Hinkley C – the Cumbrian Connection

chinese-nuclear-waste-protests
Nuclear Waste Plant Protests in China – August 2016

18th September 2016

 

Dear Prime Minister May,

 

Congratulations on your appointment to Prime Minister. Your appointment has already been a rollercoaster ride here in Cumbria.

 

Radiation Free Lakeland are a group of volunteers working for nuclear safety and we were delighted when you put the brakes on Hinkley.

 

As you will know Cumbria is the increasingly unwilling and much bribed back end of the nuclear industry. From Hinkley spent fuel already comes to Sellafield for reprocessing. As a result of reprocessing “low level” (“diluted” plutonium, cesium, tritium etc) waste is being dumped into Drigg “Low Level Waste Repository”, a few miles south of Sellafield. There are much opposed plans for one or two Geological Disposal Facillities (as deep as Scafell is high) under Cumbria for the existing heat generating intermediate and high level nuclear wastes.

 

We note that EDF are now partners in the running of the Drigg site as well as the new owners of the controversial radioactive metal recycling plant previously owned by Studsvik in Workington, Cumbria

 

Are EDF planning for radioactively contaminated clothing and day to day routinely exposed materials that would arise from the running of the Hinkley C site to be dumped in Drigg, the UK’s “Low Level Waste Repository”?

 

When asked “What do you plan to do with nuclear waste and spent fuel produced by Hinkley point C?”

The reply was:

“EDF Energy will store the nuclear waste and spent fuel produced by Hinkley Point C on the power station site during the 60 year operational period. At the end of generation, and as part of the 20 year process of decommissioning, the intermediate level waste (ILW) is expected to be transported off the site and disposed of to a national Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). The spent fuel will remain on site until it has cooled sufficiently to allow it to be disposed of to the GDF, which may be around 50 years after the end of generation.

At the end of the decommissioning period, EDF Energy will make a payment to the Government to cover the remaining costs of the storage and disposal to the GDF. Ownership of the spent fuel will then transfer to the Government who will continue to look after it on the Hinkley Point Site.

The full costs of decommissioning, waste management and waste disposal will be paid for by EDF Energy through its Funded Decommissioning Programme. This means money will be paid into an independent Fund Company over the lifetime of the station to meet these costs. The money is held separately from EDF Energy and the Government and can only be used to meet the decommissioning and waste liabilities.
”

 

 

So the Hinkley C plan hinges on “The GDF” being available to dump the “hot” waste in, notwithstanding the tsunami of day to day operational wastes that would come to Drigg.

 

Greenpeace withdrew their legal challenge to Hinkley C on the basis that Her Majesty’s Government made a witness statement outlining “a plan” for what to do with the waste, despite Cumbria’s three times refusal to accommodate a Geological Dump. In December 2013 Radiation Free Lakeland asked under Freedom of Information to see the witness statement from HMG that led to Greenpeace withdrawing their legal challenge. “request for ‘sight of the witness Statements from 13th September up to and including the 19th September 2013 on behalf of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the case of the Queen v Greenpeace Ltd.”

We were refused sight of Her Majesty’s Government’s witness statement both by HMG and by Greenpeace.

 

 

Why?

 

We ask again to see sight of the witness statement that made Greenpeace withdraw their legal challenge. As Cumbrians we have a right to know how the nuclear industry plan to force their nuclear wastes upon us.

 

 

Hinkley C is trumpeted as being capable of producing up to 7% of the UK’s electricy. This pales into insignificance when allowing for the energy that would be required to look after the nuclear wastes resulting from Hinkley C. Sellafield uses £30M of gas every year and all the pylons running along the West Coast of Cumbria are taking electricity TO Sellafield. One thing is for sure those Chinese who are right now bravely opposing nuclear waste dumps on their land will not be wanting battalions of slow boats full of Hinkley C’s spent fuel, radioactive rubble, contaminated soil and water, turning up on their shores.   Neither do we.

 

Please reconsider your plan to approve Hinkley C and please, can we have answers to the following two questions:

 

  1. We ask again to see sight of the witness statement that made Greenpeace withdraw their legal challenge. As Cumbrians we have a right to know how the nuclear industry plan to force a “Geological Disposal Facility” upon us.

 

  1. Are EDF planning for radioactively contaminated clothing and day to day routinely exposed materials that would arise from the running of the Hinkley C site to be dumped in Drigg, the UK’s “Low Level Waste Repository”?

 

Yours Sincerely

Marianne Birkby

On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

 

 

REFERENCES

EDF Buys Studsvik Waste Treatment

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/studsvik-ab-studsvik-sells-waste-061900284.html

 

Lock the Gate on Drigg – No More Nuclear Waste

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/lock-the-gate-on-drigg-the-uks-nuclear-waste-site

 

Greenpeace Challenge Withdrawn

“The group lodged an application for judicial review in May, arguing the new plant should not have been granted consent without having a plan in place for dealing with radioactive waste. Campaigner Emma Gibson said that the Government had since disclosed the bulk of its defence, which she admitted showed there were plans for a waste dump. Greenpeace maintains that it is “highly unlikely” the dump will ever be built.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/greenpeace-abandons-hinkley-point-lost-cause-8906372.html

 

Chinese Opposition to Nuclear Waste

“In just a few days, the official stand of Lianyungang has undergone a sea change,” read a comment on Sohu.com, a Chinese news website. “Don’t underestimate just how determined the public is in opposition to nuclear waste, which is far more dangerous than wastewater from any paper pulp mill.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/11/world/asia/china-nuclear-fuel-lianyungang.html?_r=1

 

Freedom of Information Request

Dear Ms Birkby,

FOI Request – ref. 13/1761

Department of Energy & Climate Change

3 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2AW

E: foi@decc.gsi.gov.uk http://www.gov.uk/decc

20 December 2013

Thank you for your request for ‘sight of the witness Statements from 13th September up to and including the 19th September 2013 on behalf of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the case of the Queen v Greenpeace Ltd.

Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

We can confirm that we do hold information that falls within the scope of your request. However, as the information you have requested was compiled for the purposes of litigation and is information contained in a document that was filed with a court, section 32(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act applies. This exempts information that is held only by virtue of being contained in any document filed with, or otherwise placed in the custody of, a court for the purposes of proceedings in a particular cause or matter.

􏰀

Whilst the contents of the witness statement is exempt under s 32(1)(a) of FOIA, information relevant to your request concerning the Government’s policy for long term management of radioactive waste can be found in the GDF annual report :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/managing-radioactive-waste- safely-implementing-geological-disposal-annual-report

 

 

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