Drigg: quaint coastal village and the UK’s “Low Level” Nuclear Dump

 

Drigg the quaint coastal village is also home to the UKs ‘Low Level Waste Repository’ (the word ‘Nuclear’ has been dropped from the official title) Although locals know this as the  Nuclear Dump.  Drigg is located near the Sellafield nuclear site on the shifting sands of the Cumbrian coast. Up until the late 1980s radioactive wastes including plutonium wastes were tumble tipped into trenches. Now the site has gone all hi tech and compacts radioactive waste into rusting shipping containers, any void in the container is filled with concrete.

The site sits above West Cumbria Aquifer from which is drawn the borehole water supply for much of West Cumbria while Sellafield gets most of its water from Wastwater.

The plan is to keep on dumping the high end of “low level” radioactive waste here despite the threat of inundation not just from the Irish Sea but also from the rivers and becks running through and alongside the site.

The planning application to extend the wastes, stacking ever more shipping containers higher, has already been approved by our toothless regulators, the Environment Agency.

Please write to the Development Control and Regulation Committee of Cumbria County Council who will be looking at this application on the 11th May ( if it isn’t postponed again) and ask them to refuse permission for the continued use of Drigg as a nuclear waste dump. Ask them to lobby government to hold a moratorium on “decommissioning” and dumping (breaking up and ‘disposing’ of old nuclear plants) which we now know means dispersal of radioactive wastes to Drigg rather than containment on original sites. Many more Driggs and radioactive landfills will be needed if new nuclear build goes ahead.

The site owners the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority pass day to day running of the site to multinational corporations involved in “decommissioning’ and those corporations largely monitor themselves. SO the same people responsible for producing the waste are also responsible for dumping it. The Environment Agency has told us it sees no conflict of interest in this…but we do!   Studsvik, a swedish company who operate the only radioactive scrap metal plant in Europe here in Cumbria is one of the partners of the Drigg site.  On 20th April Studsvik’s waste operations were taken over by EDF.  Presumably this means that EDF  now have a large hand in running the Drigg site? Will EDF be tempted to ship tonnes of radioactive metals from their 9 nuclear
plants being decommissioned now in France, to the Studsvik plant in Workington
now that they own it?  And will the ever increasing tonnage of radioactive shot metal from that radioactive metal “recycling” end up in Drigg which they will also be operating?

more info here: http://www.theecologist.org/campaigning/2986745/cumbria_flooding_environment_agency_issues_alert_on_drigg_nuclear_waste_site.html

6 thoughts on “Drigg: quaint coastal village and the UK’s “Low Level” Nuclear Dump

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