Last night Radiation Free Lakeland joined representatives from Lancaster District CND and Lancaster residents in demonstrating outside the Storey Institute in Lancaster. In association with Lancaster Uni, Professor Robin Grimes from Imperial College, a leading “Nuclear Champion,” was giving a talk on “What Nuclear New Build Means to the North West.”
Professor Grimes came to speak to us outside saying “I’ve never had a demonstration outside where I’ve been speaking before.” He should come to the NW more often! There were only a few of us but listening to his cheerleading for the nastiest most vicious industry on earth, there should have been tens of thousands demonstrating outside.
Following our demonstration we went into the lecture. Professor Grimes asked for a show of hands early on to see who was supportive of nuclear. The audience was largely pronuclear . The dissenters at the Nurenburg rallies probably felt pretty much the same deeply horrified emotions as myself and my colleagues were feeling.
Professor Robin Grimes is the advisor to government select committees on all things nuclear. After some brightly coloured graphics on how nuclear reactors work and his enthusiastic cheerleading for the “nuclear renaissance” it is easy to see how attractively the bright shiny nuclear future can be presented to our gullible government ministers. With the right smoke and mirrors and the vacuum left by Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, the soundbyte that nuclear is “safe and low carbon” is all but unchallenged in the mainstream media and corridors of power. Those individual voices of dissent, true and committed as they are, are swatted away like annoying midges.
The most memorable quotes of the night from Professor Grimes were:
“Government needs to learn how to deal with the public”
“We will have the technology to carry out geological disposal, there is no technical barrier”
“The only barrier to next generation reactors/thorium reactors is cost”
“new build will not increase the footprint of Sellafield as it will be within the fences” (WHAT!!!! see here)
In a previous presentation for Imperial College, Professor Grimes has said that the Sellafield Magnox Sludge Ponds contain corroded Magnox cladding and Radionuclides that are “currently impossible to predict. AT PRESENT THESE WASTED CANNOT BE TREATED”
This is at odds with the hellish optimism we witnessed in Lancaster. We suspect it is also at odds with what government ministers in Select Committees have heard from Professor Robin Grimes when they agreed to new nuclear build. There was no mention at all from the Professor on the environmental and health devastation that nuclear is known to cause, but which is not admitted by the industry or our colluding government.
Why aren’t the industry’s best scientists working to CONTAIN the wastes instead of working flat out and with public money to make EVER MORE?