…

You Lie

The following is from NuCLear News and outlines the bonkers scenario that would see the UK covered in nuclear enrichment plants, nuclear reactors, reprocessing plants and four (!!) geological dumps. No wonder there is a dash for fracked gas – Sellafield uses over £30 million of gas now – imagine what 50+ nuke “facilities” would need!! WHAT is all this “needed” for. Is Britain to become the nuclear ghetto of Europe? Even the French are looking a bit leery about nuclear now, while our press continues to groom the public into nuclear acquiescence. Or maybe this is so that people heave a sigh of relief when “only” one or two get built? NO – there is no room on planet earth for ANY more Nukiller.

Nuclear News…
1. The Bonkers Scenario – Volunteers for 4 nuclear dumps please?

In April 2013 (NuClearNews No.49) we reported that the government’s high-nuclear
scenario was one of four set out in the 2011 carbon plan. (1) This envisaged 75GW of
nuclearcapacity in 2050 providing 86% of the UK’s electricity. (2)

In order to achieve 75GW of nuclear capacity by 2050, (which incidentally would
require an eye watering 30GW of new capacity to be built between 2030 and 2040 and
another 30GW between 2040 and 2050) the Government expects to need newer
fission technologies such as evolutionary LWR’s, small modular reactors (SMRs)
or Generation IV (mainly fast reactors); options for closing the uranium fuelcycle
and reprocessing spent fuel; progressing the development of fusion; and consideration
of alternative fuel cycles such as thorium. (3)

On nuclear waste the Government said demonstrating that the UK has a credible
programme to deliver a disposal route for higher activity wastes and have it in
operation assoon as safely practical is a foundation stone for the UK’s short,
medium and long term nuclear strategies.

Now the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has looked at the waste
implications of a 75GW nuclear programme which equates to over 50 new large-scale
modern reactors. CoRWM said “Thereis a need for clarity that any data given for, for
example, 16GWe, are anexample rather than either an expectation or a limit.” (4)

CoRWM says themaximum allowable inventory in any individual Geological Disposal
Facility(GDF) has to be determined by the Safety Case. It would therefore be prudent
tokeep open the possibility of multiple GDFs:

“Whilst CoRWM understands why the Government has given the example of new build
wastes arising only from developed proposals where information on the waste types
isknown, 16GWe is only the ‘first tranche’ figure and substantially below the75GWe
upper limit being examined in DECC … This issue reinforces the requirement to leave
the option open for more than one repository.”

Dr David Lowry,an environmental policy consultant and nuclear specialist, told The
Observerthat a 75GW scenario was a “nuclear fantasia at its worst”, and failed to
explain how huge amounts of radioactive waste generated by the plants would be
stored. (5)

The Environment Agency (EA) has set a limit on the risk that may be caused by the
burial ofradioactive wastes of 10-6 (i.e. one in a million). (6) However, the NDA
Disposability AssessmentReport for waste arising from new EPR reactors states:

“…a risk of 5.3x 10-7 per year for the lifetime arisings of a fleet of six EPR
reactors” (7)

This is more than half the total risk of 10-6 allowable for a GDF. Clearly a GDF with
spent fuel from more than 12 newEPR reactors, as well as legacy waste, would exceed
the risk targets set by the EA.

A back-of-the-envelope calculation, therefore, would suggest that a 75GWprogramme
could require around 4 GDFs.

A cross-government review, undertaken in response to the House of Lords’ Science and
Technology Committee’s report on UK nuclear research and development
(R&D) capabilities, has resulted in the publication of a suite of documents
available on the Government website. These include the Nuclear Industry Strategy,
aNuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap, a Nuclear Industrial
VisionStatement, a Long Term Nuclear Energy Strategy, and a Civil Nuclear
Researchand Development Landscape Review.

The TechnologyStrategy Board (TSB), the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and
the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are now investing up to £13m
in collaborative R&D and feasibility study projects, to stimulate innovation and
strengthen the UK’s civil nuclear supply chain. The competition is open to all sizes
of businesses and research organisations who may already be engagedin the nuclear
sector or who are considering entering this growing market forthe first time.

DECC says its work includes considering how the UK energy system might evolve in the
future and the roles that different types of energy generation may play in it. This
may include new designs of nuclear reactors and new types of fuel. Most of the
world’s nuclear power reactors tend to run on uranium fuel, be cooled by water and,
in order to sustain the heat-giving nuclear reaction in the reactor core, they must
slow down the neutrons that the fuel emits. However, there are a range of reactor
designs in various stages of development that differ from these and that may offer
advantages over currently available reactor systems. Some of these also offer the
possibility of using thorium, rather than uranium as a fuel, which also may offer
desirable characteristics. (8)

Instead of halting the nuclear juggernaught this is Business as usual –
but on a BIGGER and much more dangerous scale – we are being led up the toxic garden path.

1. NuClear News No.49, April 2013

2. TheCarbon Plan: delivering Our Low Carbon Future, DECC, December 2011

3. Long-term Nuclear Energy Strategy, BIS &DECC March 2013

4. CoRWMresponse to GDF Siting Consultation December 2013
See also Rob Edwards 12th Dec2013

5. Observer21st Dec 2013

6. EnvironmentAgency (February 2009) Geological Disposal Facilities on Land
for SolidRadioactive Wastes: Guidance on Requirements for Authorisation, page 46

7. NDA(22nd Jan 2010) GenericDesign Assessment: Disposability Assessment for
wastes and spent fuel arisingfrom operation of the UK EPR. Part 1 Main Report. para
5.4 page 97.

8. DECC8th Jan 2014

See also

Higher LevelRadioactive Waste: Likely inventory range; the process for altering it;
how thecommunity might influence it and understanding the implications of new
nuclearbuild. Presented to West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely
Partnership, Pete Roche, 5th August 2010

2 thoughts on “Bonkers Scenario: 50 Nukiller Plants and 4 Geological Dumps…

  1. Pingback: Reclaiming the energy agenda: Bristol Anti Nuclear Gathering | Radiation Free Lakeland

  2. Reblogged this on Radiation Free Lakeland and commented:

    This is from January 2014… It is based on a report from Pete Roche of No2Nuclear News and is as true as ever. The Moorside site alone would require new nuclear facilities including storage ponds and reprocessing…the tsunami of radioactive waste from all this would be enormous. Much of it would end up in landfill (reclassified as “exempt” or High Volume Very Low Level Waste) while the government plan to dump higher activity wastes deep underground. This plan will irreversibly poison land and water supplies with the most toxic substances man has created. The only sane option is to stop now and contain.

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