Toshiba Cause for Celebration?
News that Toshiba now has a 60% share in plan for new nuclear build in
Cumbria is not a cause for euphoric celebration, despite the triumphalist
reports from the BBC, repeated by other media.
What is the Purpose of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority?
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has recklessly given Toshiba the
option to purchase a 6km square parcel of West Cumbria, beautiful green
fields and hedgerows adjacent to Sellafield and running alongside the
River Ehen. This huge parcel of wildlife diverse farm land stretches
towards Calder Bridge, Beckerment and Braystones
To consider any new build at all adjacent to Sellafield’s high level waste
tanks would be an act of recklessness. Bizzarely the Nuclear
Decommissioning Authority is actively encouraging new build even while the
Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, local politicians and nuclear
campaigners have for the past decade repeatedly raised concerns
about the safety of the High Level Waste tanks upon which the
physical safety of the whole of Cumbria and its international
The NDA should do the job it was set up to do – namely look after the
existing stockpile of nuclear waste rather than actively encouraging new
Toshiba’s proposed three new reactors are AP1000s. These are the next
generation of the same old uranium burning technology. The difference is
that these reactors burn the uranium for longer and harder. The resulting
radioactive wastes are much hotter and have to be cooled for decades
longer. The NDA have told Radiation Free Lakeland that the fresh water
resource for cooling is “a matter for the operators.” Currently
Sellafield uses over 4 million gallons of water daily abstracted from
Wastwater, the River Ehen, the River Calder and boreholes in the area.
Building for Our Future?
The elephant in the room is of course Toshiba’s track record in nuclear
safety. Toshiba supplied the steam generator, architecture and reactor for
Fukushima reactors numbers 3 and 5
Hitachi (merged with Toshiba) supplied the reactor, steam generator and
architecture for Fukushima reactor no 4.
Greenpeace International say: “We have been talking with GE, Hitachi and
Toshiba, however, when it comes to a question of their responsibility,
they simply point to their existing Corporate Social Responsibility
webpage or report, where they present their charitable activities in
response to the earthquake and tsunami. They have avoided explaining their
responsibility in the Fukushima nuclear disaster as a supplier of critical
Unlike their other products, mentions of their nuclear products are few on
the companies’ websites. So Greenpeace Japan asked them to publish their
official views about:
• their responsibility in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster
• their responsibility and potential liability in the event of a nuclear
accident at a nuclear reactor manufactured by them
• their reasons for their ongoing involvement in and promotion of the
When it comes to nuclear power and the vast damage it can cause, some
charitable work does not make up for the risk created in the first place.
If being accountable for your products can mean total bankruptcy for your
company, there is a problem with your product. Yet nuclear suppliers are
not accountable for the risk their products create, or for the moral
issues that arise. Instead, if there is a problem, companies hide behind
laws that give them unfair protection”.
Radiation Free Lakeland agree with Greenpeace International.
Moorside is the last nuclear straw that would break far more than
Cumbria’s back. Radiation Free Lakeland will be resisting the nuclear
agenda and urge others to join.
Nuclear Reactor Maps – Fukushima – Daiichi
Hitachi, Toshiba and GE Merge Nuclear Operations
Escalating cost of ‘clean up’
Ground Hog Day – High Level Waste
Too Hot to Handle – AP1000s High Burn Up Fuel