Heysham’s Old Boiler – “Nothing to Worry About” say BBC

Fessenheim Demo, March 2014, c) Greenpeace / Daniel Mueller
Greenpeace Calls for Shut Down of Old Reactors
5 Metre pole - illustrating future sea surges at Heysham
5 Metre pole – illustrating future sea surges at Heysham

Tonights BBC Northwest news treated us to some brilliant propaganda in the form of Malcolm Grimston saying “there is nothing to worry about.”  Malcolm Grimston is the guru who is an expert on the “public perception of nuclear.”  He is wheeled out by the BBC when the nuclear industry has a bad bit of news to impart and wants a safe pair of hands.

The contrast between BBC Northwest’s often critical stance on fracking and its entirely toadying approach to nuclear is becoming difficult to ignore.

Local architect Mo Kelly has been doing the job that our supposed investigative journalists should be doing.  The following is correspondence sent to the Garstang Courier:

Please find my letter dated 2 July 2014 sent to Fiona Finch at Garstang Courier, which to my knowledge was not published at the time. My letter gives more detail around what EDF are now acknowledging is not an “anomaly” but more specifically – a “fault ” in a boiler (a “crack in a boiler” according to ITV lunchtime news) 

Please note Ian Stewart Station Director of Heysham 1’s reply to me at the Local Community Liaison Council meeting of 23 May 2014.

I asked the question ” Would Heysham 1 have to be decommissioned if the anomaly cannot be resolved ie. if the fault cannot be rectified?” and Ian’s answer to me was “Yes”

Please also note that EDF are leaning on the Office for Nuclear Regulation to actually change the safety limits on the performance of the graphite brick within the reactor core. These graphite bricks, like the now failing boilers, are another safety feature built into these now ageing AGR reactors to ensure their safe operation (see attached email)

As a concerned local resident and reader of your newspaper, I have to question recent headlines in both Lancaster Guardian and Morecambe Visitor “Nuclear is here to stay” and “Looking to a long nuclear future”.  There are over 180,000 of us living within a 10 mile radius of the four elderly AGR reactors at Heysham 1 and 2.

I am writing to demand that EDF places public safety as paramount above any desire to continue the operation of failing, unsafe and inefficient out of date AGR nuclear reactors.


8 thoughts on “Heysham’s Old Boiler – “Nothing to Worry About” say BBC

  1. Jim Clarke-MR

    We spoke to quite a few experts on nuclear power as well as the Office for Nuclear Regulation. We couldn’t find anyone who would raise any real fears about what was going on at the moment. People always think newsrooms have an agenda – it is never the case. I think if we could have found a reputable source who would express concern we would have reported it. If you want to tell us why it is a cause for concern you are free to do so.

    Newsgathering Editor
    BBC Northwest Tonight
    Media City UK

    0161 335 6801

    1. Jim,
      Thank you very much for the comment. The tone and content of the report was entirely reassuring, no questions on the fact that the life of this plant has already been extended and EDF are applying to the regulators to relax safety standards so that the life of the plant can be further extended. Greenpeace International (but not Greenpeace Uk…why?) are calling for the shut down of old reactors and Heysham is one of the oldest. We are already on borrowed time with regard safety. Greenpeace International have produced a comprehensive report’Out of Age’ calling for the shutdown of old reactors. Heysham is one of the oldest already on borrowed time like a clapped out old car.

  2. Pingback: Heysham’s dodgy old reactor shut down again in “unplanned outage” | Radiation Free Lakeland

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