Countering Capenhurst Issue 9 – November 2016

This issue of Countering Capenhurst is one in which we give some updates on what URENCO has been doing over the last couple of months.

In September we asked URENCO just How Much Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride is stored around the Capenhurst site.

We are still waiting for a reply.

New Chair for URENCO

URENCO has just appointed Peter Hill CBE as the companies Non-Exec Chairman.

Hill has previously worked for Anglo American PLC, Rossing Uranium Limited, and BP.

We are sure that his knowledge of the Rossing mine will serve the company very well in the years to come.

URENCO to supply enriched uranium to Ukraine

URENCO has agreed to supply Ukrainian Energoatom with enriched Uranium. At this stage we do not know which of the URENCO plants this work will be done.

This is while the Chernobyl disaster continues to destroy the lives of many Ukrainians.

Now read the quote by the British Ambassador to Ukraine Judith Gough that:

“The UK welcomes steps by Ukrainian authorities to strengthen the country’s energy security and diversify its energy supplies. The British government will continue to work with URENCO and Energoatom in the area of nuclear energy to achieve that aim”

It is one of the most outrageous remarks we have read in a long while.

Insurance Matters

The Nuclear Free Local Authority has just produced the following briefing.

Nuclear Third Part Liability: Defining Prescribed Sites and Transport Consultation

This report looks at:-

The updated Government policy, which will require changes to legislation, increases the minimum level of financial liability that must be imposed on a nuclear operator in the event of a nuclear incident from £140m to €1200m.

It concludes that:-

‘If the nuclear industry was forced to provide insurance to cover the full level of risk this could add more than €140/MWh to the cost of nuclear electricity, making it almost completely uneconomic. Limiting nuclear liability clearly represents an unfair subsidy to nuclear power.’

Fire or Fired ?

On Wendsday October 5th the Morning Star came up with this news story:-

‘Twenty-five emergency response and rescue staff at Urenco’s uranium enrichment plant in Capenhurst, Cheshire, have been threatened with dismissal.’

This is very scary as any fire which might occur at the plant would have be covered by the local fire brigade which has itself become subject to cuts.

Though the really scary aspect about any fire at Capenhurst is what happens if occurs in any area is which Uranium Hexafluoride is stored or used.

To repeat what we keep saying – Uranium Hexafluoride is highly toxic, radioactive, corrosive to most metals, and reacts violently with water.

So any fire fighting at the plant does require some very specialist training and equipment.

It’s not like one can just hose down any fire at the site and hope for the best.

It is also of note that Babcock International currently supply fire and incident response teams to the Capenhurst site.

No Sale this year, next year, or maybe at all.

The proposed sale of URENCO has been delayed again.

This is how it was reported by Reuters at the end of October: –

 ‘ Talks to restructure Urenco broke down after German utilities E.ON and RWE, which hold a third in the uranium enrichment firm, refused to agree to a deal that would have prevented a lucrative stock market listing in the future.’

It went on to state that: –

Urenco, the world’s second largest nuclear fuel vendor after Russia’s Tenex, could fetch up to 10 billion euros ($11.03 billion), sources have told Reuters. Its technology could be used to make a nuclear bomb.’

 

How Much Depleted Hex Is At Capenhust ? ? ?

How Much Hex ?

Uranium Hexafluoride is highly toxic, radioactive, corrosive to most metals, and reacts violently with water.

One of the questions we have been asking since the Close Capenhurst Campaign was established is just how much Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride is stored at the URENCO Capenhurst site.

The best answer we have received is ‘ A vast Quantity’,which is also the only way we have been able to describe it.

We just don’t know.

Although one recent article stated that it is some 60,000 tonnes.

This is exactly what we want to know.

 

1. How many containers of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride are stored at the Capenhurst site ?

2. What is the total mass of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride which each of the containers at Capenhurst can hold ?

3. What is the total mass of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride which is stored at the Capenhurst site ?

&

4. How much of the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride will the new tailing plant at Capenhurst be able to process each hour ?

We recently submitted these questions to the Office of Nuclear Regulation as a Freedom of Information request.

This is the response which we received from them: –

‘We receive updates (a month in arrears from relevant UK dutyholders) on the amounts of material held on sites that are under our Nuclear Safeguards regime. Whilst we hold some of the data you require, we unfortunately do not receive it in the format that you have requested – it would take a significant amount of time to interrogate the data, to extract the specific volume of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride and provide the information in the requested format, approximately 60 man hours at a cost of £900 over and above the £600 or 3 days’ effort that you are assigned under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We cannot release the data set in its entirety as it contains Sensitive Nuclear Information, which would need to be redacted/extracted under section 24 of FOIA, National Security.’

In other words

They would only be willing to let us have the answer, if we were willing to give them £900.

This ‘fee’ will then be used to redact much of the information from any reply which we might receive.

Our response to this is as follows.

– 1. That what we asked for relates to a matter of very great public concern, and should be freely available to us all.

– 2. That we Do Not intend to pay out any money in order to maintain the secrecy which is an integral part of how the Nukiller Industry operates.

&

– 3. That we will continue to keep asking the same questions until we get the information which we require.

Countering Capenhurst Issue 8 – August 2016

Countering Capenhurst Issue 8– August 2016

This issue of Countering Capenhurst is very much a news update.

We will be published a series of follow ups on all the issues mention in this edition within the next few weeks.

Co-Ordinated Waste Train Protests

DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] is the company which transports nukiller waste along the railways.

The company has two depots.

One at Carlisle and the other one at Crewe.

On Saturday July 23rd DRS held its open day at Crewe.

The Close Capenhurst Campaign organises a protest outside of the Depot, and played a key part in initiating a series of Co-Ordinated protests / leafleting sessions outside of various stations the waste goes through.

On the Saturday there were leafleting sessions outside of the following stations.

Bangor, Bridegwater, Bristol,  Bromley,  Colwyn Bay,  Inveness,  Rhyll,   Shepherds Bush

There was also leafleting outside of Slateford Station / Edinburgh West on the Friday.

While Radiation Free Lakeland was leafleting in Whitehaven on what was the last day of the public consultation about new build at Moorside.

This is the text of the 1,800 leaflet which we distributed at Crewe.

Welcome to the Direct Rail Services [ DRS ] Open Day!

Welcome to one of the most dangerous train depots to be found anywhere in the world !

Do enjoy your visit to this DRS depot where waste trains that carry nuclear waste are based.

Yet do please consider these facts before you go in to the depot.

Each of these waste flasks contains extremely-radioactive fuel rods.

These waste trains are transported through some of the most highly-populated areas in the UK.

They are transported through towns and cities including Bristol, Chester, Edinburgh, Lancaster, London, Preston, Stafford, Warrington, Wigan, & Worcester. They also go through some of the most congested railway junctions in the country, including Willesden Junction and Crewe.

The flasks this waste is carried in is not 100% secure: they leak low-level radiation causing contamination risks.

Accidents to nuclear trains have happened and will happen in the future. In a serious accident, causing a waste flask to break open, high-level radiation would be released threatening thousands of deaths downwind.

– All this waste is taken to Sellafield were it will be left untreated for many decades into the future.

We do not need to create this waste, as we can create power from the sun, wind, and tides.

What the Hex?

Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride is a nukiller waste product which is stored in very large quantities in the grounds at Capenhurst.

Drigg

During July the Planning Committee of Cumbria County Council considered the proposed expansion of the nukiller waste site at Drigg.

We voiced our opposition to this development at the meeting, as did Radiation Free Lakeland.

This is the joint statement by CCC Kick Nuclear & Nuclear Trains Action group which was given to the Committee.

Statement concerning the Drigg Low Level Waste Repository in Cumbria.

This statement is written on behalf of the following organisations: –

– The Close Capenhurst Campaign

– Kick Nuclear

&

– The Nuclear Waste Trains Action Group.

Immediate Concerns.

We would like voice our concerns about the proposed extension to the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg in Cumbria.

Our immediate concerns are as follows:-

– There has been very poor monitoring of just what radioactive waste is stored at the Drigg site.

– That a full audit of the radioactive waste needs to be made in order to get a clear understanding of the state of site.

– That the edge of the site boarders upon a flood risk area.

&

– Will be subject to rising tides due to global warming with the next few decades.

Historical Development.

‘During WW2 a Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF Drigg) was established at Drigg between the railway line and the sea. This is now the site of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority low-level radioactive waste repository.

The site, which was opened in 1959 by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, covers about 110 hectares (270 acres), and holds about one million cubic metres of radioactive waste, although historic disposal records are incomplete. Much of the waste came from the nearby Sellafield nuclear complex.’

Dangerous Waste, Rising Tides and Flooding.

During 2014 the Guardian newspaper published the following: –

‘Cumbrian nuclear dump ‘virtually certain’ to be eroded by rising sea levels

One million cubic metres of waste near Sellafield are housed at a site that was a mistake, admits Environment Agency.’

It went on as follows: –

‘Britain’s nuclear dump is virtually certain to be eroded by rising sea levels and to contaminate the Cumbrian coast with large amounts of radioactive waste, according to an internal document released by the Environment Agency (EA).

The document suggests that in retrospect it was a mistake to site the Drigg Low-Level Waste Repository (LLWR) on the Cumbrian coast because of its vulnerability to flooding. “It is doubtful whether the location of the LLWR site would be chosen for a new facility for near-surface radioactive waste disposal if the choice were being made now,” it says.’

The current Environmental Agency Flood Warning map clearly illustrates our concerns..

This map clearly that Drigg site is surrounded by low lying land which is prone to flooding.

Future Waste.

Our other main concern is that any extension to the storage facilities as Drigg will be used to justify keeping existing nuclear facilities in operation, and be used to justify new build with all the dangers which come with it.

We would also like it to be noted that any extension to the storage facilities at Drigg will not just effect the population of Cumbria, but could well have a much more global impact.

In conclusion.

– A full Ecological audit should be made of the Drigg site.

– No more radioactive waste should be added to it.

– An immediate clean up plan should be implemented at the site.

&

– No more radioactive waste should be produced which would go to the Drigg Low Level Waste Repository, or any other site.

A Terrible Outcome.

Despite our protests the planning proposal was approved.

Here are the  Field Notes from the”Delegated Decision” to Sweep Ever More Nuclear Waste Under the West Coast at Drigg

We will continue to oppose this development in conjunction with our fellow campaigners within Radiation Free Lakeland.

Capenhurst to become the next nukiller submarine Dustbin

It has just been announced that Capenhurst will the the site to store the radioactive remains of 27 Royal Navy nukiller submarine.

The issue about the 19 sub radioactive parts is just a starting point, as it looks like the radioactive cores from the currently being built subs will also go to Capenhurst at some date in the future.

There are currently 19 nuclear submarines which the MoD no longer wants.

12 of them are currently at Plymouth and the rest at Rosyth in Scotland.

There is a suspicion that exactly the same might happen with the currently being built Astute-class submarines once they have been decommissioned.

Longer term the same might happen to any Trident  submarines – should they ever be built.

 

Drigg

Statement concerning the Drigg Low Level Waste Repository in Cumbria.

This statement is written on behalf of the following organisations: –

The Close Capenhurst Campaign

Kick Nuclear

&

The Nuclear Trains Action Group.

Immediate Concerns.

We would like voice our concerns about the proposed extension to the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg in Cumbria.

These are:-

There has been very poor monitoring of just what radioactive waste is stored at the Drigg site.

That a full audit of the radioactive waste needs to be made in order to get a clear understanding of the state of site.

That the edge of the site borders upon an area at  high risk of flooding.

That the site will be threatened by flooding due to global warming leading to a rise in sea-level in the next few decades.

Historical Development

During WW2 a Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF Drigg) was established at Drigg between the railway line and the sea. This is now the site of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority low-level radioactive waste repository.  The site, which was opened in 1959 by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority covers about 110 hectares, and holds about one million cubic metres of radioactive waste, although disposal records are incomplete.  Much of the waste came from the nearby Sellafield nuclear complex. *1.

Dangerous Waste, Rising Tides and Flooding.

During 2014 the Guardian newspaper published a report which said: “[The Drigg] nuclear dump is virtually certain to be eroded by rising sea levels and to contaminate the Cumbrian coast with large amounts of radioactive waste, according to an internal document released by the Environment Agency [EA]…[This] document suggests that in retrospect it was a mistake to site the Drigg Low-Level Waste Repository (LLWR) on the Cumbrian coast because of its vulnerability to flooding. It says: “It is doubtful whether the location of the LLWR site would be chosen for a new facility for near-surface radioactive waste disposal if the choice were being made now.”

The current Environmental Agency Flood Warning map clearly illustrates our concerns, showing that Drigg site is surrounded by low lying land which is prone to flooding. *3

Future Waste.

Our other main concern is that any extension to the storage facilities as Drigg will be used to justify keeping existing nuclear facilities in operation, and be used to justify new build with all the dangers which come with it.

We would also like it to be noted that any extension to the storage facilities at Drigg will not just effect the population of Cumbria, but could well have a much more global impact.

In conclusion.

A full ecological audit should be made of the Drigg site.

No more radioactive waste should be added to it.

An immediate clean-up plan should be implemented at the site.

No more radioactive waste should be produced which would go to the  Drigg Low Level Waste Repository, or any other site.

References.

*1: Drigg

*2: Cumbrian nuclear dump ‘virtually certain’ to be eroded by rising sea levels.

*3:Map

Co-Ordinated Nukiller Waste Train Protests On July 23rd

DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] is the company which transports nukiller waste along the railways.

On July 23rd DRS will be holding an open day at their Crewe depot.

Anti-nukiller power activists from the Close Capenhurst Campaign will be leafleting the train spotters who will be attending this event.

This protest will be held between 10.30. & 14.30.

The protest may last to 15.00. if there are enough people to do so on the day

We still need more activists to come along and help out on the day.

At the same time there will be co-ordinated events outside some of the other railways stations this muck is taken through.

If you can make it to Crewe, or want more info about these events, then please do contact the Close Capenhurst Campaign.

Countering Capenhurst Issue 7 – June Ending 2016

Countering Capenhurst Issue 7 – June Ending 2016

New Reports

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have just publish their Policy Briefing 145: Nuclear security concerns – how secure is the UK civil nuclear sector?

Nuclear security concerns – how secure is the UK civil nuclear sector?

This report raises a lot of current concerns about the nukiller power industry.

E.g.

– The fast emerging threat from drones

– Risks from an attack on a nuclear material transport

&

– Cyber security concerns

Co-Ordinated Waste Train Protests

– Saturday July 23rd.

This is the DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] open day at Crewe.

There will be some activists leafleting outside of the DRS Crewe depot that day.

There will also be co-ordinate leafleting sessions outside many of the railway stations which nukiller waste trains go though.

So far confirmed leafleting sessions include two in London, Bridgewater, Carnforth in Cumbria, and various locations in North Wales.

Full details of these protests will be published at the start of July.

What the Hex?

Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride is a nukiller waste product which is stored in very large quantities in the grounds at Capenhurst.

New publications

Updated Leaflets

We have just updated our leaflets about nukiller waste transport.

Chester Beware !

&

Warrington Beware !

New Stickers.

There are new sheets of stickers with the CCC logo on them.

We would like to thank the Footprint Workers Co-op for the Solidarity support they gave in printing them for us.

Yet More on the Urenco Partnership with the Science Museum

Urenco have given put more information about their sponsorship of the new Science Museum Gallery which opens later on on this your

Activists within Kick Nuclear are also aware of this, and will hold a protest outside of the museum when it opens. Though there is no exact date as to just when that will be,

 

Countering Capenhurst Issue 6 – June 2016

Current Concerns.

Much of the focus of anti-nukiller-power activists of late has focused up stopping new build at Hinkley, Wylfa, and Moorside.

This is because nukiller New Build will result in:-

– More pollution as the result of Uranium Mining.

– More Uranium Enrichment work being done at Capenhust with all the dangers which go with it.

– Much more highly radioactive waste to deal with.

That is why we continue to put a lot of our effects in to opposing such plants Continue reading Countering Capenhurst Issue 6 – June 2016

Countering Capenhurst Issue 3 – October 2015

 

This is the third issue of Countering Capenhurst.

The third issue of Countering Capenhurst is just a brief summary of all the work we are involved in doing of late. This is because many of our activities can only be summed up as working in co-operation with other anti-nukiller groups and organisations.

What Next For Capenhurst and URENCO.

New Developments.

Recent reports about the expansion of URENCO and Capenhurst give some indication of just what they intend to do at the plant in the years to come.

Here is just one of these reports: –

Urenco to complete New Mexico expansion by year-end.

The two interesting points being:-

The group invested €280.6 million ($309.5 million) in the first half of 2015 in the new enrichment facility in the USA and at its tails management facility in the UK.

&

That URENCO said in March that it had pushed back the expected start date of the Capenhurst Tails Management Facility (TMF) deconversion plant to 2017.

ONR Reports.

The recent Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) report makes for some interesting reading too.

http://www.onr.org.uk/llc/2015/urenco-2.pdf

In particular see page 7 under Local Liaison Committee meeting which would seem to confirm the view that all the MOD defuelled reactor pressure vessels will land up at Capenhurst.

&

On page 8 section 3 which covers Hex tailing leaks.

The other alarming alarming ONR report includes information about the the Capenhurst Tails Management Facility, which is now scheduled to start running in 2020. This plant will process the depleted uranium from the URENCO plants in both Germany & the Netherlands.

Thus there will be a lot more Uranium Hex being transported by sea & road.

What is really interesting is how the ONR classifies Capenhurst as a the following: –

Type of site: Operational, chemical plant and other facilities.

Waste from the Capenhurst plant

One of the most pointed question about Capenhurst is to be found upon the Radiation Free Lakeland blog.

So just where does the low level radioactive waste from uranium enrichment at Capenhurst and nuclear fuel manufacture at Springfields go?