SENT BY EMAIL – DEADLINE MIDNIGHT TODAY
please send your opposition to Geological Disposal in Wales to
DEAR Welsh Government,
Please find below Radiation Free Lakeland’s response to the ‘engagement’
Welsh Government: Geological Disposal of Higher Activity Radioactive
Waste: Community Engagement and Implementation Processes
Radiation Free Lakeland are a volunteer nuclear safety group in Cumbria
opposed to new nuclear build and the dispersal of radioactive wastes to
NO TO IMPLEMENTATION OF GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL
Radiation Free Lakeland would like to make clear our strong opposition to
the Implementation of Geological Disposal anywhere including in Wales.
The European Commission Directive 2011/70 Euratom states: “Deep
geological disposal represents the safest and most sustainable
option as the end point of the management of high level waste and
spent fuel considered as waste.”
This optimistic statement is not backed up by science or evidence
in the real world with the ONLY operational geological dump leaking
like a sieve in New Mexico. Under the Directive Member States had to
submit a comprehensive
waste management plan by 2015.
It is this Directive that is seeing Cumbria in particular
frogmarched along “steps towards geological disposal” despite the
geology and the certainty that technical problems with deep
geological disposal will never ensure safe containment.
The government hoped the Nuclear waste problem was going to be solved by
communities coming forward to volunteer to take the waste, now that plan
has fallen by the wayside the government are going to impose it on us by
designating a GDF as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.
PLANNING PROTECTIONS SCRAPPED
The hard won protections of planning permission, listed building consent,
scheduled monument consent and conservation area consent amongst others
ARE NOT REQUIRED for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.
This is already happing with regard Moorside where 100 boreholes up to
150 deep are being dug on what should be protected land on the say so of
one official in Copeland Borough Council. This total lack of scrutiny
will escalate with Geological Disposal Facilities. Bizarrely as well as
more than one huge GDF, the former Secretary of State Ed Davey informed
us that a plan for hundreds of “borehole disposals” of nuclear wastes is
being researched now at Sheffield University.
NOT A CUMBRIAN PROBLEM
This is not a Cumbrian problem, it is not even a national problem, the
high level waste here is as a result of international deliveries of spent
fuel for reprocessing. Incredibly spent fuel is still arriving at
Sellafield for reprocessing adding to the already intolerably hazardous
mountain of deadly radioactive wastes. In 2011 the then Secretary of State
Chris Huhne was the sole Justifying Authority for the safety of new build
with the safety of geological disposal a key prerequisite. He said “we
expect to dispose of spent fuel and intermediate level waste from new
nuclear power stations in the same geological disposal facility that will
be constructed for the disposal of legacy waste”. How confident is Wales
that the words of a convicted liar and cheat are trustworthy? (there is no ‘disposal’, no ‘away’)
PUT THE SAFETY OF CITIZENS FIRST – OVERTURN THE GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL DIRECTIVE
The implementation of Geological Disposal is a dangerous concept as
evidenced by the disastrous failure of the only operational GDF in Mexico.
Sellafield wastes including plutonium (optimistically not classified as
waste) must be immobilised on site for near surface storage. The
Sellafield site can never be ‘cleared’ it will be a hazardous
installation for thousands of years. Exporting waste or building new
reactors to burn the unwanted, expensive and inherently even more
dangerous MOX fuel has been shown to be yet another ill-informed proposal.
The long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste should be in
surface or near-surface facilities. Facilities should be located as near
to the site where the waste is produced as possible. Developers will need
to demonstrate how the facilities will be monitored and how waste
packages, or waste, could be retrieved. All long-term waste management
options will be subject to robust and genuine regulatory requirements.
We urge the Welsh parliament to put the safety of their citizens first and
to lobby for the overturning of The Geological Disposal Directive 2011/70.
Only an overturning of The Geological Disposal Directive 2011/70 will
ensure that citizens can say no to the dumping of radioactive wastes under
On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland
ADDITIONAL INFO and References
This list of concerns is from the ‘Rock Solid?’ report by Gene watch UK
produced for Greenpeace:
Copper or steel canisters and overpack containing spent nuclear
fuel or high-level radioactive wastes could corrode more quickly than
The effects of intense heat generated by radioactive decay, and of
chemical and physical disturbance due to corrosion, gas generation and
biomineralisation, could impair the ability of backfill material to trap
Build-up of gas pressure in the repository, as a result of the
corrosion of metals and/or the degradation of organic material, could
damage the barriers and force fast routes for radionuclide escape through
crystalline rock fractures or clay rock pores.
Poorly understood chemical effects, such as the formation of
colloids, could speedup the transport of some of the more radiotoxic
elements such as plutonium.
Unidentified fractures and faults, or poor understanding of how
water and gas will flow through fractures and faults, could lead to the
release of radionuclides into groundwater much faster than expected.
Excavation of the repository will damage adjacent zones of rock
and could thereby create fast routes for radionuclide escape.
Future generations, seeking underground resources or storage
facilities, might accidentally dig a shaft into the rock around the
repository or a well into contaminated groundwater above it.
Future glaciations could cause faulting of the rock, rupture of
containers and penetration of surface waters or permafrost to the
repository depth, leading to failure of the barriers and faster
dissolution of the waste.
Earthquakes could damage containers, backfill and the rock.
Geological Disposal ;European Commission Directive
New Mexico Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
European leaders are being misled over the safety of underground disposal of
highly dangerous nuclear waste which could poison groundwaters
Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Host Communities by Kate
Britains Plutonium Mountain http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qm4pt
Rock Solid? A scientific review by Dr Helen Wallace -European Leaders are
being misled over the safety of underground disposal of dangerous nuclear
waste which could poison groundwaters for
Deep Borehole Geological Disposal