It was World Cancer Day yesterday. Supporters of a Radiation Free Lakeland went along to Workington to collect signatures on a letter to the director of Public Health in Cumbria. The letter asked Colin Cox for a reply to the hundreds of letters already written questioning the government’s assertion that the influx of construction workers for Drigg, Calder Hall and Sellafield has caused the “excess” (up to 10X the national average) cancers in Cumbria. As one person put it to me : “so does this mean that the government is saying it is workers coming into build cancer factories that has made a virus causing cancer rather than the cancer factories themselves” Quite. The “virus” of course is a “mystery virus.”
We have asked Colin Cox if he A. Agrees with government that population mixing is the cause of the “excess” of childhood leukaemia in areas of Cumbria
B. Agrees with Nuclear power pioneer Dr John Gofman that “Licensing a nuclear power plant is random premeditated murder ….the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest (radiation) doses”
When we asked Colin Cox this question back in May 2016 we recieved the dismissive reply below:
“Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding health risks arising from “population mixing” during the development of Moorside power station in West Cumbria. I am the Chair of the Moorside Health Impact Assessment Steering Group. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a rigorous approach to identifying and mitigating any health risks, and identifying and maximising any health gains, arising from this development. At its meeting this morning, the steering group agreed that the issue of population mixing will be considered within the overall HIA. The HIA is due to be completed by the end of this year. I will not be making any public comment on this matter before this process is complete. I hope this information is helpful.
Regards, Colin Cox
Colin Cox Director of Public Health Cumbria County Council The Courts Carlisle CA3 8NA”
After speaking to people in Workington yesterday and collecting more signatures to add to the hundreds already sent to the Director of Public Health, we went for a walk.
Later, six of us walked the length of the Moorside site from St Bridgets Church, Beckermet to Sellafield. We didnt have any banners or even rucksacks, we were dressed for eg.going for a stroll round Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top farm. Nevertheless we were stopped twice by armed police on a public path and cyclepath. The first encounter was with two police on foot who caught us up as we were walking away from Sellafield on a public footpath. They asked a few times what we were doing – When we asked why would they want to know that we had been to look at the plaque remembering the Windscale fire, they replied “because of the world situation.” We all thought – ‘so you want to make the world situation worse by doubling Sellafield?’ – but we didnt say it. One of the people with us was a journalist. Journalists have the right to go about their business unhindered by the police – the police still took his details though. On the way back as we neared Old St Bridgets Church at Beckermet there was a police 4WD blocking the route. This was different police who said “I believe you have talked to our colleagues” these police seemed a bit more narky and asked another one of our group for their name – they refused. The Civil Nuclear Police are ALREADY treating Moorside like a licensed nuclear installation and intimidating people. Some of the ancient footpaths across this land of ancient historic significance have already been trashed, for example the remnant of Sellafield Tarn and the Tarn Cottage are now inaccessible. How far this militaristic shadow (guarding cancer factories “population mixing” or radioactive emissions!!!) spreads across Cumbria is up to us all #StopMoorside
Copeland Labour hopeful Gillian Troughton supports the nuclear industry “No ifs, no buts”
Jeremy Corbyn has finally given his personal backing to a new nuclear power plant in Cumbria – just as doubts emerged over its expected Japanese investors.
The Labour leader said that he was now supporting the planned Moorside complex, which is expected to create 20,000 jobs and has become a key issue in the Copeland by-election.
Corbyn has spent weeks refusing to be pinned down on the scheme, and last weekend again told ITV Border that it was ultimately the Government’s decision and the timing was “some way off”.
Yet on Wednesday he told HuffPost UK: “Labour supports new nuclear as part of the UK’s energy mix to keep the lights on and tackle climate change.
The proposed Moorside nuclear site
“I back the proposed new power station at Moorside which will bring thousands of skilled jobs, and hope the company can provide the necessary assurances on the strike price and value for money.”
His strong backing came as Toshiba announced it was reviewing its entire nuclear operations outside Japan.
The company has a 60% stake in the NuGeon consortium that is driving the Moorside development and the UK government is set to talk to a South Korean firm to replace it.
The Tories have tried to make Corbyn’s anti-nuclear views a key issue in the by-election in Copeland, which was triggered when Labour MP Jamie Reed stood down to take a job at the nearby Sellafield waste plant.
The by-election, which will be held on February 23 at the same time as the Stoke-on-Trent Central contest, will be a key test for Corbyn’s leadership as Labour defends a narrow 2,500 majority from the Tories.
For weeks, Labour activists locally have urged him to give his full backing in supporting the new nuclear plant.
Deputy leader Tom Watson and GMB trade unionists have been campaigning to persuade voters that local Labour candidate Gillian Troughton is a strong backer of nuclear power.
“Yesterday @tom_watson popped to Copeland to meet Sellafield workers and back my pledge to support the nuclear industry. No ifs. No buts.”
— “Gillian Troughton (@GillTroughton) 11:20 AM – 31 Jan 2017
The issue was raised in Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday, when Cumbrian MP John Woodcock asked for Government reassurance about the future of the plant after Toshiba’s announcement.
Theresa May said: “I and the Business Secretary are involved and are keen to see these nuclear deals stay on track.
“I can assure you the Government’s commitment is there.”
Recently I was asked for maps of the Moorside site – here a satellite map indicates the overall view. From Sellafield the Moorside site would stretch to Beckermet , Braystones and Calderbridge and include the flood plain of the River Ehen. The near proximity to the jewel in the crown of the Lake District- Wastwater can be seen here. As you can see from the map this is a greenfield site with many special areas of wildlife and cultural protection – those protections are being overridden to accommodate this “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.”
Those spending huge energy and finances on opposing the pylons are in the wrong fight. No greater illustration of this is needed than the sight of rabidly pronuclear MP John Woodcock leading the fight against the pylons.
“1 Power Blocks: 3x AP1000 reactors plus turbine, annex and auxiliary buildings.
2 Beckermet, Braystones and Calder Bridge: NuGen will work with the local community to avoid and mitigate impacts of construction for its neighbours as far as possible.
Roads, Internal Roads and Limited Car Parking: access roads to Moorside Site to be established and access roads to Sellafield Site are likely to be altered. Other changes will mitigate the impact on the A595. During the construction, there would be up to 200 car parking spaces for blue badge parking, coaches and essential safety and security staff
plus 100 for visitors.
3 Sellafield Site: working under a long-term co-operation agreement, NuGen will work closely with Sellafield and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
4 Environmental mitigation: NuGen will provide environmental mitigation and compensation, including earthworks, landscaping, replacement habitats, environmental offsetting, common land replacement and floodplain compensation.
5 Low Church Moss SSSI and St Bridget’s Church: both have determined the position of the plant and development is being carefully sited to minimise the impact on the setting of St Bridget’s Church and the Saxon stone crosses in the grave yard.
6 Cooling Tunnels and Forebay: an integral part of the Circulating Water System, the Forebay and four tunnels up to 4km long (two intake, two outflow) will provide and discharge sea water to and from the Irish Sea.
7 Marine Off-Loading Facility (MOLF) and Heavy Haul Road: a key part of NuGen’s transport strategy is to bring materials and components to site by sea to the MOLF. Breakwaters may be needed and NuGen may need to establish a Harbour Authority.
8 Earthworks: mounded areas to the northwest of the Moorside Power Station will accommodate up to 15 million m3 of excavated material, which will be landscaped as screening for the local community and could provide an opportunity for recreational amenity. (Editors Note – this area is “too contaminated” for a low level nuclear waste dump according to the industry and yet it is fine to excavate and heap up tonnes of it with crapola leaching out?)
9 River Ehen: will need to be crossed by the floodplain bridge to carry the Heavy Haul Road from the MOLF onto site and by a new rail viaduct. No bridge piers are expected in the river but works may be required to ensure the integrity of the bridge and river structure.
10 Rail: a new rail passenger station and freight facility are required to provide transport for staff, construction workers and freight needed for the Moorside Project.
11 Support Buildings: would house a range of administration, medical, storage, centralised fire support, maintenance, security facilities and an outage maintenance building. The tallest building would be the administration building at up to eight storeys tall.
12 Substation and Switchyard: required to allow the electricity generated to be exported to the national electricity transmission system.
Public Rights Of Way: various public rights of way exist over the Moorside Site. NuGen is assessing the impact of the Moorside Project on these rights of way and potential diversions.”
Editors Note: this whole area is a flood plain with run off from these fields already causing regular flooding in Beckermet – the concreting over of this area would exacerbate this AND the run off would be from the excavated mounds not to mention the untried untested AP1000 reactors
A reminder of recent flooding…the nursery at Beckermet would be less than 700 metres from Moorside
Firemen rescue children from nursery
Last updated at 13:00, Friday, 05 September 2008
FLASH floods trapped children inside a nursery school as heavy rain and lightning hit West Cumbria.
Three-year-old Imogen Marsh is carried to safety by Fire Fighter Tony Biggins out of Beckermet Nursery after it had bee marooned by the flood water.
1 of 4 Photos
Firefighters had to dig away huge amounts of silt washed up by heavy rain that was blocking the door of Beckermet Nursery before helping carry 20 youngsters to safety yesterday.
Nursery staff say the water “came out of nowhere” following heavy rainfall that quickly washed up to eight inches of water into their new £175,000 building, which they moved into on Monday.
And the flooding in Beckermet, which also damaged houses at the Mill Field, was not the area’s only weather emergency yesterday.
The chimney of the former station building at Drigg Station – now a craft shop – was struck by lightning, starting a small fire.
A clean-up operation is now underway at the nursery, on Sellafield Road, with the charity that runs it assessing the damage.
Committee member Steve Malpas, whose four-year-old daughter Kiera was one of the children trapped inside, said rain started falling at about 11.30am and quickly turned torrential.
He said: “It was like a monsoon. There were flash floods. The water came down across the road. It washed our car park out.
“There was six to eight inches of water in the new building. It has taken us five years to get that building. We’re a charity. We’ve spent all our money doing this.
“About three tonnes of silt was up against the front door – nobody could get out. Firefighters had to come and dig to get to the front door.”
Mr Malpas said the children inside were fine despite the emergency, only realising what happened as they were carried out.
“The staff did a fantastic job keeping the situation calm,” he added.
Firefighters from Egremont, Whitehaven and Seascale dealt with the flooding, pumping water from flooded properties at the Mill Field into the nearby river.
Station Manager Joe Little said they had to prioritise the risk because water was flooding into homes – with most of it running towards the nursery.
Firefighters told staff to keep the doors shut until water levels had dropped.
Mr Little added: “We asked them to stay in the building because if they opened the doors they could have had water running right through the building. It was up to two-foot at the bottom. If people were coming for their children firecrews were taking them out to the parents.”
Ian Curwen, press officer for Copeland Borough Council said: “We’ve sent out a lot of sandbags in the area yesterday and today.
“There has been a bitof flooding in the Millfield area, two houses were affected.
“If we get down pours like we did yesterday, that might cause some problems again today.
Substantial flooding was also reported on the A595 between Iron Bridge at Beckermet and the Black Beck Roundabout, Egremont.
Mr Curwen said: “The A595 often floods, and it may well flood again today. The council will be a meeting on September 23 to discuss how to resolve the problem.”
In Thornhill, two houses flooded and fire crews from Egremont, with help from police, pumped water onto the disused railway line.
Meanwhile, a woman was praised by firefighters for her quick reaction after lightening struck her craft shop at Drigg Station.
Group Manager Dave Edgar said the lightening bolt had struck the chimney, gone down its lining and arced on a gas pipe at the bottom, starting a small fire.
He added: “The lady in the shop had a fire extinguisher and put the fire out herself, otherwise it could have been quite severe. We can only praise her quick-thinking.”
The Met Office predicted that more heavy rain could fall in Cumbria today and continuing into tomorrow, although getting lighter and more intermittent.
But a spokesman said: “Fortunately the orientation of the weather system bringing the rain means it will reach Cumbria on an east or northeasterly wind.
“This is good news for much of the county because it allows the north Pennines to filter out much of the heavier rain.
“Although we could, over the period, see appreciable rainfall totals, the wettest parts of the county look like being in the south and east with least rain towards the west and northwest.”
An observation…..while activist and NGO attention has been (deliberately?) ratcheted up and focussed on fracking the nuclear industry has been lining up its myriad ducks from the South of England to Wales to Cumbria with a view to poisoning our water, land, sea and our DNA.. People often say to me “Why bother, its too big to fight, Moorside is a done deal” but this is true only if we are so cowed and intimidated by the entrenched and violent (yes violent) nuclear industry that we let their evil ambitions be a done deal. RESIST! Here is to containing Sellafield and Stopping Moorside in order to ensure many many more New Years being seen in – here in our beautiful, vulnerable Cumbria. Thanks to All Nuclear Resisters Everywhere!!
Review of the Year
January 7th 2016 NEW YEARS EVE NUCLEAR WASTE SITE FLOOD ALERT VIRTUALLY UNREPORTED Main Stream Media did not report dangers of flooding to UK’s Drigg Nuclear Waste Site “The Ecologist highlights a UK Environment Agency alert about the River Irt which is adjacent to Drigg described as a nuclear waste repository. Basically however it’s simply a ‘nuclear landfill site’
February 28th 2016 WYLFA CONSULTATION Radiation Free Lakeland object strongly to the plan for new nuclear in Wales and “We urge others to write opposing plans for new nuclear in Wales (or anywhere!). The “high burn” waste from new build would be many times hotter than from existing nuclear plants.”
April 30th LOCK THE GATE ON DRIGG –The Drigg site owners, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority pass day to day running of the site to multinational corporations involved in “decommissioning’ and those corporations largely monitor themselves. SO the same people responsible for producing the waste are also responsible for dumping it. The Environment Agency has told us it sees no conflict of interest in this…but we do! Studsvik, a swedish company who operate the only radioactive scrap metal plant in Europe here in Cumbria is one of the partners of the Drigg site. On 20th April Studsvik’s waste operations were taken over by EDF.
May 2nd COMEDIAN PAUL MERTON GOES WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD – DRIGG Is this the best expose in the last two decades of the UK’s “Low Level” Nuclear Dump ? Paul Merton fearlessly goes where Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have not dared to tread for many a long year and shows the world the madness of nuclear…and all in a quaint little Lakeland coastal village called Drigg.
May 5th DRIGG DECISION DELAYED YET AGAIN WHILE CONCRETE IS POURED IN THE ‘VAULTS’ First we were told this would be in April, then May – now the decision has been put back once again. The next possible time it may be heard is June 23rd ….but we will not know for sure until 7 days ahead of the meeting by the Development Control and Regulation Committee of Cumbria County Council. The toothless Environment Agency have already given their blessing and the operators have already poured tonnes of concrete over coastal land precariously near to the Drigg dunes for more “vaults” despite planning approval having not been given.
May 9th 2016 “POPULATION MIXING” LETTER HAND DELIVERED TO DECC “The industry and government continue to deny any link between radioactive emissions and childhood leukemia, preferring to throw supposedly reassuring red herrings to the public in the form of “population mixing” as a viral agent causing increased leukaemia’s. Here the plan in Cumbria is to parachute in 4000 temporary workers to the Moorside site. The village in which the site is situated, Beckermet has a population of 1,619 (2011). The nursery and primary school would be 700m from the proposed development.”
May 31st KESWICK SAYS NO TO NEW NUCLEAR 20 MILES AWAY AS THE CROW FLIES Today in Keswick 90% of the people we spoke to were opposed to new nuclear build in Cumbria. This does not tally with what NuGen are saying which is that “Cumbria wants new nuclear build.” A recent poll in the Evening Mail indicated that 85% of those voting do not want new nuclear build in Cumbria. Tourists said they would think twice about coming to Cumbria if dangerous new nuclear reactors were built here.
June 9th CUMBRIA WILDLIFE TRUST TEAM UP WITH NUGEN FOR WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY The local press trumpets the headline “NuGen Lends a Hand for World Environment Day” the article goes on ….”Employees from NuGen, the company responsible for delivering Moorside, teamed up with representatives from Cumbria Wildlife Trust and The Forestry Commission. We have been informed that people living on the coast near the proposed Moorside site where “exploratory” borehole drilling is already stirring up decades of radioactive waste (no planning permissison necessary say NuGen) have been warned by Nuvia (who do radioactive sampling on the beaches) not to pick up polythene sheeting or plastic. No doubt Cumbria Wildlife Trust will not be fazed by this and will continue to promote childrens activities on the beach?
July 22nd MOORSIDE 2nd CONSULTATION The 2nd Moorside Consultation for the “biggest nuclear development in Europe” finishes on 30th July. ‘Too Big and Too Nasty to Fight‘ is the View of the Proposed Moorside Plan from so many good people like the Director of Cumbria Wildlife Trust who feel utterly defeated by the nuclear juggernaught coming our way. This is of course what the industry wants you to think. BUT WE CAN DEFEAT THEM, ALL IT TAKES IS YOU. Thousands of people have already joined the Resistance .
August 2nd DRIGG DECISION: ‘WE ARE CAUGHT IN A TRAP, NO WAY OUT, BECAUSE WE LOVE NUCLEAR WASTE TOO MUCH?’ On 15th July a small committee of Cumbrian Councillors in Kendal took the decision to stack nuclear waste ever higher in shipping containers on the shifting sands of the West Cumbrian coast at the quaint village of Drigg. No fuss, no fanfare, no comment, only one article in the local press which airbrushed out the opposition – its a wonder there is ANY opposition what with the deafening silence! That rather triumphant article appeared in the Whitehaven News and it should set ALL alarm bells ringing. The operators of the Drigg “Low Level” Nuclear Waste “repository” are gleefully reported saying: ” It is safe to dispose of LLW at the LLWR both now and centuries into the future.”
August 23rd FRAGILE HABITATS – LETTER IN THE GUARDIAN “George Monbiot is right: wholesale destruction of wildlife is obscene (The grouse shooters aim to kill, 16 August). Why no grousing, then, on the imminent destruction of the diverse habitats and endangered species, including many red list birds, on the west coast of Cumbria? Why no grouse about the collateral damage in obsessive pursuit of the “biggest nuclear development in Europe” at Moorside? The environmental destruction planned is on a scale the most bloodthirsty grouse hunter could only dream of.”
August 30th PYLONS: WHAT DECISION WOULD YOU LIKE THE NATIONAL GRID TO MAKE? 70% SAY NO TO MOORSIDE The Evening Mail’s Pylon Poll has the option (unlike the actual Consultations) to vote No to Moorside…the poll is now standing at 70% saying No to Moorside …this is absolutely remarkable and very heartening given that the Friends of the Lake District and other groups along with the media are concentrating campaign efforts and media space only on the damaging impact of pylons rather than the obscenity of the main event!!
18th Sept HINKLEY C – THE CUMBRIAN CONNECTION –LETTER TO TERESA MAY PM “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.” 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..
September 19th 2016 DID GEORGE MONBIOT JUST POP THE WHITE ELEPHANT MYTH OF NEW NUCLEAR? George is ever so keen on new nuclear especially on burning plutonium wastes. So when he uses the term “white elephant” we should sit up and take notice. We should question why mainstream NGOs have allowed new nuclear proposals to become synonymous with a “White Elephant” rather than for example the far less benign “Hydra” monster of myth and legend
October 5th FRACKING SELLAFIELD? Letter to the Communities Secretary Opposing Fracking in Lancashire. Radiation Free Lakeland add our voice to all those Lancashire Communities and Councils opposing Fracking. Here in Cumbria the new Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) for Sellafield as determined by the Office for Nuclear Regulation has dramatically increased the emergency zone following research on possible seismic activity . As you know Fracking may well trigger seismic events. The release of just 1percent of the radioactivity from Sellafield’s high level liquid wastes would render much of the U.K Uninhabitable and pollute the rest of the world. The U.K. is already too small for the existing nuclear plants and in particular the uniquely vulnerable radioactive wastes at Sellafield.Please do not approve fracking activity in Lancashire which is just a stones throw from Sellafield in geological and seismic terms.”
October 9th 2016 WASDALE SHOW – 100% SAY STOP MOORSIDE This is remarkable given that this area is being bigged up as a “Nuclear Heartland” by Tom Samson the Chief Executive of Nugen (60% Toshiba and 40% Engie).The heart of Cumbria is alive and well no thanks to the heart tissue destroying Strontium emissions from the nuclear industry.
October 31st LAKELAND STORY FOR ALL HALLOWS EVE – THE BEAST OF BECKERMET It seems the official bodies tasked with protecting our wildlife have been well and truly nobbled by the insidious many-headed nuclear beast. Maybe the Woodwose as protector of the woods and wildlife is needed now more than ever? But who will protect the habitat of the Beast of Beckermet?
November 6th 2016 VIKING HOARD FOUND AT PROPOSED NUCLEAR SITE IN CUMBRIA A Viking Hoard found at Beckermet was actually found on the site earmarked by the UK government for the “biggest nuclear development in Europe”. It has been determined a National Treasure. “Hoards” have filled in the blanks for certain murky periods of history, and even re-written history.
November 30th 2016 NUCLEAR FREE LOCAL AUTHORITIES ENDORSE DAMNING REPORT The independent report was drafted by Pete Roche, the NFLA Scotland Policy Advisor and an independent consultant on nuclear policy. It was commissioned by the Cumbrian NGO Radiation Free Lakeland. “significant and alarming problems with this reactor design that could lead to catastrophic damage in the event of a serious accident.”
December 8th 2016 AUSTRIA THANKS CUMBRIANS. Marianne Birkby, Radiation Free Lakeland’s founder says, “ this acknowledgment and moral support from Austria sends us much needed encouragement to continue and to build on the resistance to Moorside. As the Federal Chancellor says, Europe needs citizens who advocate the exit from nuclear energy. Campaigning on the pylon route alone will not cut it. It is up to groups and individuals in Cumbria to join and to put their shoulders to the wheel in building resistance so that we can stop the biggest nuclear development in Europe and ensure a safe and sustainable future.”
Radiation Free Lakeland are no lovers of the BBC’s recent coverage of nuclear issues…so we were extremely guarded when approached by Panorama. Following reassurance that this would be an “expose” we have contributed to the programme with documents leaked to us by brave whistleblowers. We hope against hope that the programme will do what it says on the tin and does indeed go some small way to “uncover the truth.”
Several results should follow on from the airing of this programme, if it is an honest account of Sellafield’s shocking and ongoing ‘legacy’….
No New Nuclear Build – No Moorside.
No more nuclear waste should arrive at Sellafield
If the industry cannot contain the wastes safely above ground what chance below ground? The “implementation of geological disposal” should be scrapped and instead the industry should look at long term interim storage on existing sites.
A public inquiry into “decommissioning” and the resulting dispersal of wastes to the environment
Immediate halt to reprocessing.
Panorama: Sellafield’s Nuclear Safety Failings is broadcast on on BBC1 on Monday at 8.30pm.
If you missed it ..catch up here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07v80s4/panorama-sellafields-nuclear-safety-failingsBBCiplayer
PLEASE keep signing and sharing the petition which was ignored by Cumbria County Council. The petition is now over 2000 and rising. Cumbria’s Open Door policy to ever more (and ever more dangerous) nuclear wastes arriving at Drigg must be challenged.
TO: CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL
On 15th July 2016 in Kendal a small committee of Cumbria County Council Councillors agreed to the faulty plan to stack ever more nuclear wastes in shipping containers on the Cumbrian coast for decades to come and then to “cap” them out of sight and out of mind. We the undersigned ask that you reconsider the Open Door Policy to Nuclear Waste and instead Lock the Gate on Drigg.
Why is this important?
To describe the UKs nuclear waste site as a “Repository” is putting a spin on the UKs main nuclear dump for “low level” waste. There is “controlled discharge direct to the Irish Sea” not to mention run off to the Drigg Stream and River Irt. Discharges to the air of radioactive gases are ongoing. According to the British Geological Society the Drigg site is above a regional aquifer. It is also “likely to be destroyed by coastal erosion” in 500 to 5000 years (computer modelling can be wrong either way) . Much of the waste is long lived and high risk.
Below are a few of the reasons why it is important that Cumbria County Council Lock the Gate on Drigg:
Planning Application PL\1508\05 (4/15/9012):The phased construction of additional vaults, higher stacking of containers..capping..
1. Drigg Low Level Waste Repository (the word nuclear was dropped so as not to scare the horses) would continue to accept nuclear waste for decades to come. “Capping” is misleading. To cap” a nuclear dump is akin to putting a cap on a fizzy lemonade bottle while there are holes in the bottom of the bottle. The site will continue to leach aqueous emissions to groundwater and gaseous emissions to air.
2. LOW LEVEL: This suggests that the waste at Drigg is low risk and short lived. Neither is true. As the University of Reading has pointed out: “The Drigg site uses two disposal systems: 1) An original system operated from 1959 to 1988 comprising a series of parallel trenches excavated into glacial clays, back filled with LLW and covered with an interim water resistant cap. 2) Current disposal of compacted waste placed in steel ISO-freight containers, with void space filled with highly fluid cement based grout. These containers are then disposed of in a series of open concrete vaults. Radionuclides with highest activities in the inventory include 3H, 241Pu, 137Cs, 234U and 90Sr, 238U and 232Th. http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/16608/1/mrspaper.pdf
3. RADIOACTIVE FLY TIPPING: The chemical and nuclear dump site has moved on from the years 1940 to 1988 when chemical and radioactive waste was tumble tipped into trenches. Now the waste is compacted into steel shipping containers filled with cement. Incredibly the containers are stacked high. In 2013 the LLW management wrote: “in containers at the tops of stacks, the external capping grout has undergone extensive physical degradation and settlement; the lids are not full of grout, and the grout is generally heavily cracked. The state of the capping grout in underlying layers is better; most containers only show sparse cracking and typical settlement in the lid is approximately 15 mm. Standing water, sometimes contaminated with low levels of radioactivity, is present in approximately half of the containers at the tops of stacks. ..In containers at the tops of stacks, organic matter has accumulated beneath many open grout ports, with vegetation growing from some grout ports. ..Corrosion, sometimes fully penetrating, is present in some container lids at the tops of stacks…” http://llwrsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/30-RP-LLWRGR-PROJ-0139-Vault-8-Container-Issues-Project-MAS.pdf
4. FLOODWATER AND SEA INUNDATION: “The Environment Agency has given a formal view that “the potential for disruption of the site is an acceptable risk” By “disruption of the site” they mean inundation by sea and flood. This is a far cry from the Environment Agency’s previous criticism in 2005: “BNFL (Now the NDA) has not yet demonstrated that the wider benefits to the UK from continued LLW disposal on this site outweigh the potential future impacts” We would hope that Cumbria County Council agree with the Environment Agency’s 2005 findings that that the real and present threat of inundation of the Drigg site by flood or by sea is not an acceptable risk to the people of Cumbria or to our international neighbours.
5. THE COLLAPSE in 1985 of the largest black-headed gull breeding colony in Europe on the Drigg dunes has never been satisfactorily explained. The official explanation is that a fox did it! https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/disappearing-trick-birds-and-nuclear-waste/
6. CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA is officially blamed on “population mixing” due to the influx of workers firstly to the 1940 explosives factory (Royal Ordnance Factory) at Drigg and then the ROF at Sellafield. The irony of this incredible argument is that the plan for 3 new nuclear reactors at ‘ Moorside’ a few miles from Drigg (‘Moorside’ is at the village of Beckermet) would involve a boom and bust influx of thousands of workers along with a further tsunami of nuclear wastes and ever more Driggs. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-moorside-biggest-nuclear-development-in-europe
Many of the Councillors expressed serious concerns at the meeting and yet the vote was unanimously in favour which, to campaigners and the wider public, smacks of something very fishy indeed. To rely on the testament of the Environment Agency who merely look at the information provided to them by the industry is reckless. All projections and computer modelling are based on information provided by the operators. Much of the Drigg site is already unable to be accessed for monitoring due to the stacking of containers.
At the planning meeting on 15th July 2016 there was no discussion of :
Many thanks to Sam for this eyeopening Guest Blog…..
Map Reading and Madness at the Drigg Nuclear Waste Dump
Guest Blog by Sam – the newest member of Radiation Free Lakeland
When you get off the train at Drigg you can’t miss the waste dump. The fence runs right along by the platform and then on for another 1.7 km alongside the railway line. At intervals there are signs on the fence that say it is a nuclear licenced facility. The fence is green as I remember and has that spiralling wire rolled along the top. There is another fence inside this fence and a roadway in between them that a patrolling vehicle drives around. There are some scrabbling holes where rabbits have tried to dig their way in but have not succeeded as the fence goes down into the ground. However there are some specially made small gaps in the fence that presumably allow small animals to get in and out of the site.
The main entrance has a flag flying and a strange u shaped entry road which may, or may not, be to stop unwanted vehicles crashing the gates. Inside there is a gatehouse.
There are trees planted all around the fence and also a bund type mounded wall. From the footpath at the north west corner the stacks of shipping containers can be clearly seen. They can also be seen very clearly on the ‘google earth’ images as can the railway sidings within the site presumably for sending radioactive materials to and from Sellafield just up the coast.
These stacked up shipping containers are the current resting place of nuclear waste embedded in concrete. The public footpath and the railway line run directly along the fenceline. The B5344 Cumbria Cycle Way is about 200 meters away. The lovely village of Drigg is just next to the station.
The whole site is surreal. It is hard to believe what I am seeing. Radioactive waste packed into shipping containers – parked behind two fences alongside the Cumbrian coast.
The actual position on the coastline is perhaps the most surreal thing of all. If you check the OS Outdoor Leisure Map, [English Lakes South West] – you will see that the NW corner of the site – the place with all the shipping containers – is a mere 300m from the high tide mark. If you check the contours you’ll see the 20m contour weaving thru the site. This NW corner is less than 20m above sea level. Most of the site is under the 20m level. Some of it under 10m at the SW corner where it links to a tidal river.
If this were not terrifying enough – the land between the sea and the site is dunes and heath. Walking along the shore you can see that the erosion is very marked. The dunes/heath being cut away in an active process. Chunks of land with still growing grass are dangling down over the edge. So even the 20m contour line here seems a rather impermanent thing – the sea is eating into the land all the time.
I just checked what the abbreviation ‘NTL’ means on the map. It means Normal Tidal Limit. On the River Irt, which runs to the south of the site, the NTL is well inland of the dump site – so normal tides are daily flowing in and out within 200m from the dump site fence with no contours in between that I can see. From the dump site a long straight drainage ditch runs into a small stream which runs into this tidal stretch of the Irt – scarcely above sea level. Well – given that the sea is flowing in and out daily I guess this must be at sea level itself. Map reading has suddenly become a very scary activity.
There is no point in going on at length about the total madness of all this. I will just say in big type THIS IS TOTAL MADNESS. To add to the surreal nature of the horror is that this is all set in a supremely beautiful part of the world – the sea views to the Isle of Man, the long sandy beaches, the gorse covered, lark singing dunes, the Lake District mountains soaring up behind Wastwater . . . . . . gorgeous.
So – what we seem to have is a ‘Low Level Waste Repository’ which is very literally at a low level – barely above sea level. It is set in the shifting sands of heathland 300meters from current high tide mark. The dunes/heath are eroding. A watercourse from the site flows into the tidal river Irt just south of the site.
This looks like a very dodgy place to park nuclear waste for even half an hour . . . yet . . . yes . . . it gets worse . . . . the plan is to ‘cap’ the shipping containers with concrete in a ‘vault’ , seal them in and then put soil and grass on the top so no one can see what’s happening down there in the shifting sands. And the tides continue to rise. Oh yes – there will be more trees planted round the grassed site as well. So that’s OK then.
Please check http://llwrsite.com/ for videos of how they plan for the Nuclear Dump to be concreted in and grassed over.
The nuclear industry which is pushing for “the biggest nuclear development in Europe” here in Cumbria has been busy over the last decade rebranding itself as “renewable.” This lie is now being swallowed whole, by people who should know better. The renewable energy conference in Glasgow takes place on the 4th May and (with breathtaking nonchalance or lack of stomache to question the poisonous nuclear juggernaught) includes the toxic nuclear industry in its programme. This is beyond scandalous and we must resist and oppose this “renewable” lie at every opportunity. Please support the petition asking the organisers of the conference to Ban Nuclear from representing itself as “renewable.” Glasgow is a mere 100 miles from the proposed biggest new nuclear build in Europe. The petition can be signed here ..
To: Judith Patten and Ellen Burgess (Conference Manager)
Please cancel the talk on Nuclear Life Cycle and remove it from the agenda of the All-Energy Renewable Energy Conference May 4th 2016 in Glasgow.
Why is this important?
“Renewable energy is generally defined as energy that is collected from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat” -to quote wikipedia on something which is common knowledge. Nuclear power requires a fuel that has to be extracted in mines as coal or gas.
The nuclear industry likes to promote itself as low or even carbon neutral (of which the latter is plain wrong) and capitalises on the carbon footprint blindness of the british government and COP talks. Even if it is low carbon, it still entails problems that makes this source of energy highly unsustainable: the use of uranium ore as fuel, long-lived, environmentally problematic waste and risks that can be devastating. Even SMR’s are not less problematic just because they are smaller.
I am increasingly outraged by the way the nuclear industry tries to influence and infiltrate every aspect of the british society. I don’t know how they managed to get a slot in this renewable energy conference, but it shows that the nuclear industry is very good at its effort to “improve” its reputation with the public and even scientists and the renewable industry.
Don’t let the nuclear industry brainwash everyone into thinking that nuclear power is a renewable and sustainable energy!
The public relies on the Environment Agency and other regulators to protect health and the environment from the nuclear industry’s radioactive liquid and gaseous emissions. BUT the Environment Agency relies on the nuclear industry providing documentation of their own self monitoring. The nuclear industry is out of control …literally.
French State Owned AREVA, Swedish Studsvik & California URS “Self Monitor” Radioactive Waste Gaseous Emissions in the UK at Drigg Radioactive waste dump, which they operate. Scandal-ridden AREVA would be bankrupt, if it were not a French State owned company, supported by the French taxpayer (and apparently the British and US taxpayer).
Two of the consortium members running the Drigg radioactive waste dump – URS and AREVA- are consortium members at the WIPP nuclear waste dump which has had major problems with emissions of radiation into the air. WIPP nuclear waste accident led to unplanned gaseous radioactive emissions
Since that time URS was sold to AECOM (finalized Oct. 2014), also of California.
UK Environmental Agency Response to Marianne of Radiation Free Lakeland:
“From: CMBLNC Info Requests
19 January 2016
Enquiry regarding Who Monitors Drigg Radioactive Waste Site