60th Anniversary of the Windscale Fire

This year will be the 61st anniversary of the Windscale Fire. Radiation Free Lakeland and Close Capenhurst will be outside the Springfields Nuclear Fuel plant from 2pm this coming Wednesday to hold a vigil remembering the victims of the world’s first nuclear reactor disaster at Windscale in Cumbria. Folk from Bristol and Hinkley area may also be joining us and we welcome all to come along and demonstrate opposition to ever more nuclear fuels being made here on the Fylde. On the same day, 10th October there is to be a vote and debate in the Welsh Assembly on the nuclear mud from Hinkley being dumped in Cardiff Bay. This radioactive mud is courtesy of Springfields Nuclear Fuels, the spinning spider at the centre of the nuclear web of evil. The considerable press coverage of the plan to dump radioactive mud in Cardiff Bay gives the impression that the Hinkley mud is some kind of aberration. It isn’t. Nuclear mudness is a systemic result of nuclear fuel manufacturing and the hammering of that fuel in reactors with the inevitable discharges to the surrounding area ie to the “mud” to our precious earth, rivers and sea. Radioactive mud is a result of nuclear fuel made by Springfields, burnt in reactors, sent to Sellafield for insane reprocessing. Radioactive mud is found all along the west coast of Cumbria, the Irish Sea, Morecambe Bay, the River Ribble, Hinkley, Heysham, Bradwell, Wylfa et al and not just in the immediate vicinity of nuclear ‘power’ plants.

Campaigners in Northern Ireland are trying to stop the dredging of Carlingford Lough and they have good reason. As the Low Level Radiation Campaign has pointed out ” Radioisotopes from Sellafield are easily measurable in mud and sand from the beaches near Dundalk and also further up the coast in Carlingford Lough, with levels comparable to those in north Wales. ”

Christine Gibson of Keep it Green is leading the charge against dredging Carlingford Lough – they deserve our support and the recognition, even some Grrrrr by the press and NGOs that Hinkley is not the only Nuclear Mud. As Keep it Green point out ”
We have numerous papers that show academic and governmental studies on the radioactive contamination in the Lough specifically from Sellafield (see attached for examples). As this information is now readily available and in light of the fact that hazardous waste does exist in the Lough, we are asking that pursuant to article 74 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, that you confirm that a marine licence will be applied for and that a proper assessment as defined by the HD and EIA Directives and transposed legislation is undertaken before any decision is made that could affect our:

1) drinking water

2) air quality

3) soil quality

4) wildlife – both flora and fauna, both marine and terrestrial.”

“The effect of distance from Sellafield on the concentration of radioactive waste released to the Irish Sea is not simple. Because the isotopes stick to fine silt particles preferentially, it is the distribution of the fine silt in the Irish Sea that determines the level of pollution. Fine silt precipitates out in areas of low tidal energy, like estuaries and harbours. The silt comes up rivers and is deposited at high tides on saltmarsh. ”
“Cancer in Carlingford is apparently also higher (see RaT 2/3, p. 1) with Relative Risks as high as 4.6 or more for Childhood leukemia. The team spent some time measuring alpha activity of beach and river mud and silt at different depths and recording variations of activity across the ‘kentering’: the area between low and high tide levels. Samples were collected and brought back for radiochemical analysis. The concern is that ‘hot particles’ of plutonium may be collecting on the beach and offshore mudbanks and blowing inland, where they may be inhaled and provide high local doses people living in the area.” Low Level Radiation Campaign.

Even without nuclear accidents, the industry routinely, with the blessing of the lap dog regulators, releases intolerable radioactive isotopes to the “mud.”

So what to do about all this radioactive mud? Mud being the actual stuff of life along with freshwater. Well the UK Government have a plan. That plan is to make ever more radioactive mud. The Nuclear Free Local Authorities tell us that the proposed new nuclear reactors at ” Hinkley Point C alone will produce waste which will contain 3,800,000TBq by the year 2200, or about 80% of the radioactivity of the existing UK waste burden. ” To make this much radioactive waste requires a lot of Nuclear Mudness.

This year on the 10th October it will be 60 years since the UK’s first nuclear disaster.  Radiation Free Lakeland, Close Capenhurst, Stop Hinkley, Kick Nuclear, Stop Wylfa,South West Against Nuclear, Nuclear Trains Action Group and many others will be remembering the disaster and working to ensure there is no repeat.

This is advance notice of just some of the events taking place to remember the Windscale Fire of 10th October 1957.

9th October 1pm: Banner Making Event at Maple Farm with opportunity to hear from nuclear activists about Preston’s key role in fuelling the Windscale Fire in Pile 1.

9th October 3.30 pm Vigil at Springfields (with freshly minted banners!) outside the UKs nuclear fuel manufacturing plant just 5.5 miles from PNR fracking site.

10th October 11am in Keswick Town Centre. Vigil to remember the Windscale Fire and the

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