Government Believes that “Population Mixing” Can Seriously Damage YOUR Child’s Health – #StopMoorside

population-mixing-can-damage-your-childs-health

tim-farron-with-the-map-of-excess-cancers
Tim Farron MP looking at the Map of “excess” cancers  from Sir Douglas Black’s Independent Advisory Group 1984

Tim Farron MP has agreed to quiz  the Director of Public Health Cumbria on his failure to reply to our questions regarding Moorside and the health of children in the vicinity of the proposed Moorside reactors..

Dear Tim Farron MP,

Last May 2016 we wrote to the Director of Public Health along with hundreds of other concerned Cumbrians asking the following questions:

A Government Committee recently said that “Population Mixing” caused by an influx of nuclear workers resulted in “a Mystery Virus.” They said this is the likely cause of increased leukaemias near Sellafield. This view is rather undermined by the Sellafield workers having a Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases. There are higher incidences of many diseases in the vicinity of Sellafield including childhood eye cancers and Downs Syndrome.

 Do you believe, like the government, that “population mixing” is the cause of the acknowledged and well documented excess of childhood leukaemia near Sellafield? Or do you agree with the co-discoverer of plutonium and uranium, Dr John Gofman that there is no safe dose of radiation? Which do you think the government and the industry should take responsibility for:

  1. A) Population Mixing?
  2. B) Cumulative Radioactive Emissions from existing and new reactors?  

 The reply we received back from Colin Cox, the Director of Public Health Cumbria was dismissive and we are still waiting for an answer to our questions:

“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”

Given that John Woodcock MP insists that Moorside would bring over 20,000 jobs to Cumbria, a county with 4000 claiming either JSA or Universal Credit is this more of a threat than a promise?   It seems to us that whether the well documented increase in cancers is due to an influx of nuclear workers or radioactive emissions, this is a lose-lose situation with regards the health and safety of Cumbrians.

We have written to an acknowledged expert and member of government committees relating to Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment and Dr Paul Dorfman’s reply to us is below.

________________________________ From: Dorfman, Paul Sent: 13 June 2016 09:59 To: mariannebirkby@mariannebirkby.plus.com Subject: Re: Population Mixing V Radioactive Emissions. Govnt want their cake and eat it?]

Dear Marianne

Thank you for your letter concerning the key issue of childhood leukaemia in Cumbria.   As you may know, I served as Secretary to the UK governmental scientific advisory Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE), where we reported on this issue. I am also currently an advisor on radiation risk to the Irish Government Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and am an advisor to the UK MoD on the dismantling of the laid-up UK nuclear submarine flotilla. In other words, I am an acknowledged expert on radiation risk.

Regards future risk of childhood ill-health in Cumbria – I, like you, am of the clear opinion that the acknowledged significant increase in childhood leukaemia in Cumbria is associated with radiation releases from nuclear power plant.   However, there is no question but that the view of the key UK governmental radiation risk scientific advisory body – the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) – is that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is most likely associated with a ‘population mixing’.

In other words, COMARE, and hence the UK government state that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is due to a novel virus brought in by a large number of construction workers which then goes on to infect a relatively isolated local population who do not have a defense against this virus.   In this context, the UK government must take responsibility for this view. Thus the UK government must inform the local community to expect a potential increase in risk of childhood leukeamia following the construction of the planned nuclear facility at Moorside.

Sincerely   Paul   Dr Paul Dorfman

The Energy Institute University College London Central House 14 Upper Woburn Place London WC1HH 0NN +44 (0)7972385303 Founder, Nuclear Consulting Group http://www.nuclearconsult.com/ Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Nuclear Policy Research Fellow

____________________________________________________

Last weekend in Workington we collected more signatures to add to the hundreds of letters already sent to the Director of Public Health in Cumbria to again remind him to reply to our questions. We would be very grateful if you could pass this letter on to him with the following questions for which we are still awaiting a reply.

Which do you think the government and the industry should take responsibility for:

A) Population Mixing?

B) Cumulative Radioactive Emissions from existing and new reactors?  

 

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

 

WORLD CANCER DAY 4th FEB- JOIN US SAY NO TO MOORSIDE and NUCLEAR DUMPING

government-warning

 

GREAT NEWS – TOSHIBA’s foray into nuclear ventures has resulted in them experiencing a gigantic financial black hole which means that their nuclear construction business is in tatters.

It is however way too soon to call time on Moorside as our nuclear obsessed Govnt will be pulling out all stops to stay with the plan …Toshiba was always going to pull out after construction of the diabolic reactors (Nuclear Engineering International 16th September 2014 Toshiba planning to sell some of its stake in the venture “within the first year of plant operations”).  

The South Koreans (KEPCO)  have been in talks with NuGen to try to keep the whole shebang going.

Also not in the mainstream press is the fact that Toshiba have a 150 year lease on the Springfields nuclear fuel site at Preston providing nuclear fuel for the UK and around the world.

Join us on 4th Feb in Workington town centre at 10am (at the Look Out Clock) on World Cancer Day to say NO to Moorside and Nuclear Dumping.  Bring Banners, Bring Yourselves – Join the Resistance!

We will have a letter for people to sign to Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health who has so far refused to answer our question.

Do you

A.  Agree with government that population mixing is the cause of the “excess” of childhood leukaemia in areas of Cumbria

Or

B. Agree 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”

 

Our letter below will be available for people to sign on Saturday 4th February in Workington from 10am to 12noon at the Look Out Clock (or nearby)

To Colin Cox, the Director of Public Health Cumbria,

A Government Committee recently said that “Population Mixing” caused by an influx of nuclear workers resulted in “a Mystery Virus.” They said this is the likely cause of increased leukaemias near Sellafield. This view is rather undermined by the Sellafield workers having a Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases. There are higher incidences of many diseases in the vicinity of Sellafield including childhood eye cancers and Downs Syndrome.

In the Eighties, the families of 19 children living within 20 miles of Sellafield took the site operators to court.  The children all had leukaemia.  They lost their case, the judge ruling that the radiation dose from the plant was too low to have caused leukaemia.

The Government subscribes to the 1988 Leo Kinlen theory, which suggests that exposure to a common unidentified infection through population mixing results in childhood leukaemia.  Prof Kinlen said: “This exposure is greater when people from urban areas mix with rural communities eg when construction workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area.”  History is about to repeat itself.  The Government plans to parachute into Cumbria thousands of temporoary workers to work at Beckermet, site of the proposed “biggest new nuclear development in Europe.”

Dr Paul Dorfman, secretary to the UK governmental sceintific advisory Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE), an acknowledged expert on radiation risk, told us: “I, like you, am of the clear opinion that the acknowledged significant increase in childhood leukaemia in Cumbria is associated with radiation releases….However…the view of the key UK governmental radiation risk scientific advisory body (COMARE) is that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is most likely associated with “population mixing.”

“COMARE, and hence the Government state that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is due to a novel virus brought in by a large number of construction workers which then goes on to infect a relatively isolated local population who do not have a defence against this virus.”

“Thus the Government must inform the local community to expect a potential increase in risk of childhood leukaemia following the construction of the planned nuclear facility at Moorside.”

Nuclear power pioneer Dr John Gofman said decades ago: “Licensing a nuclear power plant is…licensing random premeditated murder.  When you license a plant, you know what you’re doing, so its premeditated….The evidence on radiation producing cancer is beyond doubt. It’s not a question any more:radiation produces cancer and the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest doses.”

Do you

A.  Agree with government that population mixing is the cause of the “excess” of childhood leukaemia in areas of Cumbria

Or

B. Agree 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”

yours sincerely,

Name

Address

 

 

BREAKING NEWS. ….as  we predicted the South Koreans have been wined and dined ….report in Utility Week ……

“South Korean investment could save Moorside
31/01/2017
South Korean investment in Moorside could help to safeguard the future of the proposed nuclear plant in Cumbria, New Nuclear Watch Europe has told Utility Week
The NuGen consortium which is developing Moorside is jointly owned by Toshiba and Engie. Toshiba announced on Friday it was reviewing its nuclear activities in response to a financial crisis, leaving a question mark over the future of the project.
“This is an anxiety but it’s one to which there is a solution, albeit probably at the cost of a little bit of time,” said Tim Yeo, who chaired the Energy and Climate Change Committee from 2010-2015 and is now chairman of the trade group New Nuclear Watch Europe. “I think what it will throw up is the possibility of bringing a new partner into the NuGen consortium”, he added.
South Korean utility Kepco was reported to be close to investing in the project in October, and in December the Times reported that representatives from the company had met with business and energy secretary Greg Clark.
“They’ve been a bit discouraged, I think, by the reception they’ve had in the UK,” said Yeo. “But my understanding is they are now talking to Toshiba about taking a stake… I think there’s no doubt that Kepco, with the full backing of the Korean government, is interested.”
He said Kepco’s involvement could delay the project if it insisted on using its own reactor technology as it would have to go through the lengthy Generic Design Assessment process. “That would set the programme back a bit,” he added.
“Going forward, we will revise the positioning of the nuclear business as our main focus business in the energy sector, and review the future of nuclear businesses outside Japan”, said Toshiba president and chief executive Satoshi Tsunakawa at a press conference on Friday.
The Japanese conglomerate is facing an undisclosed write-down amounting to “several billion US dollars” on the purchase of US nuclear construction firm CB&I Stone & Webster by its subsidiary Westinghouse. The plans for Moorside feature three AP1000 reactors supplied by Westinghouse with a combined capacity of 3.8GW.
Yeo said it is a “concern” that Toshiba is “obviously struggling to make any money from its nuclear activities”. However, he denied that the group’s financial meltdown is reflective of the nuclear industry as a whole.
He said there are “plausible explanations” as to why a number of nuclear firms have faced financial difficulties in recent years. “In the case of the EPR, the EDF project, those are associated, in my view, with the fact that it’s a first of a kind technology. The history of the nuclear industry over the last 50 years shows that first of a kind projects more often than not run into timetable and cost overruns.”
Earlier this month it was reported that Toshiba was seeking public financing for Moorside.
Author: Tom Grimwood,
Channel: Finance & investment

Demo 4th February in Workington Stand Up to Cancer – Stop Moorside

Government Warning.jpg

The 4th of February is World Cancer Day.  Radiation Free Lakeland will be in Workington’s town centre, meeting at the Look Out Clock , Ivison Lane.

from 10am to demonstrate Opposition to Moorside and Opposition to Continued Dumping of Carcinogenic Radioactive Wastes into the our rivers, seas, soil and air.  Reading the press it seems that almost everything gives you cancer EXCEPT RADIOACTIVE EMISSIONS!

We will have info to give out about our still unanswered questions to government and to the Director of Public Health in Cumbria about Population Mixing V Radioactive Emissions being the cause of “excess” childhood blood cancers.  Childhood cancers across the UK have gone up almost 30% since the nuclear industry started polluting.

Tim Farron MP has written repeatedly on our behalf and there have been independently written letters to the press about the government aligning itself with the view that a “mystery virus” due to population mixing from the influx of nuclear workers to a rural area is the reason for increased childhood cancers in the vicinity of nuclear installations.  Does the government intend to take responsibility for this belief and advise people of the risks of the proposed population mixing at Moorside and other new nuclear build?

Tim Farron Population Mixing letter 15th dec 2016.jpg  Or do they, like us, know very well that the increase in leukaemia has nothing to do with the pseudo science of a “mystery virus”.    The government and the Director of Public Health Cumbria have not answered our questions.

Guest Blog: Why the Nuclear Industry is Killing Off the Human Race by John Urquhart

Documentary from 1983.  Sellafield is still reprocessing and will continue to do so for as long as it can get away with it.

 

A Guest Blog by John Urquhart

WHY THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS KILLING OFF THE HUMAN RACE

When Gallileo pointed out that the Roman Catholic Church’s model of the universe was flawed, i.e the sun did not go around the earth, he was shown the instruments of torture. Now if anyone questions the current scientific paradigm that radiation is safe, their research grants are at risk so everyone who has any academic standing keeps quiet about the real relationship between nuclear power and radiation. No, it is not that nuclear power plants kill off large numbers of people, but that the dominant health paradigm used by the nuclear industry to engineer their continuing existence that important philosophies are steam rolled out of existence. In a sense, it didn’t matter whether the sun went around the earth or the earth went around the sun because either way we could have got rockets to the moon but it does matter if the nuclear industry subverts the scientific process and smothers key genetic and biological arguments. The ‘leukaemia cluster’ at Sellafield was not a cluster in the classic sense because the tenfold excess occurred over a period of 30 years. That in itself should make us very suspicious of any virus theory, since disease epidemics arise and fall in relatively short periods of time.

Unfortunately the apologists for the nuclear industry are playing with too few pieces of information and indeed some of the key data was deliberately withheld. For example, the official UK statistics for childhood leukaemia at the time of Chernobyl were completely distorted and it wasn’t until 2001 that the correct figures were represented. When these are analysed it can be seen that the birth cohort of 1985/86 and 1987/88 both showed a 50% increase over the datum level of 100. Analysis of leukaemia cases for children under 3 years of age demonstrated this effect.. This double peak suggests that two mechanisms were at work associated with Chernobyl. The cohort born in 85/86 was under 12 months when exposed to Chernobyl fall out and was much more sensitive to its effects, whereas the cohort born in 87/88 was the product of fathers exposed to Chernobyl fall out in May 1986. This is a double hypothesis, which fits in with the pattern of leukaemia cases observed around Sellafield, namely a genetic response associated with excess radiation in Sellafield workers and a trigger response associated with exposure of sensitised children from radiation when inhaling or ingesting hot particles from the Seascale beaches.

This combination of increased genetic sensitivity and exposure to increased radiation also explains the KKK German study, which demonstrated an excess of under-5 leukaemia in children born within 5km of German nuclear power plants. Even more astonishing is the dramatic DROP in under-3 leukaemia rates in England and Wales in the cohort born in 1975/76. The western regions of the UK comprising north-west Wales and south west experienced an 80% drop in that cohort. In other words, neither the genetic or trigger causes seem to be present for that cohort. The only rational explanation for the drop so far is that natural radioactive washout over the 1975/76 period did not occur because of the prolonged drought. Nevertheless, natural background radiation levels, even in wash out, are well below acceptable levels for radiation, as pronounced by current models so it is necessary to look at an alternative model to explain the link or rather the lack of it between natural background exposure and a dearth of leukaemia cases. The hypothesis is that it is not the cumulative amount of radiation received by an individual that is important but the rate of radiation received at particular times and that this range of radiation is best expressed not by exposure to external gamma radiation, but the inhalation of radioactive particles associated with this washout phenomenon. For the past 25 years I have been a member of ARGUS, an independent radiation fallout monitoring group with sensors covering the whole of the UK and measuring radioactive levels every ten minutes. On several occasions, the background radiation has risen by 50% – at least 4 standard deviations above normal – and we have associated these increases with acid rain fallout, whereby ceramic particles in the pollution cloud act not only as hydroscopic phoci but also attract radioactive fallout, including polonium 210. We propose that the heightened gamma levels we observed are associated with high levels of beta and alpha washout and it is the alpha and beta particles that create the potential leukaemia risk. But this story is not just about leukaemia. If natural background radiation, or lack of it, can have such a major influence on childhood leukaemia levels, then this would suggest that it is also responsible not just for radiation exposure but genomic instability, which can be defined as increasing the propensity of the human genome to create spontaneous mutations in future generations.

Over the past 70 years, the nuclear industry has consistently played down the biological and genetic impact of radiation by referring to the relatively small doses compared with natural background radiation but the epidemiological evidence we have shows that certain cancers, background radiation or lack of it, can have a major impact but only at certain times when the rate of radiation is dramatically increased through washout. By the same token, the real risk from living near nuclear facilities is not the recorded accumulation of dose but the transient changes in levels, which overwhelm the body’s natural defences at the time – the so called ‘sunbed syndrome’. By maintaining a very simplified version of radiation risk the nuclear industry is condemning the human race to a level of scientific ignorance, which in the long run may lead to our extinction by not acknowledging the real drivers of biological and genetic change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sickness at the Heart of Nuclear Policy

Letter in today’s Daily Mail

Sickness at Heart of Nuclear Policy.jpg

While people ‘Stand Up to Cancer’, the Department of Health has released its Review of Childhood Cancer Incidence near Sellafield and Dounreay.

In the Eighties, the families of 19 children living within 20 miles of Sellafield took the site operators to court.  The children all had leukaemia.  They lost their case, the judge ruling that the radiation dose to the public from the plant was too low to have caused luekaemia.

The Government subscribes to the 1988 Leo Kinlen theory, which suggests that exposure to a common unidentified infection through population mixing results in childhood leukaemia.  Prof Kinlen said: “This exposure is greater when people from urban areas mix with rural communities eg when construction workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area.”  History is about to repeat itself.  The Government plans to parachute into Cumbria 4,000 temporoary workers to work at Beckermet (population 1,600), site of the proposed “biggest new nuclear development in Europe.”

Dr Paul Dorfman, secretary to the UK governmental sceintific advisory Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE), an acknowledged expert on radiation risk, told us: “I, like you, am of the clear opinion that the acknowledged significant increase in childhood leukaemia in Cumbria is associated with radiation releases….However…the view of the key UK governmental radiation risk scientific advisory body (COMARE) is that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is most likely associated with “population mixing.”

“COMARE, and hence the Government state that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is due to a novel virus brought in by a large number of construction workers which then goes on to infect a relatively isolated local population who do not have a defence against this virus.”

“Thus the Government must inform the local community to expect a potential increase in risk of childhood leukaemia following the construction of the planned nuclear facility at Moorside.”

Nuclear power pioneer Dr John Gofman said decades ago: “Licensing a nuclear power plant is…licensing random premeditated murder.  When you license a plant, you know what you’re doing, so its premeditated….The evidence on radiation producing cancer is beyond doubt. It’s not a question any more:radiation produces cancer and the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest doses.”

Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland

 

Public Health and Moorside’s “Population Mixing”

Moorside - Because You're Worth It #StopMoorside Petition

Increased Childhood Leukemia caused by Population Mixing or Radioactive Emissions 0r both ?  Either or both – the industry and government appear to think that elevated rates of childhood leukaemia is a price worth paying for nuclear power.

Below is a letter to Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health – please write to him in your own words, feel free to use the information below.  Write to your MP, your GP, make a fuss…Resist!

Dear Colin Cox,

“POPULATION MIXING” AND
“THE BIGGEST NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE”

Controversy has been raging for decades about the link between childhood
leukemia and nuclear installations. In 2011 the headlines in the UKs
national and local media ran the story “Nuclear Power Plants Cleared of
Causing Leukaemia” Meanwhile, world-wide, over 60 studies have examined
cancer incidences in children near nuclear power plants. The German KIKK
study found up to 120% increase in leukemias among children under 5 years
old living with 5 km of all German Nuclear power plants . Here in the UK,
unwelcome findings were avoided by clever use of statistics. Instead, a
lot of effort has been put in by the industry and government to support
the theory of “population mixing” as a cause of increased childhood
leukaemia.

Alex Elliot the Chair of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in
the Environment and a clinical physicist at the University of Glasgow, UK,
says that leukemia cluster researchers should look for causes other than
radiation. The UK government has taken seriously (and gratefully?) the
work of Leo Kinlen, an epidemiologist based at the University of Oxford,
UK. The Leo Kinlen theory, put forward in 1988, suggests that exposure to
a common unidentified infection through population mixing results
in Childhood Leukaemia.

“This exposure is greater”, Prof. Kinlen says, “when people from
urban areas mix with rural communities e.g. when construction
workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area”.

Doctors Heather Dickinson and Louise Parker of Newcastle University
(which has strong links to the nuclear industry) claimed in 1999 that
their work backs up Professor Leo Kinlen’s population mixing theory
as the likely cause of the cluster of childhood leukaemia cases at
Seascale near Sellafield. “Population Mixing is a significant risk
factor for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,
especially in young children, accounting for over 50% of cases in
Cumbria and most cases in Seascale”.

The population of West Cumbria is set to explode with the plan to house
thousands of temporary workers in what is essentially a rural area.

When those behind the proposal for the “biggest nuclear development in
Europe” were asked at a public meeting whether they would be issuing
a health warning regarding “population mixing” the response was a
blank stare.

There was an equally blank stare when they were asked if the Compensation
Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases would be extended to the wider
population.

If the nuclear industry believes its own hype then…has there been any
inquiry at all into the numbers of childhood leukaemias that would be
caused by the proposed Population Mixing scheduled to take place in West
Cumbria?

Or is the detriment to childrens lives, the trauma to their families, the
cost to the NHS, considered a price well worth paying to keep the nuclear
military industrial complex alive?

Please will Cumbria County Council do all it can to protect the public of
Cumbria and at the very least urge a moratorium on the biggest new nuclear
build in Europe? The jury is still out on the causes of increased
childhood leukemia (and other radiation linked diseases) but the official
finger of suspicion falls on “population mixing.” The industry cannot
have it both ways.

yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

 

References
Nuclear Power Stations Cause Childhood Leukemia and here’s the proof
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2525488/nuclear_power_stations_cause_childhood_leukemia_and_heres_the_proof.html

Population Mixing
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110506/full/news.2011.275.html
Newcastle University and Ian Fells http://powerbase.info/index.php/Ian_Fells
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/business/business-news/newcastle-company-head-push-create-9612055

POLICE CHIEF’S HOPES AND FEARS OVER POPULATION BOOM Wed 19 Jan 11http://www.whitehaven-news.co.uk/news/police-chief-s-hopes-and-fears-over-population-boom-1.800525?referrerPath=news

Quantifying the effect of population mixing on childhood leukaemia risk:
the Seascale cluster http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374359/

Seeding Leukaemia http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/3346407/Did-Sellafield-workers-seed-leukaemia.html

The German Kikk study http://www.alfred-koerblein.de/cancer/english/kikk.htm

The River Ribble – birthing the nuclear nightmare: 1st Installment of the Springfields Archive

River Ribble – Penwortham Mill
Lancashire Evening Post - Children at Risk? Springfields Nuclear Plant
Lancashire Evening Post – Children at Risk? Springfields Nuclear Plant

The beginning of the nuclear chain in the UK is at Springfields near Preston. Uranium is ripped out of the ground in far off lands such as Africa, Peru, and even the Grand Canyon. The uranium is brought here by road and rail for Springfields to work their magic The emissions from the birthing of uranium fuel is pumped to the River Ribble, to Clifton Marsh landfill and to the air. The Springfields site boasts that it has “already produced several million fuel elements and provided products and services for over 140 reactors in more than 12 countries”.

This activity is set to explode with new build. The operators of Springfields (Toshiba and Westinghouse) have signed a 150 year lease with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The industry and our nuclear headed government must be laughing their socks off at the lack of attention being directed to the first plant in the world to make nuclear fuel. This has not always been the case. In the 1990’s Friends of the Earth were actively anti nuclear and prompted by concerned residents exposed the ongoing routine radioactive and chemical emissions. Now in our hour of extreme need, environmental groups Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are soft pedalling when they should be hurling STOP NUKE banners from the top of Blackpool Tower and setting up blockades to prevent uranium arriving in Preston from Peru’s Tropical Icecap. What happened to Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace UK?

Operators of Springfields
http://www.nuclearmarket.com/bnfl.cfm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/env/jp/company/pdf/site13_ps_uk_wec_sfl.pdf

The following is part of an archive of material Radiation Free Lakeland has been given access to.
Appearing online for the first time.

Lancashire Evening Post

Monday November 18th 1991

(front page)

Shock report on river pollution from A-plant

Image: The BNFL plant at Springfields: Call for an in-depth investigation

CHILDREN AT RISK?

By John Lawrence
Industrial Correspondent

Children playing on the banks of the River Ribble could be risking radioactive contamination from a nearby nuclear plant.

Image: Local resident Paul Brown at the River Ribble…his concerns led to the Granada investigation

A report by the pressure group Friends of the Earth claims youngsters playing along the river in the Penwortham area near Preston could be receiving large doses of radiation from mudflats contaminated by discharges from the British Nuclear Fuels Springfields plant, it was revealed today.

Lancashire County Council leader Louise Ellman immediately called for an in-depth investigation from the independent radiation monitoring group Radmil.

Frightened residents living within yards of the River Ribble today said they feared for their health.

The worried locals called for a wide ranging investigation into the damning report.

The shock survey coincides with a hard hitting Granada TV investigation due to be screened tonight into radiation safety standards at the sprawling Salwick site, which features ex worker Joe McMaster, 69 formerly of Greystock Avenue, Fulwood, Preston and his wife Stella.

Mr McMaster, who worked for 31 years as an analytical chemist, claims that three of his daughters died between 1958 and 1987 from illnesses linked to fatal doses of radiation.

Friends of the Earth today said tests carried out on the stretch of the Ribble through Preston revealed pollution levels higher than those published by BNFL and the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food.

Researchers monitored radiation levels at four points upstream of the Springfields discharge pipe – the cadet hut at Penwortham bridge, Broadgate, Lower Penwortham park and the mainline railway bridge.

Doses of radioactive thorium particles were found to be up to six times higher than normal.

Radiation campaigner Dr Patrick Green said the muddy river bed and bank were popular with children, especially at low tide during the summer months when the mud dried out.

The report says a child would have to spend on average around 80 minutes a day over a year on the river bank to receive the maximum tolerable radiation dose of 100 units.

BNFL information officer Peter Osborne said the pressure group’s findings did not stand up to close scrutiny and denied that youngsters were in danger.

Mr Osborne said: “Any doses that children would be receiving from playing in those areas would only be one per cent of any radiation that could be regarded as remotely dangerous. To be honest, the Ribble is a pretty inhospitable play area for other reasons and not many children play there anyway.”

A MAFF spokesman said government scientists always carried out tests in areas that would provide the highest doses and published their results on a regular basis. Local residents said if the alleged nuclear waste dumping was true it should be stopped immediately. Mrs Susan Hunter of Riverside Road said: “If its true, it is absolutely outrageous and everyone round here will naturally be very concerned.”

Graham Hunter of Stonefield, Penwortham, said BNFL had to “clean up their act” if the Friends of the Earth report was true.

Pg 9

A-Plant bosses insist radiation within safety limits

Profit put before safety say nuclear campaigners

By John Lawrence
Industrial Correspondent

AN ENVIRONMENT pressure group today issued what they claim is a damning report which accuses Lancashire nuclear bosses of putting profits before safety.

Friends of the Earth claim they have new evidence which shows that radioactive discharges from the British Nuclear Fuels Springfields plant, at Salwick, near Preston, have extensively contaminated the banks of the River Ribble.

The group says tests carried out seven kilometres upstream from the Springfields discharge pipe reveal that the section of the Ribble passing through Preston is particularly badly hit.

BNFL management today moved to deny the findings of the report and said they would carry out checks on the data.

The campaign group claims that tests carried out on the Ribble by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Pollution and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) are not comprehensive.

Friends of the Earth is calling for a full study into radioactive pollution along the river along with tighter restrictions on discharges after tests at Penwortham Bridge, Broadgate, Lower Penwortham Park and the Ribble railway bridge revealed more beta-emitting particles than any other UK site.

Dr Patrick Green Friends of the Earth radiation campaigner said: “BNFL’s profits before safety policy is putting people at risk. The Government must not allow BNFL to operate this plant until the necessary technology has been installed to reduce the radioactive discharges.”

BNFL information officer Peter Osborne said discharges were closely monitored by independent bodies and had always been well within set limits.

Mr Osborne said: “Friends of the Earth are in the business of trying to shut down the nuclear industry but they havn’t done us the courtesy of sending us a copy of their report. The most important thing to remember is that the health effects of our discharges are insignificant and so is the environmental impact. This has been verified by independent monitoring groups like Radmil.”

BNFL has already rejected findings on radioactive pollution from Springfields expected to be revealed tonight in a Granada TV Open Eye programme.

IS THERE A COVER-UP?
Peter Richardson previews tonight’s shock TV investigation

Tonight’s Open Eye programme is bound to refuel the nuclear industry controversy in Lancashire.

And with good reason – evidence of radioactivity in a Penwortham Park in which children play and men and women walk their dogs, makes grim watching.

Significant perhaps is the revelation that low level radioactive waste dumping took place in the 1950’s and 1960’s at Birkacre near Chorley and at Whittle Hill Quarry, Whittle-le-Woods.

Despite much vaunted public tours around Sellafield, is it still the case that there is much the nuclear authorities would prefer the public not to know about their industry?

Saddest of all, however is the interview with tragic couple Joe and Stella McMaster whose three daughters have died at the ages of ages of 37, 18 and just three days. Springfields’ record is defended throughout the programme by assistant director Mr Mike Simpson.

He maintains: “The discharges from this site have a negligible effect on health.”

But the programme challenges that view in a way that is bound to whip up controversy.

Springfields radioactive discharge map EP Nov 18 1991
Springfields radioactive discharge map EP Nov 18 1991