Today folk from Radiation Free Lakeland and Close Capenhurst remembered the 61st anniversary of the Windscale Fire. During 10–11th October, 1957 A serious fire developed in the core of a nuclear reactor at Windscale Works, Sellafield, northwest England, which led to the release of significant quantities of radioactive material into the environment over a wide area including but not exclusively Cumbria. This release of radioactive materials including polonium, led to an increase in radiation linked diseases and conditions from cancers to Downs Syndrome.
Springfields Nuclear Fuel site near Preston, Lancashire made the uranium fuel rods that set alight in the UKs worst nuclear reactor accident at Windscale, Cumbria . Springfields Nuclear Fuels are now gearing up to make even higher burn nuclear fuel for new reactors including at Hinkley, Wylfa, Moorside, Heysham, and more.
We stood outside the Springfields site today to remember the all victims of the Windscale Fire. We talked and we held a vigil in the sunshine with the ladybirds.
We stood in solidarity with those who are opposing the dumping of nuclear mud in Cardiff Bay from Hinkley’s nuclear reactors. We have just heard that the Welsh Assembly have voted for the dumping to go ahead in order to make room for new reactors which will be fuelled by Springfields ….unless….
We stood in solidarity with the anti-fracking activists who have put in an injunction against fracking as there is “no clear and robust plan” to evacuate residents in the event of an earthquake resulting from fracking.
An earthquake in the area of the UKs only Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing plant is unthinkable.
A collision involving HGVs carrying enriched uranium is much more likely if fracking HGVs are added to the already intolerable burden of radioacive and chemical materials on the Fylde’s roads.
While we were there we witnessed two school buses leaving the site – the children looked surprised to see our banners opposing nuclear. Who can blame them. All they have heard is that nuclear is green and good. What’s the betting the children’s tour did not include reference to the UKs biggest nuclear reactor accident which happened 61 years ago today. The nuclear fire with the effects still snowballing down the generations which was fuelled courtesy of Springfields!
We handed in the letter below (already sent by email 5 days ago with no reply!)
Dear Springfields Fuels, Westinghouse,
We see that there there has been an injunction on fracking at PNR as there is no Emergency Evacuation Plan for the public.
Please could you send us the Emergency Evacuation Plan for the public in the vicinity of Springfields Fuels?
There is conflicting Evacuation advice for Springfields Fuels from Westinghouse on signage at the Lancaster Canal. The canal is adjacent to Springfields. The signs, which are a few feet from each other contradict themselves saying ‘ if you hear the Springfields siren move away from the area as quickly as possible, and other signs say ‘take cover indoors, close Windows and stay inside until further notice’. Which is it? Many people using the canal have no idea at all that “Springfields Fuels” is the UKs only nuclear fuel manufacturing site, housing enriched uranium. Many families enjoying this stretch of the Lancaster Canal would not appreciate the seriousness of the siren. The word ‘NUCLEAR’ has long since been dropped from Springfields (Nuclear) Fuels.
We note that the area that Cuadrilla HGVs will be/are travelling on overlap with HGVs carrying chemical and radiological cargoes to and from Springfields. We have witnessed containers of uranium hexafluoride going into the Springfields site and Cuadrilla HGVs on the same rural roads the same day at the same times.
In the exact same area of the Fylde there is planned to be a massive number of fracking HGVs alongside a “nuclear renaissance” (Springfields is 5.6 miles from PNR and 3 miles from Roseacre Wood). The plan is for ever more enriched uranium for new “high burn” nuclear fuels made at Springfields to fuel the UKs new reactors. This magnifies many times over on these rural Fylde roads, the likelihood of offsite accident and rupture of containers of Uranium hexafluoride or breaches of dangerous nuclear materials. We note that the offsite emergency used as an example by the Office for Nuclear Regulation for the Springfields Emergency Preparedness plan, is the rupture of a uranium hexafluoride container onsite, which has radiological and chemical consequences offsite.
1. We would be grateful for sight of the Emergency Evacuation Plan for the Public for Springfields. We have seen the latest Offsite Emergency Preparedness Plan and there is no mention of Evacuation.
2. Is the close proximity of Cuadrillas fracking operations either side of the Springfields site a concern for Springfields Nuclear fuels?
3. Is there to be an updated Emergency Evacuation Plan for the Public as a result of Cuadrillas operations in such close proximity to the Springfields Nuclear Fuels site?
On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland