In the nuclear return to sender game, Germany had better watch its step! It is trying to send almost a ton of its nuclear waste from a failed experimental reactor (which had an accident long ago) to the USA on the grounds that the fuel originated in the USA, but if this is the game being played Germany should get hundreds of thousands of tons in return.
Obama, who has always been more wildly popular in Germany than he ever was in the US, is willing to take it and dump more nuclear waste on the majority poor people of Savannah River Site in South Carolina (probable kin to his mother, wife, and children). Those affiliated with one contractor at the Savannah River Site, Honeywell, were major campaign donors to Obama. Also, Obama is believed close to Honeywell CEO, David Cote. Another contractor is URS, lead for the consortium running…
Still hoping that NGOs such as Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Earth UK and Greenpeace UK will ride to the rescue and do everything they can and more to oppose this insanity. But in the meantime it is up to us…. Write, write, put up banners, telephone your councillors, your MP, your MEP……… BE VISIBLE …………. RESIST
Front page news – no mention of the fact that these are the same criminals – Toshiba- who designed and built Fukushima reactors
And we will continue to punch well above our weight with volunteers dipping into their own pockets and just as important freely giving of their time to do all the things that we need to do to research, campaign, provide an online presence, print leaflets, produce banners, travel etc
An email yesterday from the Marine Conservation Society to RaFL points out that the Marine Conservation Society are aware of the problem of increasing radioactive particles on Cumbrian Beaches but that “Our Good Beach Guide criteria is based on water quality alone (i.e. radioactive pollution is not considered in criteria for a ‘Good Beach’) , and as a small charity, we unfortunately are unable to undertake any tests of our own. Because the statutory body advises us that no special precautionary actions are required, we cannot justify putting a precautionary notice on our website without additional independent evidence”.
We don’t like to ask for funds but with a little money we could set up an independent community radiation monitoring facility.
An independent radiation monitoring facility provided by Radiation Free Lakeland could include:
Online presence for Radiation Monitoring in Cumbria – RaDMIC
Purchase of equipment : Gieger counter (and maybe later a GPS to more accurately record sample areas)
Teaming up with an independent certified laboratory.
We could get started with £600
Many people have already been generous and given donations which has taken us to £200
What do you say? Shall we leave radiation monitoring to government watch dogs like the Environment Agency ? Watch dogs who are increasingly under the thumb of a government with a vested interest in not scaring the horses?
If people would like to be part of this initiative to provide independent radiation monitoring, donations can be made..
by cheque to Radiation Free Lakeland please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the address
Every month, at an undisclosed time of an undisclosed day, a convoy of 44-ton Ministry of Defence vehicles travels through Stirling’s city centre. Each of these trucks is able to carry up to 8kg of enriched, weapons-grade plutonium or uranium – which is surrounded by specially developed conventional high explosives. This is Trident, the UK’s nuclear deterrent, in motion – and Stirling Council appears more or less keen to ignore its existence.
What is Trident?
Overlooking Gare Loch, HM Naval Base Clyde – more commonly referred to as Faslane – plays host to the four nuclear submarines that compose Britain’s nuclear bargaining chip: Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant and Vengeance. Each submarine wields a cargo of up to 16 Trident ballistic missiles, and each missile is capable of travelling at least 4,000 miles. In addition, each submarine carries three nuclear warheads – all of which wield the power to destroy Hiroshima three…
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to members of Radiation Free Lakeland at our Alternative Sellafield Story in Whitehaven.
As promised we are writing to you with information about the flytipping of radioactive waste in Lillyhall Landfill. There has been an unexpected turn of events with the company responsible for nuclear oversight of the landfill, Energy Solutions now planning to sue the government for £200M with regard to not being awarded nuclear “clean up” contracts.
Energy Solutions from Utah are subcontracted by Fomento de Contrucciones y Contratas (FCC) to look after the nuclear aspect of Lillyhall Landfill.
So the company who have not been prosecuted for allowing Sellafield to illegally dump 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate waste into Lillyhall are now looking to receive substantial monies off government for breach of contract?
Sellafield WAS fined over £700,000 for illegally flytipping into Lillyhall but of course that money came from the public purse.
Following over 100 letters of concern from his constituents, Tony Cunningham MP for Workington wrote to Secretary of State, Ed Davey asking why the operators of Lillyhall had not been prosecuted while Sellafield has. The reply from Ed Davey is alarming:
“It is important to note that the Environment Agency did not take enforcement action against Waste Recycling Group (WRG) Limited (operators of the landfill at the time.) This was because WRG Limited did not knowingly breach its environmental permit”.
WHAT!! In that case every Tom, Dick and Harry could say they never knowingly breached permits. And in this case Energy Solutions are supposed to be the last line of defence preventing illegal nuclear flytipping.
The use of Lillyhall as a nuclear dumping ground for decommissioned nuclear rubble is bad enough but to allow the operators to get off scott free with dumping even higher activity wastes is more than criminal. What hold have these companies over government? Is it because the government needs these nuclear privateers to carry out “decommissioning” ?
Lillyhall, previously nuclear free, is now classed as a radioactive waste dump with emissions to land and air. The already dangerous practice of dumping in landfill is made even more dangerous by Energy Solutions having allowed Sellafield to dump higher activity waste. The non prosecution of energy Solutions and their contractors FCC sends out the message that companies involved in nuclear waste are untouchable. The landfill operators Energy Solutions and FCC have got off not only scot free but with a license to dump a further 1 million cubic metres or more of radioactive rubble into the landfill’s spare capacity.
Also concerning is that Ed Davey’s facts are plain wrong – he says that WRG were operators of the landfill at the time (of the illegal nuclear flytipping. Really?) FCC took over Waste Recycling Group in 2006, the illegal nuclear flytipping took place in 2010.
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland
LETTER FROM TONY CUNNINGHAM
EURATOM AND LILLYHALL
Please Sign and Share this Petition widely – What has Dungeness B got to do with us way up here in the North West? The fuel for Dungeness B is manufactured at Springfields in Preston (having been dug up as uranium out of the ground in far off countries), the waste streams from Springfields are the River Ribble and Clifton Marsh landfill. The spent fuel/new waste from Dungeness B would travel up to Cumbria for reprocessing -which as we now know makes the volume of waste 189 times greater with most of it being dispersed to the environment.
The people of Europe assume that safety limits are there to keep people safe. Not so in the case of Dungeness B nuclear plant which is now run by Électricité de France. Graphite bricks in the Dungeness B reactor are cracking and starting to lose weight due to bombardment of radiation. The graphite is about to breach safety levels and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) would have had to prosecute or even shut down the plant. But instead, the regulators are considering a request from EDF energy, to simply airbrush away the safety limits.
Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, said: “It doesn’t feel good when we come up against limits and the first thing they [the ONR] do is to move the goalposts.”
Dungeness B has already had a life extension in 2005. The safety of Dungeness B and the safety of Europe is already on borrowed time with regard to potential nuclear catastophe. We understand that a transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment has not been carried out at Dungeness B. We urge the leaders of Europe to shut down Dungeness B as a matter of urgency.
Why is this important?
Safety limits are being scrapped to allow Dungeness B to go on into dangerous old age. This would make Dungeness B the oldest operating nuclear plant in Europe at 45 years. Dungeness B is the son of Windscale, later renamed Sellafield after a fire broke out due to high temperature in the graphite bricks. Had the Windscale fire not been brought under control (by good luck and courage), and the radioactive fallout limited, then the writer of this petition may well have not have been born. The authorities deny that the Windscale fire increased the mortality rate amongst infants in Cumbria, preferring to blame “population mixing” for increased leukemias. But it is undeniable that radioactive fallout added to the routine emissions from the nuclear plant.
People are realising that a large nuclear accident has transboundary impacts and that Environmental Impact Assessments (that the UK is signed up to – Espoo ) must include neighbouring and distant countries. A transboundary EIA has not been carried out at Dungeness.
The leaders of Europe have a real opportunity right now to prevent catastrophe and contain nuclear pollution.
The local museum is The Beacon, formerly run by Copeland Council. Copeland, like councils across the country have had their funding cut by central government. You might think that with Copeland being home to Sellafield, this area would be best placed to withstand the worst of the economic downturn. Instead it seems to be the very worst placed.
From public toilets to the closing of The Civic Centre, nothing spared. Whitehaven’s popular Civic Centre was used by everyone from local theatre groups to Government led public meetings such as Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely. The ironically titled Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely Partnership was dissolved following Cumbria County Council’s momentous no vote on January 30th 2013.
Cumbrians thought that was the end of the nuclear dump plan. We thought that government would go back to the drawing board with their cunning plan to dump heat generating nuclear waste under Cumbria’s complex geology. But like Terminator it seems the “implementation of geological disposal” is unstoppable. Government ministers have certainly never tired of telling Cumbrians what a huge “opportunity” it would be.
When the “huge opportunity” line didn’t seem to be working the carrot was changed to the perceived stick that “ new build will not happen unless we have geological disposal.” Never mind that Cumbria, the most nuclear compliant community in the UK has said no several times. Never mind the complex geology and the fact that heat-generating wastes have never been successfully contained in a geological dump.ever…anywhere.
What a golden opportunity then to use The Beacon as a platform to repackage The Sellafield Story in order to make nuclear waste loveable. The Beacon is still funded out of the public purse, only now it is receiving government funds filtered through the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
The Sellafield Story has some excellent photographs, archive footage, factoids and timelines. All this serves to give the impression of being open and transparent about Sellafield’s history.
Visitors are greeted with a big picture of a mushroom cloud to illustrate the industry’s origins as nuclear bomb manufacturer. The text is however careful not to mention that the Ministry of Defence and the operators of Sellafield, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are still wedded. The Nuclear Academy, along with partners the NDA, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), West lakes Renaissance and British Nuclear group officially commenced construction of The Nuclear Academy just up the road from the Beacon on 9th March 2007.
The Nuclear Academy describes itself as a “world class centre of excellence for nuclear skills development” including… defence!
Cumbrians are beginning to learn that “decommissioning” means dispersal to the environment. The exhibition has some snazzy computer games. One of these is to test smashing up radioactively contaminated buildings with a bulldozer. Curiously The Sellafield Story does not follow up on where the smashed up rubble will be dumped. Cumbrians were surprised to learn that Sellafield is routinely dumping radioactive rubble in landfill, not just any old landfill but ironically the one right next door to the Nuclear Academy in Lillyhall, Workington.
Sellafield was fined over £700,000 for illegally dumping 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into the landfill instead of newly classified “exempt” waste. The landfill operators got off not only scot free but with a license to dump a further 1 million cubic metres or more of radioactive rubble into the landfill’s spare capacity.
Not only from Sellafield but also from Scotland’s Chapel Cross and elsewhere. Both European and UK Laws have been changed to accommodate the nuclear industry’s fly tipping.
There is just one column about protest and this rather ungraciously shows Bono smoking a cigarette on the beach at Sellafield in the 1990s during Greenpeace’s Stop Sellafield campaign which aimed to prevent the Thorp reprocessing plant going ahead. At least Bono had free choice to smoke the cigarette. As a result of reprocessing activity and previous discharges, Cumbrians are exposed and unprotected from radioactive particles washing up onto our beaches with every tide. These particles include cesium, plutonium and americium. Young children and pregnant mothers are, as with all things nuclear at greatest risk of damage to health. Despite the incidence of particle finds increasing dramatically over the last few years, monitoring and retrieval has been cut back.
This is what Sellafield does in spades – it was the original purpose of the plant – to extract the bomb making material called plutonium from spent nuclear fuel. In recent years the rationale was to reuse the plutonium in MOX fuel – this was a catastrophic failure described in an internal government report as “not fit for purpose” after racking up £2bn in debt and polluting the environment.
However, the Sellafield Story spins it: “a chemical operation called reprocessing, is used to separate the 3% of waste products. The 97% that is left is the uranium and plutonium which can be used again”.
Truth is, reprocessing actually increases the volume of nuclear waste by as much as 189 times compared with the original spent fuel. Virtually all the radioactivity ends up as massive and hazardous waste streams spewing out of Sellafield.
As well as the increased waste streams everything involved in the process becomes contaminated with radioactivity. This includes huge quantities of solvents and acids, containers, filters, machinery and even the fabric of the reprocessing buildings. The only reason trains and boats continue to bring spent fuel/nuclear waste to Sellafield is for the insanity of reprocessing.
On opening The Beacon, Professor Cox gushed proudly that the nuclear industry has a “track record second to none!” That we can agree with…
Radiation Free Lakeland went along to the opening of The Beacon with their Alternative Sellafield Story from uranium mining to the plan for geological dumping. RaFL are all volunteers and activists giving their own time and expertise freely. Any donations go directly to campaigning for nuclear safety ………Stop and Contain.
The poll used as a measure of support was not even representative of the people polled, never mind the whole of Cumbria. After the meeting at which the Mori Poll results were discussed in the (now closed) Whitehaven Civic Hall, we spoke to a young couple who had been rung by Mori. The young couple said that the pollsters told them that the GDF would be of benefit and would be safe. The young couple said that if they had realised there was opposition to the plan because of safety concerns they would not have said yes to the dump.
Cumbria Trust is very concerned to hear that a key member of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, Professor Rebecca Lunn, has misled The Geological Society about the situation in Cumbria. This was during a lecture in March which was recently published on the CoRWM website.
CoRWM is supposed to be an independent voice, to advise and scrutinise the government on long term management of higher activity nuclear waste. It is clear that the committee includes some knowledgeable people, although its independence of government has long been a cause for concern. Professor Smythe’s view is HERE
Here is a letter from Colin Wales, a Director of Cumbria Trust to Professor Lunn of CoRWM
Dear Professor Lunn
Cumbria Trust is concerned that you, as a member of CoRWM with responsibility for scrutinising the management of higher activity radioactive wastes, have misled The Geological Society during…
If a red hot poker were to be stuck in Prof Cox’s eye, then using the same statistical collective dose method that the nuclear industry uses he should be very comfortable with the heat over the whole of his body.
In real life radioactive isotopes bind to specific organs , caesium to the heart muscle, radioactive iodine to the thyroid, strontium to the bone etc