9000 new homes – within the 2nd Tier of the Outline Planning Zone for Dodgy Old Heysham Nuclear Power Stations 1&2 ???

Outline Planning Zone for Heysham Nuclear Power Stations 1 & 2

The following is a letter sent to Lancaster City Council and copied to Lancashire County Council. This wednesday city councillors will decide whether or not to support the plan for up to 9000 more houses in south Lancaster. “Bailrigg Garden Village” would be within the 2nd Tier of the Outline Planning Zone for Heysham Nuclear Power Stations 1 and 2.

write to Lancaster City Council asking them not to support this vast increase in homes so near to Heysham. there is a general email here customerservices@lancaster.gov.uk

Councillors can be contacted here: https://committeeadmin.lancaster.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?

Dear Lancaster City Council,

Bailrigg Garden Village – within the 2nd Tier of the Outline Planning Zone for Heysham Nuclear Power Stations 1&2

On September 25th 2019 Radiation Free Lakeland presented a petition to Lancaster City Council urging the council to remove any form of new nuclear from the table in their future climate planning with a “No New Nuclear” clause.  We are aware of Lancaster City Council’s good work on renewables so it was disappointing that our plea to have a “No New Nuclear Clause”  was refused.  Councillors explained that the feeling was that there was no need for a “No New Nuclear” clause as Heysham was 8th on the Governmental list for new nuclear.  The continued push ( billions of pounds of public money)  for new nuclear is decimating urgent steps towards renewables and energy efficiency.  The nuclear and fossil fuel industry are mutually intertwined with the biggest gas plant in the UK under construction being built now at Sellafield (to be completed in 2023) to ‘look after’ the nuclear wastes.  Sellafield are in full support of the Cumbria coal mine and the CEO of the coal mine is now employed by government to advise them on digging a big hole for  heat generating wastes stored at Sellafield (Geological Disposal).

The wastes continually arriving at Sellafield includes spent fuel from Heysham’s four reactors operated by EDF.

The reactors at Heysham are running beyond their original lifetime plan with Heysham 1 originally scheduled to close in 2014 – now extended to 2024 and Heysham 2 due to close in 2023 – now extended to 2030.   The argument often lodged against renewables is that there is too much electricity going into the grid. Nevertheless these dodgy old reactors at Heysham continue to operate.

This is a very dangerous situation for the Lancaster area with both Heysham 1 and 2 suffering brittle graphite cores, a serious nuclear emergency becomes ever more likely.

As far as we are aware there is no workable evacuation or relocation plan for the souls within the City of Lancaster should there be an accident at Heysham?    

The plan to increase the number of people living in the conurbation of Lancaster with up to 9000 new homes at Bailrigg is reckless in the context of the close proximity to the aging nuclear reactors at Heysham.  The Bailrigg area is within the 2nd tier of the Outline Planning Zone for Heysham’s Nuclear Reactors .  

Having refused to rule out new nuclear in September 2019 and seemingly content with the continuing operation of Heysham 1 and 2 – we ask that Lancaster City Council at least ensure that they do not support putting more souls in danger of an increasingly likely nuclear catastrophe at Heysham.

We ask that you seriously consider refusing support for the plan for up to 9000 new homes in the Bailrigg Garden Village plan.  To add such a large number of souls into such close proximity (the 2nd tier of Heysham’s Nuclear Emergency Outline Planning Zone)  to Heysham’s old nuclear reactors would be to turn a blind eye to the dangers inherent in the continued operation of reactors with brittle graphite cores at Heysham.

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland

CC Lancashire County Council


No New Nuclear Clause – plea to Lancaster City Council 


CEO of Coal Mine Employed to Advise on Digging a Big Hole for Nuclear Wastes   https://www.gov.uk/government/people/mark-kirkbrid

Heysham Nuclear Reactor Life Extensions https://www.edfenergy.com/energy/nuclear-lifetime-management

 Outline Planning Zone – area of new housing up to 5000 homes is within the 2nd tier  https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/media/918338/heysham-opz-map.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3gIWS2OVoh3p-WnAq0kW9Y1-ZDLnwXwEVo3jTPD0LiwhkLNgTgur5tEDE

Map showing Heysham Nuclear Reactors in relation to new homes – within the 2nd tier of the Outline Planning Zone   https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1Wkm3r_FF8wSVkG6Osr-3MR1Xo8VyxhLX&ll=54.01374403665233%2C-2.851312000000008&z=13

In describing EDF reactors at Hartlepool, (the same problems with brittle graphite core as Heysham) ONR warns that it will require “more robust arguments” before it agrees to allow the two reactors to restart in 2020. It also highlights concerns about the risk of “fuel snagging” from “multiply cracked bricks” and says that previous predictions have underestimated cracking.” Here in the North West in Lancashire, Heysham is on an equally dodgy footing with unplanned outages a clue as to the dangerous situation we are all being put in.

Old nuclear reactors are kept running while renewables are dumped. Much has been made of the fact that wind farms are being turned off because there is currently too much electricity going into the grid !! But the dodgy old nuclear reactors keep on keeping on.The ONR’s full document can be seen here   Article by Radiation Free Lakeland, May 2020 https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2020/05/20/extension-of-operating-period-for-heysham-1-reactor-1/

ONR is aware that EDF NGL has recently (??)  discovered cracking in a small number of blocks within this shielding outer layer in one of the four reactors. ONR is satisfied that the cracks do not present a challenge to the safety of the graphite core. (??)  However, in order to further understand the rationale and long-term consequences, ONR has requested that EDF NGL conduct further investigation and analysis of the issue and carry out inspections of the other three reactors during their next statutory outages. 29th April 2021


2 thoughts on “9000 new homes – within the 2nd Tier of the Outline Planning Zone for Dodgy Old Heysham Nuclear Power Stations 1&2 ???

  1. “Target Northwest” explained the impact of an attack on a nuclear installation – the impacts whether from attack or catastrophe would be similar – this is a sobering read and focusses on Heysham and the North West “Citation: “Target North-West: Civil Defence & Nuclear War in Cumbria, Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside,
    and Cheshire,” 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Robert Poole and Steve
    Wright, Richard Institute for Peace and Conflict Research, University of Lancaster, 1982. Reproduced with the permission of Robert Poole and Steve Wright.

    Pamphlet by the Richardson Institute for Peace and Conflict Research detailing the effects and
    aftermath of a nuclear war on Northwest England. Describes emergency defense plans for the post attack government
    PDF format of the full document here….

    Click to access 110194.pdf

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