22nd February 2018
FOSSIL FUELLED EARTHQUAKES? NO THANKS! ( BUT ARE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE LISTENING?)
Fracking and Nuclear Activists have joined forces to call for increased Nuclear Safety for the UK. NGOs including Radiation Free Lakeland, Close Capenhurst, People Against Wylfa B, Residents Against Fylde Fracking, CND Cymru, South Wales Anti-Nuclear Alliance, Natur- Nature not Nuclear Wales and Stop Hinkley have called upon the UK Health and Safety Executive to effect an immediate ban on the extraction of fossil fuel near nuclear installations.
Containers of Uranium Hexaflouride at Springfields, Preston. Five miles from PNR fracking site.
St Bees, where a new undersea Coal mine is planned just 5 miles from Sellafield (seen here from St Bees)
Earthquakes? – We Don’t Want Your Concerns, Your Petition or your Letter Say HSE.
Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland said “ It is well known that fossil fuel extraction such as deep coal mining and fracking increases the chance of earthquakes like the one felt last week. There are currently no safety limits at all on the proximity of fossil fuel extraction to nuclear sites. This has led to the truly dangerous situation of developers looking to frack five miles from the worlds first nuclear fuel plant in Preston and to mine for coal under the Irish Sea just five miles from Europe’s most dangerous nuclear waste site at Sellafield. Increasing the risks of earthquakes near nuclear sites is madness and yet it is happening right here, right now. Incredibly the UKs safey regulators were too stretched to reply to previous letters sent by post. We were told to post our latest petition and letter to the HSE Head Office while actually standing inside HSE head office. “
The Letter and ongoing online Petition from Campaigners says: “In your role as protectors of the Health and Safety of UK citizens, we ask you to urge HM Government to effect an immediate ban on the extraction of fossil fuels within 10 miles of Nuclear Installations” “We call for an immediate ban on the extraction of fossil fuels near nuclear installations while a comprehensive inquiry is undertaken. This inquiry should include the worst-case scenarios that could result from induced seismic activity near existing and planned nuclear installations. The inquiry should be undertaken honestly and transparently and be fully independent of current pro-nuclear government policy.”
NOTE on Delivering the Letter and Petition to the HSE . Last April Campaigners sent numerous letters to the HSE asking for a moratorium on the extraction of fossil fuel near nuclear sites, no reply. A phone call was made (no answer) before going to the Head Office of the HSE in Bootle to deliver the letter and petition by hand. This is a direct account of what happened: “On 19th February, Martyn Lowe and John Usher visited the office of the Health & Safety Executive in Bootle, and attempted to deliver the petition to the staff on Reception. The Reception staff were not authorised to accept hand-delivered mail, and were unable to call upon HSE personnel to accept the petition themselves. Our only option was to walk to the nearest Post Office, and post the petition back to the Executive we had just visited, which we did. Unbelievable? No, this really is the way Government operates in 21st Century Britain.”
Martyn Lowe from Close Capenhurst attempting to hand deliver the petition and letter to the HSE from campaigners.
Radiation Free Lakeland (info)
SELLAFIELD AND COAL (the plan for the proposed Moorside nuclear reactors would be even nearer to the proposed coal mining activity)
“The prospect of reopening and extending the Whitehaven Coal Mine with licenses extending to within a few miles of the decrepit and highly dangerous Sellafield nuclear waste complex is ringing alarm bells in North Wales where we experienced a 5.4 Richter scale earthquake in 1984, the largest ever recorded in Britain. Deliberately creating seismic dangers by reopening this mine so close to the deadliest stockpile of nuclear waste at Sellafield is a deliberately wreckless act of environmental vandalism. PAWB supports Radiation Free Lakeland’s call for an immediate moratorium on fossil fuel extraction, either coal or fracking, within the vicinity of the nuclear installations at Heysham, Sellafield and Springfields because of the obvious seismic risks.” Dylan Morgan on behalf of the anti-nuclear campaign group PAWB, Pobl Atal Wylfa B / People Against Wylfa B http://stop-wylfa.org/wp/
SPRINGFIELDS AND FRACKING
“It beggars belief that a fracking pad is being constructed five miles from the Springfields Nuclear Fabrication plant and their nearby nuclear waste dump at Clifton Marsh landfill. We have already witnessed the effects of induced seismicity in the area from one frack at Preese Hall six years ago. Cuadrilla is planning 40-60 wells on the super pad at Preston New Road and maybe up to 100 other pads throughout the Fylde. The area is heavily faulted making it more susceptible not only to seismicity but also to groundwater contamination from the Clifton Marsh nuclear dump. For Sajid Javid to overrule Lancashire County Council’s decision and allow these two forms of extreme energy to sit side-by-side is madness. The people of Lancashire are unprotected and the public health implications are enormous.
Pam Foster from RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)
Martyn Lowe from Close Capenhurst Campaign says that:
“The danger of something happening at Springfields with any of the Uranium Hexaflouride which is on the site is already very worrying. If there was even a very minor earth tremor as the result of fracking, then it might well increase the odds of something really nasty happening at the site. I very much doubt if Toshiba Westinghouse or the Office for Nuclear Regulation have factored in such a danger in to any of their emergency procedures about what would happen to the plant.”
LIQUEFACTION AT SELLAFIELD AND SPRINGFIELDS?
“Induced seismic activity from fossil fuel extraction would not have stand alone consequences in this part of the North West. For example The North West of England has been the only area in the UK ever to have suffered a liquefaction event following a rather minor earthquake near Barrow (now home to Trident) in 1865 following vast mining operations at nearby Hodbarrow. The magnitude was small “probably in the range 2.5–3.5 ML”. (pure and applied geophysics November 1998, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 733–745). A liquefaction event at Sellafield or Springfields would be catastrophic and not only for the North West!”
Marianne Birkby from Radiation Free Lakeland
“that was something wasn’t it”
Petition (handed into the HSE at 1163 signatures – the petition is still growing)