The News and Star reported this week on the “devastation” felt by a Cumbrian farmer who has been given a year to leave the land in order to make way for “Europe’s biggest nuclear development.” There are many more farmers who will lose their land and livelihoods. Some farms would be immediately buried under the 1400 acre area earmarked for the diabolic nuclear reactors and associated sprawl. Others would inevitably lose their livelihoods in the future from inevitable accidents and incidents should Moorside go ahead.
The wildlife both marine and terrestrial that would be left devastated by Moorside both immediately and in the future is beyond comprehension, which is maybe why Cumbria Wildlife Trust and others have chosen to turn a blind eye. There is no excuse for this terrible wilful neglect by those who are tasked with the protection of Cumbria.
Volunteers Radiation Free Lakeland have been deliberately marginalised and ignored and on occasion laughed at by those same groups who profess to love Cumbria and a sustainable future.. it does get wearing…but the struggle is essential and we urge others previously standing on the sidelines to take a stand against new nuclear build. Everything else is meaningless if we cannot use the land, the sea and our rivers running from the mountains to the sea for anything but a receptacle for the nuclear industry.
Who remembers Melvyn Bragg’s tears reported all over the media at the National Trust stepping in to buy a Cumbrian farm?
The Guardian reported last year: “Lord Bragg, a native of Cumbria, lambasted the trust’s actions, branding it a “disgraceful purchase” and a “nasty piece of work”, adding that its opening bid of £200,000 above the £750,000 guide price to put off other potential buyers was “straight out of the mafia”.In a letter to the Times, he accused the National Trust of behaving badly and accused its director-general, Dame Helen Ghosh, of behaving “dictatorially”.
Lord Bragg has refused to even answer any of our letters regarding the violence being done by the nuclear industry to the farmland on the fertile plain between the mountains and the sea at “Moorside” (actually several farms, between the once farming hamlet of Sellafield and the village of Beckermet, including Greenmoorside from which “Moorside” insensitively takes its name). This is the fertile plain where fell farmers traditionally brought herdwick down to overwinter.
The National Trust bought up land to protect it for wildlife – at some point it may be farmed again whereas the nuclear industry is buying up land to pollute it (and us) forever into eternity.
“On March 11, we will be remembering that exactly six years have passed
since the triple explosions and meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
reactor site. Over 150,000 from Fukushima Prefecture were forced to leave
their homes to flee from radiation, the majority of which are still living
in many different parts of Japan. It is likely that many of them will never
be able to return to their homes. We also know that 300 tonnes of
radioactive water flows EVERY DAY through the site of the Fukushima
disaster into the Pacific Ocean. So the crisis there is as acute as ever,
and we support calls for an international response to this environmental,
economic and social disaster.
Seven movements in Wales will be supporting an anti-nuclear event in The
National Library, Aberystwyth on Saturday, March 11. The speakers will be:
Jill Evans MEP, Plaid Cymru – Leaving Euratom, What Next?
Alice Hooker-Stroud, Leader Wales Green Party – Wales’ energy fufure and
Julie Ward MEP, Labour North West England – Fukushima’s experience –
nuclear power never again
Peter Smith, ex-engineer at Hinkley Point – Delusion, Denial, Deceit
leading to Danger, Disater and Death
Selwyn Jones, Cymdeithas yr Iaith – Wylfa B and the threat to the Welsh
Reinhard Uhrig, Global 2000 Austria – campaigning experiences and Austria’s
legal challenge to the financing of Hinkley Point C
There will also be two wokshops led by:
Linda Pentz Gunter, from the Beyond Nuclear movement in the USA on
American impressions of Toshiba and Hitachi’s financial troubles and plans
for Small Modular Reactors and advice on how to empower the anti-nuclear
struggle in Wales.
Sean Morris, Nuclear Free Local Authorities and Dewi Llwyd Evans, Ynni
Ogwen outlining success of renewable projects led by councils and
On behalf of PAWB, Dr.Carl Clowes said:
“This will be a very important event which will take the anti-nuclear
campaign in Wales to a more intense level at a time of major woldwide
problems for the nuclear industry. The only way new nuclear power stations
can be built in England and Wales will be with huge publicly funded
subsidies. We call on the UK Government and Welsh Government to recognise
this and to reject the dirty, dangerous, environmental and health
threatening and extremely expensive technology of nuclear power. They
should follow the examples of other countries who recognise that the
sensible and responsible way forward is to develop decentralised energy
systems based on renewable energy in all its diverse forms, and battery
storage of electicity which is rapidly falling in price.”
March 11th 2017 will be the 6th anniversary of the ongoing Fukushima disaster.
Radiation Free Lakeland invite people to join them in a vigil to remember and to send a message to the nuclear industry that no amount of electricity is worth the kind of damage a nuclear accident inflicts on our sea, air, soil, fresh water and on our children.
Springfields (Toshiba/Westinghouse) made the fuel for the first nuclear disaster, the Windscale Fire in Cumbria. Springfields continues to make nuclear fuel from uranium for ALL the UK’s nuclear power stations. Springfields also supplies 12 countries worldwide with nuclear fuel including Japan.
**Please Join us on March 11th to Remember Fukushima**
6 years later, the catastrophe at Fukushima is still far from being resolved, still ongoing. 3 reactor core meltdowns still releasing radioactive nanoparticles into the open skies, contaminated water still leaking continuously into the Pacific ocean, plus partially decontaminated water also been dumped into the ocean.
All available information and figures controlled by Tepco and the Japanese government, with no independent party allowed to verify the veracity of the given information. A massive permanent public relations campaign of disinformation and denial, to brainwash the Japanese population and the whole world that everything is now under control and ok, denial of the radiation risks for the people health, economics being the Japanese government priority, not the population health protection. Evacuated persons coerced to return to live with high radiation in their previously evacuated townships. So that Japan would seem safe, clean and beautiful to welcome the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
If Fukushima taught us one thing it is that people should not expect the government to protect them nor corporations to be held responsible in time of nuclear disaster.
This written article is based on officially released data by Tepco and the Japanese government, therefore all the figures and claims should be therefore taken with a pinch of salt. Always keep in mind that the officially released information does not really teach us the essential about the still ongoing catastrophe and about its victims getting more abandoned than ever.
Key figures for the sixth anniversary
As we approach the sixth anniversary of the disaster, here are some key figures as they appear in the media and official sites.
The reactor vessel was empty on March 11, 2011, and there was no melting of the core, but a hydrogen explosion destroyed the reactor building. Since December 2014, the reactor fuel pool has been emptied and the work is stopped.
Reactor # 3
There was a core meltdown and a hydrogen explosion destroyed the reactor building. All debris from the upper part were removed using remotely operated gear. A new building that will cover the whole and allow to empty the fuel pool is being assembled. The dose rate is so high that the work is more complex than expected and the site has fallen behind.
Reactor # 2
There was a core meltdown, but the reactor building is whole. Tepco did not begin to remove the spent fuel from the pool, but attempted to locate the corium, this mixture of molten fuel and debris, by various means. The dose rates inside the building are such that it is impossible to work on it. In the containment, record levels were observed. Even the robots that were sent there did not resist long.
Reactor # 1
There was a core meltdown and a hydrogen explosion destroyed the reactor building. This building was covered with a new structure in 2011, which was completely dismantled in November 2016. Tepco will begin to remove the debris from the upper part of the reactor and then rebuild a new structure to empty the fuel pool.
This makes a total of 252 m3 / d. This water is strongly contaminated and infiltrates into the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings where it mixes with the ground water that floods these basements.
To reduce radioactive groundwater leakage into the sea, Tepco pump water upstream before that water is contaminated by the reactors and then rejects it directly into the ocean. It has also built a barrier along the shoreline and pumped groundwater at the foot of the reactors. Part of this water is partially decontaminated and dumped into the ocean. Another part, too contaminated, is mixed with the water pumped in the basements of the reactors to be put in tanks after treatment, waiting for a better solution.
Tepco announced that it had already processed 1,730,390 m3 of contaminated water, which generated 597 m3 of radioactive sludge. Part of this is used for cooling and the rest is stored in tanks. According to the company, the stock of treated or partially treated water amounts to 937,375 cubic meters, to which must be added the 52,200 cubic meters of water in the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings. There are nearly a thousand tanks to keep this water that occupy almost the entire plant site. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu17_e/images/170217e0101.pdf
Since March 2016, Tepco has been trying to freeze the ground around the damaged reactors to reduce infiltration and dispersal of polluted water, but this is not as effective as expected. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority, the NRA, seriously doubts the effectiveness of this technique, which it now considers as secondary. It can be seen on this graph, where the drop in the volumes of water to be stored each day is not very high. The ice does not take place, where the underground currents are strongest. Official data on freezing of the ground. About half of the workers on the site are there because of the contaminated water. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2017/images/handouts_170209_02-e.pdf
At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
From March 11, 2011, to March 31, 2016, 46,956 workers were exposed to ionizing radiation at the site of Fukushima Daiichi, including 42,244 subcontracted workers. It is the subcontracted workers who take the highest doses, with an average of between 0.51 and 0.56 mSv per month between January and February 2016. It is between 0.18 and 0.22 for employees of Tepco.
There are also 1,203 people who have a higher limit to continue entering the site. Their average cumulative dose since the beginning of the accident is 36.49 mSv and the maximum value of 102.69 mSv.
On April 1, 2016, all measures were reset. Thus, 174 workers who have exceeded the dose limit will be able to return. Since that date, up to 31 December 2016, 14,643 workers have been exposed to ionizing radiation at the site of Fukushima Daiichi, of which 13,027 are subcontracted workers (89%). Subcontracted workers take the highest doses. Among them, it is not known how many were already exposed to radiation before April 1, 2016.
• There were workers of Brazilian origin who did not speak good Japanese and did not always understand the instructions of radiation protection. The Embassy of Brazil reacted and protested.
• While progress has been made in working conditions on the site, with the construction of a building dedicated to reception and rest, equipped with a canteen and a mini market, there are still problems thanks to cascade subcontracting.
• 3 workers had their cancer recognized as occupational disease: two leukemias and one thyroid cancer. One filed a complaint against Tepco and Kyûshû Electric.There are 15 cancers in all of these workers, including 8 cases of leukemia.
Radioactive pollution mapping
• The latest aerial mapping of radioactive pollution around the Fukushima Daiichi plant dates from 2015 and is available online on the dedicated site: http://ramap.jmc.or.jp/map/eng/
This new map shows the areas still evacuated and an average decrease of 65% of the ambient dose rate compared to what was measured in autumn 2011. The radioactive decay is responsible for a drop of 53%. The remainder is due to the leaching of soils and, in some places, to decontamination work.
The decontamination of evacuated areas is the responsibility of the government. Elsewhere, where the external exposure could exceed 1 mSv / year, it is the municipalities that have to deal with it.
• In non-evacuated areas, 104 townships were affected, but with the natural decline in radioactivity, the number became now 94. A map is given on page 14 of this document. In Fukushima, 15 out of 36 municipalities have been completed.
• For the interim storage facility, which is expected to contain approximately 22 million cubic meters of waste over 1,600 ha or 16 km2 around the Fukushima Daiichi plant for a maximum of 30 years, the government signed a contract with only 633 landowners (26.8%), for a total area of 287 ha (or 2.87 km2), or just 17.9% of the total area.The authorities want to reuse these soils when they have fallen below the limit of 8 000 Bq / kg for cesium. http://josen.env.go.jp/en/pdf/progressseet_progress_on_cleanup_efforts.pdf
• Japan conducts a census of its population every 5 years. The last two took place in 2010, just before the disaster and in 2015. As of October 1, 2015, the population of Fukushima province decreased by 5.7% compared to 2010 (115,000 fewer people) Miyagi of 0.6% and that of Iwate of 3.8%.
This census is based on the persons actually present and not on the registered persons. Thus, in the townships of Namie, Futaba, Okuma and Tomioka there is zero inhabitant.
The population of Kawauchi, where the evacuation order was partially lifted in 2014, the population decreased by 28.3%. In Naraha, where the evacuation order was fully lifted in September 2015, the population decreased by 87.3%.
Some townships hosting displaced persons have seen their population increase.
In all of Japan, the number of inhabitants decreased by 0.7% (- 947,000) in five years and was 127.11 million by 1 October 2015. The number of inhabitants increased in Tokyo (+2, 7%), Saïtama and Aïchi prefectures. The biggest decline was in Akita prefecture (-5.8%), which was not affected by the triple disaster. Fukushima prefecture has the second biggest drop, with -5.7%.
• Of the 54 nuclear reactors operating before the nuclear disaster, 6 were partially or completely destroyed at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. 6 others, too old, were stopped definitively. So there are only 42 nuclear reactors left in Japan.
Only 26 of them have applied for restart authorization and only 12 reactors have been granted a restart authorization. Two reactors at the Sendai power station in Kagoshima prefecture generate electricity to power the grid. A third is in operation at the Ikata power station in Ehime prefecture, both in southern Japan..
The Article below is copyrighted material and is reproduced here in full with kind permission from Ethical Consumer. Written by Jane Lawson for E. C. Back in 2006. People are sometimes disbelieving when we tell them that the nuclear industry has been spinning them an old yarn about Nuclear Power being the solution to climate […]
A reminder of why increased Siesmic activity from fracking in the NW is bonkers. Also bonkers is the frightening (and deliberate?) lack of attention on the growing mountain of radioactive wastes being dumped right now in the Preston area. A nightmare where people are directed to look at the fracking fires being set in one direction while being fatally poisoned with deadly radioactive wastes in another hidden from view direction.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Make Room for Radioactive Landfill!
Radioactive Landfill “Safegrounds” SITA ppt
A while back the brilliant anti fracking campaigner Tina Louise Rothery posted on the Radiation Free Lakeland facebook page requesting help to stop the huge expansion of Whitemoss landfill. We looked at Whitemoss, near Skelmersdale and what goes into the landfill is very, very nasty ….even without radioactive wastes.
What we found though was that Whitemoss was indeed designated for receipt of low level radioactive wastes. According to the Cheshire West and Chester Local Plan for 2015: “Currently low level radioactive waste is exported to Whitemoss Landfill site in Lancashire”. So we asked Questions under Freedom of Information. What happened next is incredible. The reply came back within 6 days not from the Department of the Environment (who we addressed the FOI to) but from Whitemoss Landfill:
Is Cumbria Being Frogmarched into Nuclear AND Coal?
The plan to reopen the Whitehaven coal mine under the Irish Sea has been rumbling along for a few years with no raised eyebrows. Why are alarm bells not ringing out loud and clear? This nasty plan will go before Cumbria County Council in May (date tbc)
Most Gaseous, Dangerous Pit in the Kingdom
These are strange, confusing days. There is all round praise being heaped on the plans to reopen Whitehaven coal mine on Cumbrias West Coast, the most gaseous, dangerous pit in the Kingdom. In 1815, Sir Humphrey Davy’s invention of the miner’s safety lamp was first tested in Whitehaven Coking Coal Mine because of its reputation for “firedamp” (methane) and fatal explosions. By 1816 the Davey lamp was in full use in collieries around Great Britain. A letter of gratitude was written by Whitehaven Miners to Sir Humphrey Davy in 1816….many of the miners signing the letter later lost their lives in the mine.
The West Coast of Cumbria below both ground and sea is a labyrinthine honeycomb of mines. Not only coking coal but iron ore and many other minerals. This vast honeycomb of mines stretches to Sellafield. One of the earliest records of coal mining in West Cumberland dates to 1560, the last pit, the Haig, closed in 1986. There are old mine maps but these are far, far from complete. Understandably so, given the length of time that this area has been extensively mined. Many of the miners are still there in the dangerous honeycomb. Entombed in the same collapsed and sea inundated mine pits that the West Cumbria Mining Company wants to reopen.
Infamous Copeland By Election
In the recent infamous Copeland by election the candidates without exception declared themselves to be “big fans” of reopening the West Cumbria Coal Mine. They did this in true Alice in Wonderland style, expressing concerns about climate change while praising the plan to reopen the coal mine. For many years UK citizens have been subjected to a constant bombardment of disingenuous propaganda: ‘nuclear power is the answer to climate change and coal is far worse than nuclear for the climate’. The purpose of this propaganda being that we should welcome nuclear with open arms, while shunning coal. George Monbiot has consistently and aggressively set the pace: “Nuclear scare stories are a gift to the truly lethal coal industry.” Monbiot’s constant mantra in the last several years is that those who oppose nuclear power are uninformed, bigoted idiots. Now it appears that the idiots in Cumbria are being groomed to welcome both coal AND nuclear.
A recent article in the Daily Mail paints a homely image of a local mining firm returning to its traditional roots in Cumbria. This image is not quite what it seems. The £14.7m private equity financing for reopening Whitehaven mine has been put up by EMR Capital who say: “We are a specialist resources private equity manager whose team has a proven track record in the three dimensions critical to achieving superior returns:
Successful resources exploration, development, operation and commercialisation
Deep linkages to Asian markets – in particular, with commodity purchasers and end users, resources companies, investors and governments
Private equity investment management”
In 2013 the Managing Director of EMR Capital, Jason Chang featured in the Taiwanese Press. The Taipei Times reported: “Jason Chang apologized” for his company’s recent “wastewater pollution incident “ and that ASE (Advanced Semiconductor Engineering) will “donate up to NT$3 billion (US$101 million) over the next 30 years to help promote environmental protection” in Taiwan. “ASE was fined NT$600,000 for discharging toxic wastewater into the Houjin River.”
The PR for reopening the coal mine seems to have worked its charms on the local Allerdale and Copeland Green party for whom the coal mine gets a thumbs up as it ‘will reduce imports of the coking coal necessary to produce wind turbines.’ This argument holds no water as in order to recoup money and make a killing the coal from Whitehaven would be aggressively exported worldwide. The coal and its by-products could end up doing anything from being burnt in coal fired power stations, processed into coking coal, making the vast amounts of steel necessary for a giant geological dump for radioactive wastes. The coal from Whitehaven was first processed into coking coal for the iron industry in 1723. Coke production did not however match local demand and tonnes were brought in from Durham. The Durham coke was superior in having lower phosphorus content, a factor of importance to the local hematite iron industry.
Turning the ground to a liquid mess
There are other ways to achieve the high temperatures necessary for steel production but even if processing coal into coking coal was the only way, the close proximity of Sellafield and the proposed Moorside site should knock this dangerous plan on the head. Extractive activities are known to cause earthquakes. There are two contenders for the strongest earthquake in this region a 5.0 ML earthquake on 11 August 1786 had an epicentre just offshore from Whitehaven and a depth of about 16 km; a 5.1 ML earthquake on 17 March 1843 had an epicentre offshore from Barrow and a depth of about 15 km. This may not be unrelated to the escalating mining activities going on the time. The only area in the UK to have experienced a liquefaction event is the village of Rampside, near Barrow in 1865. “High intensity and liquefaction phenomena are usually associated only with relatively large magnitude earthquakes. An earthquake in 1865 in the northwest of England suggests that a sufficiently shallow small event can also produce liquefaction. The effects are well documented in historical sources and include sand fountaining. Modern investigation is confined to documentary evidence owing to the tidal environment of the area where liquefaction occurred. Analysis shows that the felt area of the earthquake was probably only about 200 km2; however, heavy damage occurred in the village of Rampside and the maximum intensity is assessed at 8. Liquefaction is not uncommon at this intensity, but such a high intensity is not usually produced by such small earthquakes. The magnitude was probably in the range 2.5–3.5 ML.” pure and applied geophysics November 1998, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 733–745
West Cumbria Mining are inviting the public to ask questions so I asked the following:
“How would the mine be dewatered? What is the full carbon footprint for one year of peak production. Including predicted dewatering, mining and export operations? What agreements have been made with St Bees School, Lowther Estate, regarding the mineral rights? How are the vast network of faults and dips mapped? (this would have a bearing on distance to the sea bed) What is the proximity to the proposed Moorside site and Sellafield?” The reply from Communications Manager Helen Davies was: “At this time I am busy preparing for our next major stakeholder event, which is scheduled to run on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th March. It would be much easier to discuss your questions and provide answers from our team of specialists who will be at the event, rather than attempting to answer them in writing now. The event on the 2nd March is by invitation only – please find attached an invite, we would be delighted if you could come along to meet with us. Caroline Leatherdale, our environmental specialist will be there, together with a wide range of our technical team.”
Yeo: Treasury needs to pour billions into nuclear projects
The Treasury is facing calls to pour billions of pounds into a string of troubled new nuclear projects which threaten the UK’s energy supplies.
Tim Yeo, a former environment minister and energy committee chairman, is warning that the only way the Government can avert a crisis for the country’s nuclear programme is to take a direct financial stake in the projects.
Ministers should also actively encourage investment from nuclear companies in China, South Korea and Russia where the the industry is relatively insulated from the challenges faced by European companies thanks to strong state backing, he said.
Tim Yeo Credit: Geoff Pugh
Ministers are wary of involving the foreign powers in its energy security plans and have steadfastly resisted taking on the financial risk involved in nuclear construction.
In a letter to Business Secretary Greg Clark, the Tory grandee says there is a real danger that the pipeline of nuclear projects will fail to come on stream before 2030 unless Government agrees to intervene. Mr Yeo said the existing support regime, which guarantees a fixed price for each megawatt of power produced, does not go far enough to help investors who face billions in construction costs before the nuclear plant begins producing power.
In neither case would the Government’s support constitute a permanent subsidy.Tim Yeo
The Government should offer loans to developers which can be paid back once the plant comes on stream, or take an equity stake in the project which could be sold off to investors when construction is complete.
“In neither case would the Government’s support constitute a permanent subsidy. It would directly cut the cost of electricity produced by the new plant because the Government’s borrowing costs will be lower than those of any private investor,” Mr Yeo writes.
The UK is banking on the 3.2GW nuclear power plant to provide as much as 7pc of the country’s energy by the middle of next decade. However, the Hinkley Point, Moorside and Sizewell B projects have all been dogged by delays and concerns over whether the multi-billion pound investments can be shouldered by the companies.
Do we have a responsibility to silence views we consider morally repugnant or simply untrue? Claims that the Holocaust didn’t happen are insane and revolting. Should we prevent people from airing those views? Refuse to debate with them? Should we declare that some opinions do not deserve to be heard?
It’s a good question. Not an easy one to answer maybe. It’s offensive to listen to people excusing or even denying hideous crimes against humanity. The instinct is that they should be stopped somehow. That’s why questioning the reality of the Holocaust is a crime in some countries.
But what about the other side of that? If we – however honourably – designate any opinion to be worthy of unconditional censorship have we not created a dreadful precedent? Holocaust-denial might be a no-brainer for condemnation – but what about “HIV-denial”? “climate-denial?”
“If we were going to see this at the casino we should have stayed at the camp. We should have stayed at the camp” (M.A.E. Kurthland).
Madrigal-Alcaraz Enrique Kurthland peacefully evacuated one of the No Dakota Access Pipeline camps to stay at the Standing Rock Prairie Knights Casino Hotel, so as not to see the police brutality at the camps. Then the police taser his friend and relative – a Native American Veteran- in the casino hotel for no reason. The man had his hands up as is clear in these screenshots and even more clear in the videos: http://youtu.be/OtCTFKHiwA4
As can be seen the man has his hands up:
The police then grabbed his hand which was up, apparently trying to twist it to hand-cuff him:
The police continues to twist his arm: Then suddenly out of the blue another police tasered him with no notice and…