The following article published in The Ecologist follows Radiation Free Lakeland’s exposure of NuGen’s Lie that Moorside would produce “7% of the UKs energy”. We now wait for double page adverts in every Cumbrian newspaper with NuGen’s apology for bigging up nuclear energy.
Lies, damned lies, and energy statistics – why nuclear is so much less than it claims to be
by Neil Crumpton 26th May 2015
It’s odd how often the contribution of nuclear energy is overstated, writes Neil Crumpton, by mixing up ‘energy’ and ‘electricity’, while a similar trick understates the importance of renewables like wind and solar. Even odder is how the mistake always seems to go the same way, to make nuclear look bigger than it really is, and renewables smaller. Welcome to the nuclear ‘X factor’!
The electricity-energy mix-up has made nuclear look bigger than it is. I have never seen the error work the other way, under-reporting the percentage contribution of a nuclear power station or programme.
What percentage of UK energy demand do you think is generated by the UK’s nuclear power stations?
And what percentage of global energy demand do you think is generated by nuclear reactors worldwide?
The first part of the question above should now be occupying the minds of Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC).
Why? Because in April the proposers of a new nuclear power station at Moorside near Sellafield, put out an advertorial in all Cumbrian newspapers stating that the station would provide about “7% of the UK’s energy requirement”.
The company, NuGen, issued its first consultation newsletter on 8th April which likewise stated that the station would be capable of “providing approximately 7% of the UK’s current energy requirement.” 
The advertorial and newsletter had been timed to herald the start of a statutory public consultation process, now under way, about the proposed massive nuclear station which would have over three times the generating capacity of most existing UK nuclear stations.
So far so wrong. The company had printed the word ‘energy’ when the correct wording to match the figure should have been ‘electricity’. The Moorside leviathan would probably supply around 7% (in the 2030’s) of the UK’s post-2030 rising electricity demand . However, the station would supply about 2% of future UK energy demand .
NuGen’s information was out by an ‘X factor’ of about 3.5, bigging up the strategic importance of the scheme. Within days, a group opposing the development wrote a complaint to the ASA .
The error that keeps on being repeated – is it more than just ignorance?
1) NATURE ELIMINATES MUTATIONS. The Nuclear Industry uses this LATENCY Weapon against us, to create Dependence in Future.
2)“Accordingly, the great majority of mutations, certainly well over 99%, are harmful .”Herman J Mueller – father of modern genetics. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1946
3) The Increase in diseases and genetic defects is the new normal. And the accelerated evolution means we are NOT advanced, We will get older faster, and NOT be older. Each genetic benefit is an accident, NOT an adaptive response.
“Radiation exposure is an inevitable side-effect of our atomic energy programs, as…
Heartbreaking and Ignored effects of Chernobyl. Meanwhile here in the UK Cancer Research UK looks everywhere for the causes of cancer except the nuclear industry’s out of control releases of radioactivity to the environment. Cancer is just one of the host of radiation linked diseases.
02 Speaker 1 “An everyday scene in the radiological monitoring station of Komarin in Belarus: A woman knocks on the laboratory door and brings a plastic bag full of pumpkin seeds. Here, levels of radioactivity of food from the contaminated zone is measured.”
04 Speaker 1 “We are only about 30 kilometers from Chernobyl and close to the exclusion zone. The remote village is heavily contaminated since the nuclear disaster in neighboring Ukraine . Who lives here, who collects mushrooms here or foods of unknown origin carries home, would do well to let them inspect before consumption.”
Windermere’s Free Paper, Windermere Now has published an anonymous article (pg 8) promoting Moorside and Geological Dumping.
Radiation Free Lakeland are grossly misrepresented as being “Not in My Back Yard” when what we have been consistently saying is NOT IN ANYONE’S BACK YARD.
What would the Lakeland men and women of old think of this? Wordsworth?Ruskin? Beatrix Potter? I think they would be horrified to see such a blasé and toadying attitude to the most extreme and abusive industry.
I think their views would be more akin to Duncan Ball a Sellafield Foreman. Duncan’s poems chronicled the nuclear industry and include one that was read out publicly at the international “Lakes for Living” conference in Windermere.
For nuclear waste growing bigger and hotter
They’re draining the life from Lakeland and Otter
Cooling the poison they’ve shipped from afar
Condemning the Angler and Arctic Char
“What’s the harm? There’s water aplenty!”
Say the loudest mouths with heads near empty,
while for son and daughter the waters spoil
cooling waste in the kettle I fear will boil…”
We have written a reply to the “Woolly Thinker” article – will wait to see if it is published……
Copeland Borough Council’s Local Plan for 2001-2016 states:
6.10 HAZARDOUS INSTALLATIONS
10.1 Two premises have been notified to the Council as hazardous Installations under arrangements set out in ODPM Circular 04/00 “Planning Controls for Hazardous Substances”.Consultation zones have been established within which it would be undesirable for there to be any significant population increase, and clearly the nearer the site is to the installation the greater the risk. Consultations are carried out with the Health and Safety Executive including, where appropriate, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. The relevant premises are:-
Sellafield: nuclear reactors and fuel reprocessing (2 mile zone)
Huntsman, Whitehaven: chemical works (1 kilometre zone)
The document referred to in Copeland’s Local Plan “Planning Controls for Hazardous Substances” goes on to say that:
“To implement the requirements of Article 12.1 of the SEVESO II Directive, Regulation 20 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Plan) (England) Regulations 1999 requires that in formulating their general policies in Part 1 of a unitary development plan, local planning authorities shall have regard to the objectives of the Directive. These are:
to prevent major accidents and limit the consequences of such accidents for man and the environment;
in the long term, to maintain appropriate distances between establishments and residential areas, areas of public use and areas of particular natural sensitivity or interest; and,
in relation to existing establishments, for additional technical measures so as not to increase risks to people”
NuGen, the company behind the diabolic plan for new build on green fields near to Sellafield has a clever chap named Fergus McMorrow as their planning lead in Cumbria. Fergus McMorrow will be well aware of the statements in Copeland Council’s local plan as in 2010 he was the Corporate Director of Planning at Copeland Borough Council. This revolving door is a corruption of governance and no one does it better and with so little scrutiny than the government backed nuclear industry.
Gone is the reference “Consultation zones have been established within which it would be undesirable for there to be any significant population increase, and clearly the nearer the site is to the installation the greater the risk.”
To be replaced with: “Consultation will be required with the Officer for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) in the following circumstances:
Inner Zone (0-6km) Any development leading to an increase in residential accommodation, or likely to cause an influx of non-residential population.
Outer Zone (6-10km) Development providing residential accommodation, permanent or temporary, for more than 50 people or likely to cause an influx of non- residential population exceeding 50 people.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation is increasingly a rubber stamping arm of government rather than a watch dog protector of the public. Instead of protection the public are to be “consulted’ over and over again with meaningless consultations which give little indication of the awful truth of dangerous, resource hungry, nuclear sprawl next to the largest concentration of radioactivity on the planet.
Did the revolting revolving door have something to do with the latest Copeland Local Plan watering down the protections of people and the environment and smoothing the way for “Moorside’?
Are Copeland Borough Council and NuGen in breach of Planning regulations?
It would certainly look that way.
This is from the governments own planning guidance for Local Authorities:“When preparing Local Plans, local planning authorities are required to have regard to the prevention of major accidents and limiting their consequences. They must also consider the long-term need for appropriate distances between hazardous establishments and population or environmentally sensitive areas. They must also consider whether additional measures for existing establishments are required so that risks to people in the area are not increased. Detailed requirements are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.
By all means answer the sham CONsultation but much more effective is to strongly oppose the plan using your own platforms. The companies should not be given the kudos that they are being afforded by the media. Instead Toshiba and GDF SUEZ (name now changed to Engie) should both be answering charges of past and ongoing human rights abuses.
Solidarity with Finland. Here in Cumbria we too love our land and do not want nuclear reactors built on greenfields and the flood plain of the river Ehen, the land between the mountains and the Irish Sea. Here as in Finland nuclear developers are getting away with destructive “preliminary” work. In Cumbria it is 100 boreholes being drilled . Toshiba (NuGen) say that “no environmental permits are necessary. The nuclear ‘industry’ is out of control.
In Finland, Nuclear Energy Company is Building without Construction License
Anti-nuclear activists are demanding Fennovoima stop destroying nature
Finland – unlike other EU countries – is building more nuclear power plants. This northern, sparsely inhabited country is eager to invest in an old fashioned and high risk energy source. Finnish nuclear energy company Fennovoima made an agreement with Rusatom Overseas, which is the sub-company of the Russian state corporation Rosatom (1). They agreed to build a nuclear power plant on the coast of Bothnian Bay in the municipality of Pyhäjoki. According to the agreement, Rusatom Overseas will be supplying the reactor, and construction work will be implemented by sub-companies of Rosatom. The project is lacking investors, and doesn’t have a construction license to build the power plant. Many of the stakeholders have left the project.
One of the criteria for the construction license of…
As a former long time activist with Friends of the Earth this is horrifying. Simon Bullock, Friends of the Earth’s senior campaigner on Climate Change and Energy has outlined the top ten priorities for Amber Rudd, the new head of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. DECC was formed in 2008 amidst great hope for a new future tackling climate change and ensuring a genuinely sustainable future. The grim reality of DECC is that 95% of its budget goes to nuclear . Almost all of the roughly £7.9 billion DECC budget during 2013/14 went towards “cleaning up” the UK’s nuclear legacy largely at Sellafield through the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), a government quango. The NDA has also spent public money on buying up large areas of land around Sellafield – one would think as a buffer zone as a measure of protection for the public but no. This green land near Sellafield is now being offered for sale to the companies responsible for Fukushima to build untried untested AP1000 reactors.
Nuclear is the most extreme energy blocking the move to a sustainable renewable future. Room must be made for the inflexible leviathan of nuclear electricity in the national grid which is why exciting new renewable schemes are briefed against and scrapped repeatedly. Divestment away from nuclear and into renewable technology is happening across the globe, even in China carbon emissions are falling as a result of investment in renewable technologies. Despite DECC’s budget being blown on nuclear, Friends of the Earth’s top ten priorities make only one reference to nuclear and that is to the fact that solar is cheaper than nuclear. Talk about giving the nuclear industry an easy ride! People are beginning to talk about the damage this lack of action from FoE and it has to be said Greenpeace is doing. That is not to detract from the fantastic work that FoE and Greenpeace do otherwise. Also Greenpeace and FoE are being fantastically successful in vigorously campaigning to secure a divestment away from nuclear internationally – just not here in the UK for whatever reason.
This is what Friends of the Earth’s top ten priorities for Amber Rudd should be:
1. Solidarity with those countries around the world phasing out nuclear energy in favour of renewable technology. Here in the UK just 3% of final energy demand was provided by nuclear in 2013. Nuclear is fuel based, Renewables are a technology. Investment into renewable technology and divestment away from nuclear fuel burning reactors.
2. A Moratorium on Decommissioning of Nuclear Sites. The nuclear industry is being deregulated to allow novel pathways for nuclear waste in order to clear the decks for new nuclear waste. For example nuclear waste has been classified as “exempt” to dump into landfill and “free release” for metal recycling into the open market. Investment into R&D and the containment of nuclear wastes on site of production
3. Investment into energy efficient technologies and Warm Homes.
4. Investment in Solar
5. Investment in Wind. Onshore and Offshore. More support for community owned projects.
6. Support for Employment in Renewable Sectors
7. Moratorium on Fracking. The largest user of gas in Cumbria is Sellafield. There is a high pressure gas pipe from Barrow to Sellafield. Tens of £millions of gas every year to cool the wastes and reprocess spent fuel thereby making the volume of nuclear wastes greater and more complex. Sellafield stopped producing electricity in 2003
8. Protection of water resources. Currently Thirlmere is being eyed up as a fresh water resource by NuGen the consortium planning to build three Ap1000 reactors near Sellafield. Sellafield itself already abstracts 4 million gallons of water daily to cool the wastes and for other processes on site.
9. Scrap the Hinkley C nuclear plant now before more £millions are wasted. Return the site to green fields, the ancient hedgerows will be more difficult to replace.
10. Moratorium on “Implementation of Geological Disposal” of nuclear wastes. The rejected plan in the 1990s was for intermediate level wastes. DECCS new plan which has already been rejected by Cumbria County Council is many times larger and includes heat generating wastes to be buried 3000 ft underground in an area one fifth the size of Cumbria.
We would agree with the last three points FoE make-
but would include uranium as a chemical element akin to fossil fuel, making nuclear power the most extreme energy there is.
No new dash for gas or biomassThe Conservative Manifesto pledges a major expansion in new gas plants, which is set to break carbon targets, and mean more imports of gas, irrespective of whether fracking happens. A dash-for-gas is bad for the UK’s energy security and our climate. These plans should be dropped, and replaced with a focus on cutting gas use and a 2030 power decarbonisation target.Phase-out coalCoal is the dirtiest fossil fuel.
We strongly support the Prime Minister’s pledge to phase-out coal power. It needs to happen by 2023 at the latest. But to get a phase-out means tougher policy from DECC. This should be linked with a ban on open-cast coal mining – a blight on local communities.
Build strong bridges with DfT, DEFRA and TreasuryDECC needs to work strongly with all departments on climate change – but three are critical:The Department for Transport needs to seize the huge economic opportunities from a switch to electric vehicles, and in the first year the decision on airport expansion is crucial. On both air and road transport, the Department needs to reverse its strategy to support all predicted growth in demand.The Treasury can be a huge enabler or blocker of all climate policy. It could allow the Green Investment Bank to borrow as a first signal of a changed approach.
Finally, DEFRA has the lead role in reducing the air pollution that is killing thousands of people every year, and costing the NHS billions, and in adequately protecting people from the climate change we can no longer avoid.
In July last year, I was arrested for blocking the gate of Devonport Docks, where the Trident nuclear weapons fleet is serviced. This was part of my long-running commitment to raise awareness about the proposed Trident renewal and to challenge it’s legality through peaceful protest. There is due to be a one or two day trial with me and my co-defendant Nikki Clarke at Plymouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday May 19th.
The government’s position is that I was breaking the law, by disrupting “lawful work” on the HMS Vengeance submarine. My position is that it is the government who are breaking an international treaty by upgrading Britain’s nuclear arsenal, and that work on maintaining a nuclear weapons systems is itself unlawful.
At my trial three expert witnesses will testify on international humanitarian law, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the threat that holding nuclear…
Today outside Whitehaven Civic Hall we sang our songs, spoke to lots of people and handed out leaflets countering the propaganda from the nuclear industry. Lots of people stopped to tell us that they are opposed to new build “but what can we do – they’re gonna go ahead anyway” Well certainly that is what the criminal companies hiding behind the bland NuGen brand want the public to think and that is how the CONsultation is designed. Sandy Rupprecht, NuGen’s Chief Executive answered ITV’s Samantha Parkers question thus:
ITV – Q: What would you say to these demonstrators.
NuGen – A: One of the aspects we really like about West Cumbria, it’s not just the nuclear heritage, but it’s also the passion that’s here for the environment. We need that passion to come out to educate us and give us information so that we can build that into our plans and make sure that we disturb the environment as little as possible if not actually enhance it.
The boxes are ticked by those men who’ve been picked, from the keenest
Of yes men there, for checks done each day so the bosses can say, that
Their workforce takes extra care.
But the bosses were tricked by some men that they picked for a job that
All liars can do composing old fiction that begs a
Conviction for writing what still isn’t true.
But on they run with boxes ticked, while welding’s cracked and
Something’s dripped, inside the cell where Foremen looked: for hours on
End in ‘Logs and books recording all the names of crooks who would’nt
See and didn’t look, behind those windows two foot feet, where fell a
Steady drip of ticks.
Soon crystals formed as crystals do, from tiny holes where pressure grew,
A mist of droplets spewing out, a sight that should have brought a shout
From the Foremen ticking thrice each day when signing names for easy pay:
The country paying bigger lumps to lazy men for growing dumps.
Some columns formed with lost control, as Foremen ticked and shirkers
Stole five minutes here then hours there forsaking safety’s measured stare
For extra tea and flashy things, that overtime some boxes bring with
Elements whose mass can change the genes of everything in range.
Trapped outside their ticking box where spillage flows like molten rocks
With dangers left to grow unseen until one idle Chargehand’s scream said
“Shut it down and do it quick before we’re all in deepest shit there’s been
Another situation, critical to every nation.”
By Duncan Ball
Talented poet and former nuclear foreman Duncan Ball died on July 17th aged 49. He was a man who tried repeatedly to blow the whistle on unsafe practices in the Magnox plant at Sellafield where he was employed as a foreman. His subsequent experience followed the same route as the dissident scientists who were sacked from Sellafield after expressing doubts about nuclear safety in the 70’s (NEW STATESMAN July 1983)
Having tried all avenues to raise the alarm about unsafe practices causing releases of radiation, in 2004 Duncan left what he called a “literary bomb” in the Sellafield visitor centre. This was nothing more harmful to the general public than a disc which contained a detailed log of dangerous practices within Sellafield. Duncan who lived in Penrith was jailed for 2 years.
Duncan was a Founder Member of Radiation Free Lakeland . He was discredited by the nuclear industry and described by them as “obsessive” but the truth is he was a hero whose only crime was trying to alert his employers and the wider public to dangerous practices in the nuclear industry. His voice will still be heard for generations to come through his wonderful and prescient poetry – Cumbrians should listen to the truth of what Duncan had to say