Countering Capenhurst – Our Hex and Export Concerns

This is a special issue of Countering Capenhurst.

Finding out just what goes on at Capenhurst is very difficult to do, and the same applies to all of the URENCO plants.

What follows is just a summary of what we have managed to find out about the plant of late, and something about which countries URENCO has been trading with.

A question of Hex

We continue to keep asking about just what is going on at Capenhurst, with questions such as:-

How much depleted Uranium Hexafluoride is stored at Capenhurst?

&

What is the state of the Uranium Hex containers ?

Yet there is an aspect of this which very few people have ever heard about.

There is a clue to it within the following  Review by HM Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

Urenco (Capenhurst) Ltd’s strategy for decommissioning its nuclear licensed site.

 ‘UCL has an ongoing contract, up for renewal in 2007, with Technabexport of Russia, which takes ex UCL tails cylinders and re-enriches the material to low enrichment product and/or pseudo natural. The product is sold on and the pseudo natural is re-fed or sold on. The operation of this contract is maintaining a steady state of net tails stocks on Capenhurst site.’

That’s something which URENCO has kept very quiet about.

Shipping information

We recently came upon a German  BREMISCHE BÜRGERSCHAFT report which listed the movement of uranium through the port of Bremin.

This included uranium being sent from Urenco to Russia.

Two of the latest of these reports are

Atomtransporte durch das Land Bremen seit dem 30. Juni 2014

&

Atomtransporte durch das Land Bremen seit dem 30. Juni 2013

The importance of these reports is that they give some clues as to just which companies and countries URENCO is traiding with.

Europe’s radioactive secret

Then we came upon the following report which was published in 2005,  and which has not been followed up on.

Europe’s radioactive secret.

How EDF and European nuclear utilities are dumping nuclear waste in the Russian Federation

‘ This report summarises the secretive attempts of the European nuclear industry to ‘solve’ one of their largest waste problems, by exporting and dumping tens of thousands of tonnes of uranium wastes in Siberia, in the Russian Federation.’

This last document is very worrying indeed.

The Re-enrichment of West European Depleted Uranium Tails in Russia

The information contained in this document are very technical in nature.

So rather than give an analysis of what is in this document we will just give the following summary from this report.

‘ Since 1996, depleted uranium tails from West European enrichers Urenco and Eurodif are being sent to Russia for re-enrichment. In Russia, the imported tails are, instead of natural uranium, fed into surplus enrichment cascades. The product obtained from re-enrichment is mostly natural-equivalent uranium plus some reactor-grade low-enriched uranium.

These products are sent back to Urenco and Eurodif, while the secondary tails generated remain in Russia,where they are re-enriched further to obtain morenatural-equivalent uranium and/or slightly enriched uranium. The latter is then used as blendstock for the downblending of surplus highly-enriched weapons-grade uranium into reactor-grade low-enriched uranium. The ultimate tails left, still comprising at least two thirds of the amount imported, remain in Russia with unknown fate.’

&

‘Details on the re-enrichment business, though it is currently taking place at large scale, are hardly obtainable. In Russia, all related information is confidential; and, the West-European enrichment companies involved, Urenco and Eurodif, are not very communicative, to put it politely. In its recent annual reports, Urenco not even discloses its annual production figure, nor the capacity break down for its facilities, not to speak about other data of interest, such as amount and assays of tails produced.’

We will continue to keep searching for more information on these contacts.

Countering Capenhurst – September 2017

             60 Years On
On October 10th it will be exactly sixty years since the Windscale Fire. We are organising a serious of events that day in conjunction with Radiation Free Lakeland as a part of Working Alliance.
What exactly caused the fire is somewhat difficult to explain,  especially as it involves explaining what happens to graphite when exposed to radiation, and Wigner energy.
Thus we would recommend you to read the following article in the  Journal of Radiological Protection.
The Windscale reactor accident—50 years on

             Capenhurst in the news
At the start of September it was reported that:-  Urenco tails plant to start up in 2018‘Uranium enrichment company Urenco yesterday said it expects to commission the Tails Management Facility (TMF) at Capenhurst in the UK in 2018, after construction delays. The facility, to deconvert depleted uranium hexafluoride tails, had previously been expected to enter service this year.

             Following on Brexit
It is now a couple of years since we heard much about the proposed sale of URENCO in the British press.
Though we did find find the following upon the URENCO website: 
Statement from URENCO as the UK notifies of intention to withdraw from the European Union.
The part of this statement being:-
In a post-Brexit landscape URENCO will ensure that we sustain normal operations across all our facilities and continue to deliver on our commitments to our customers.’
Which might be summed up as them saying that it is – Business As Usual
This follows on from what we were asking earlier in the year.
Who Will Regulate URENCO Post Brexit ?
Yet given the very shambolic way in which the Brexit negotiations are being conducted,  we still wonder what might happen if there is no clear post Brexit deal worked out within the next 18 months.

             No Sale – For Now
During 2015 there were a number of news stories about the proposed sale of URENCO.
After that there was nothing published in the UK press about this proposed sale.
So we were very interested to learn the following of late from our friends in Stichting Laka :-
‘In October last year the Dutch Economic Affairs minister officially announced that the sale was off for now. No agreement could be reached about the possibility that Urenco would be sold on the stock market.
That is: the Dutch and UK governments agreed on that, but the German government did not.’

No doubt this will not be the end of this sale proposal,  but at the moment it is just another case of Business As Usual.

             Speaking of which.
If you are involved in any group or organisation which would like someone from the Close Capenhurst Campaign or Working Alliance to talk about any aspect of nukiller power then please let us know.
Between us we can talk every aspect of the Nukiller Fuel Cycle, Nukiller New Build, and Radioactive Waste Disposal.
To arrange a speaker just contact us via Closecapenhurst@gmail.com

No Need For Nuclear Conference Videos Now Online

 

The NO NEED FOR NUCLEAR; THE RENWABLES ARE HERE  Conference took place at Conway Hall, Holborn, on June 17th 2017.

There were 16 speakers who covered a wide range of aspects of the nukiller power.

These talks are now available to view online.

They are as follows: –

Welcome speeches.

Dr Ian Fairlie, Dr Carl Clowes, Caroline Lucas, and Kate Hudson.

   Session One. What is wrong with nuclear power?

1. Dr Ian Fairlie: Radiation and radioactivity dangers.

2. Dr David Toke: Nuclear and renewables costs compared.

3. Prof Tim Mousseau: Continuing effects at Chernobyl and Fukushima.

4. Prof Andrew Blowers: The legacy of nuclear power.

   Followed by questions/answers.

   Session Two: The Politics of Nuclear Power.

5. Prof Steve Thomas: Why Hinkley Point C is unlikely to ever start.

6. Kelvin Hopkins MP: Can Labour change its policy on new nuclear build?

7. Dr Molly Scott Cato MEP: How would the Green Party do it differently?

8. Chris Baugh, PCS: Jobs: the Trade Union perspective.  

   Followed by questions/answers.

Session Three: UK Energy Demand, Energy Supply.

9. Andrew Warren: Energy Demand; do we really need new nuclear?

10. Dr Tom Burke: Recent changes in UK Energy Policy.

11. Antony Froggatt: Effects of proposed Brexit and Euratom exit on nuclear policies.

12. Dr Doug Parr: UK Energy and Industrial Strategies; Is nuclear an answer to climate change?

   Followed by questions/answers.

Session Four: The Renewables.

13. Prof David Elliot: Renewable energy options.

14. Prof Godfrey Boyle: Future renewable scenarios for the world, Europe and the UK.

15. Alasdair Cameron: Winning the renewables argument

16. Amelia Womack: Where we’ve done well.  

   Followed by questions/answers.

 


Countering Capenhurst – Issue 13 – August 2017

Countering Capenhurst – Issue 13 – August 2017

Five Years On.

On August 8th it was five years since the start of the weekly Kick Nuclear and JAN UK vigil  outside of the Japanese Embassy.

This is not something to celebrate, as there will be nothing to celebrate until there are no more nukiller reactors operating in Japan.

In the meanwhile, if anyone is in London on a Friday morning, then they should come join in this ongoing protest.

New Nukiller Waste Train leaflet

We have just published a new leaflet about the transport of high lever nukiller waste by DRS [Direct Rail Services].

It can be distributed outside of any of the railway stations where used atomic fuel rods are taken through.

The leaflet is entitled Beware.

If you wish to take a part in the campaign to stop this waste being taken through our towns and city,

then you can download a copy of it here.

Not a good investment.

It looks like the money markets are now getting the message that there is no money to be made in the nukiller industry.

Here is what has been happening with just three of these companies of late.

     Areva

‘Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) will sell its nearly five percent stake in Areva to the French state as the nuclear group is delisted and will stay away from nuclear investment.’

It will be making an 86% loss on these shares.

     Toshiba

‘ Toshiba shares demoted from first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange’

     EDF

In march we read that:-

‘EDF’s share price has tumbled to an all-time low after it launched a €4bn capital raising.’

While in July we read: –

‘French state-controlled utility EDF said its first-half 2017 core earnings dropped nearly 22 percent to 6.99 billion euros ($8.17 billion) as two nuclear plants remained closed and competition weighed on retail electricity prices.’

Some 10 years ago EDF shares were valued at around 83 Euro.

They are now worth just 8.75 Euro.

The Golden Question.

There are two major questions which we keep asking.

Just which nukiller power companies has both Urenco and Toshiba Westinghouse got contracts with?

&

Just where does the enriched Uranium and Fuel rods produced at Springfields go to ?

All we ever get to read are a few reports which give us just a hint of where that might be.

Thus we welcome any scraps of information which will help us to answer these questions.

Shipping Report

Tracking just where Uranium from Capenhurst is transported to, or which ports it goes through is very difficult to ascertain.

We do however know something about when it has done through the German port of Bremen, thanks to a series of reports which have been produced by the BREMISCHE BÜRGERSCHAFT.

Here is a link to just two of these reports.

Atomtransporte durch das Land Bremen seit dem 30. Juni 2014

&

Atomtransporte durch das Land Bremen

This covers the period from 2005 to 2010These are well worth reading as they show just how much nukiller material is being transported by sea.

This Years DRS Open Day Event

The next DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] open day event will take place at Carlisle this Saturday July 22nd.

Activists from the Close Capenhurst Campaign & Radiation Free Lakeland will be joining together to leaflet at the event.

It is the 4th year running that DRS will have been leafleted about the radioactive waste flasks which they transport to Sellafield.

Countering Capenhurst Issue 12 – May 2017

What Goes on at Springfields ?

It has:-

Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facilities.

Uranium Enrichment Facilities.

and

Centrifuge Plants.

You can find out more on the World Nuclear Fuel Facilities website.

For more information see the WISE website – Springfields Fuels Ltd nuclear fuel fabrication plant

Springfiels is owned by Westinghouse, which a part of Toshiba.

Cameco is one of the companies which has uses the Springfields plant via a 10 year contract.

To quote the company website: –

‘The agreement allows Cameco to increase uranium hexafluoride (UF6) sales and utilize excess capacity at its Blind River refinery in Ontario. Under the agreement, Springfields Fuels Ltd. can process up to 5 million kgU of uranium trioxide (UO3) from Blind River to UF6. Cameco markets UF6from Springfields to its customers around the world.’

Springfields link to Capenhurst is a key facility in the Nukiller Power cycle.

So we will be doing a lot more campaigning work about both of these plants from now on.

Windscale in October

The Windscale fire took place on October 10th 1957.

We will be joining with Radiation Free Lakeland and other groups in the Working Alliance with a series of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the fire.

The full details will be published in future issues of Closing Capenhurst.

DRS Open Day Protest

DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] will be holding there annual open day at their Kingmoor depot in Carlisle,  on Saturday 22nd July 2017.

We will be at holding another protest leafleting session on the day from 10.30. to 14.30 .

This event is being organised by CCC in cooperation with Radiation Free Lakeland as a part of Working Alliance.

DRS Official and Open Day Online Videos.

In order to give activists an idea of what goes on during these events we have produced a list of youtube clips.

This is just a small selection of some of these videos, from which you will get an idea of how many train spotters attend these events, and just what DRS put on show.

The important thing to keep in mind is that these video clips are filmed by train spotters for the enjoyment of train spotters.

Crewe

2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24rvelvVREA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJQL-xy3zic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBfv_KLqnr4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDVOw-pjmXs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9pyMz1FDY4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i36AG0Zi5a8

Carlisle

2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH86TLk9qX0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hObuFbhWG_U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvFv9E3X8f4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy6gQwxPOoE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r__XvgMUOmA

Official DRS Videos

Direct Rail Services Corporate Video 2013

In this video you can see the full range of activites the company gets up to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YekQr8_WWug

DRS Openday 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyA9X9LGXpk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hObuFbhWG_U

Countering Capenhurst Issue 11 – April 2017

This issue of Countering Capenhurst is very much an update one, as we are working on events which will be taking place later on in the year.

A full list of these events and new resource lists will be published within the next few weeks.

What Now and What Next ?

There has been a lot of news stories of last about Toshiba / Westinghouse, & EDF having a lot of financial problems. How this will effect new build at Moorside and Hinckley is very much of an open question.

Rather that duplicate these news stories we would recommend you look at the following websites.

No2nuclearpower    &   Radiation Free Lakeland

Clearing the submarine site.

It looks like the Capenhurst site is now being cleared for the building to hold all of the old 27 submarine waste

Here is what proves it: –

First of all on Google Earth

You can see a JCB moving one of the hex drums in it, and just where the other depleted Uranium Hex drums used to be.

Now look at map on PP 30 of this document.

Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP)

Consultation Document on the Site for Interim Storage of Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste.    14th November 2014

It’s one & the same location.

URENCO Finances

Amongst the many news stories which have been speculating about Brexit we can upon the following one:-

‘The German head of one of the UK’s top nuclear companies is counseling Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on what needs to be done to protect a global hub for the industry from Brexit.

Included in this news story Is this gem of information: –

‘Companies like Urenco face a potentially “high impact” from Brexit, Moody’s Investors Service wrote in a May 22 note saying that the overall credit impact from leaving the EU will be modest. Urenco, which has 2.1 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of outstanding debt is rated Baa1, two grades above junk by Moody’s.’

Nuclear flasks failed safety test.

Worries about the issue of Uranium Hex are nothing new.

In April 2000 the following news story was published in the Guardian : –

It reported that: –

‘ Flasks used by British Nuclear Fuels to transport dangerous radioactive material can resist fire for less than three minutes ‘ … … …

‘ The tests by France’s nuclear safety agency showed that the flasks would rupture within 175 seconds in a fire.

The flasks are used to transport 20,000 tonnes of uranium hexafluoride or “hex” – the raw material to make fuel for nuclear power stations – around the world every year, much of it for BNFL. Hex is particularly dangerous because as well as being radioactive it reacts with air to produce hydrofluoric acid, a gas which destroys the lungs.’ … … …

‘BNFL confirmed yesterday that it used 48Y containers for shipping hex in Britain and abroad. It was transported from Springfields to Capenhurst near Chester for enrichment, as well as to enrichment plants in Russia, the US, France, Germany and Holland.’

What we would like to know is just how many of these flasks are still in use to store depleted uranium hex at Capenhurst.

Now read this: –

Thermo-mechanical study of bare 48Y UF6 containers exposed to the regulatory fire environment.

Film Night

We have put together the following short list of youtube film clips which you might to watch, as they show the way the nukiller industry has been viewed over the last 60 years.

Peace – And The Atom (1954)

Cumberland, Preston & Cheshire.

Criticality 1969

Nuclear criticality training film, UKAEA, 1969.

Dismantling an atomic building Capenhurst site timelapse video

 

Atomic Milk (1957)

Windscale and Egremont, Cumberland

Urenco corporate video

Video showing the transportation of cylinders to Urenco

&

Protest outside of the URENCO Almelo site in the Netherlands  June 7th 2012

Protest tegen uitbreiding Urenco Almelo

Who Will Regulate URENCO Post Brexit ?

First of all a little history.

The European Union Referendum Act 2015 stated that it was consultative in nature. There was no reference to this including the UK withdrawing from EURATOM.

Now the government of the Unelected UK prime minister Mrs May states that Brexit will include Britain withdrawing from Euratom.  This might have some very unforeseen consequences.

URENCO.

URENCO is a jointly owned Dutch, German, and UK uranium enrichment company, with plants in each of these countries.

URENCO was established under the Treaties of Almelo

There is also a separate treaty which covers the activities of URENCO in the USA.

Under Which Regulatory Authority ?

There is at present a tailings plant being built at Capenhurst, which will convert all the Depleted Uranium Hexachloride [ Hex ] stored there in to a much safer form. This plant will not start operating until at least 2020.

The plan is that once all the Hex at Capenhurst has been converted, then all the Hex at Almelo be treated next.

The Hex currently being stored at Almelo will be transported by sea, as it banned from going through the Channel tunnel.

Thus the treatment and transportation of this Almelo Hex might then come under at least three separate sets of Regulatory Authorities. This includes those which regulate the shipping regulations,

Nowhere has there been any thought given to just which safety bodies will take a overview about about how this takes place.

Neither has any thought been given as to what might happen if the long expected sale of URENCO takes place.

 

Countering Capenhurst Issue 10 – New Year 2017

In this issue of Countering Capenhurst is in which we look at some of the wider work we are engaged upon.

Working Alliance

Working Alliance is an informal network of campaigning groups and organisations, which co-operate together and support each others work.

Working Alliance includes: –

The Close Capenhurst Campaign

JAN UK

Kick Nuclear

Nuclear Waste Trains Action Group

Radiation Free Lakeland

&

STAND (Severnside Together Against Nuclear Development)

 

Remember Fukushima 6th anniversary events.

March 11th 2017

Plans are well underway to mark the sixth anniversary of the continuing disaster at Fukushima.

Aside from a match on the day, there will a vigil outside of the Japanese embassy on the friday, a public meeting, and exhibition at Conway Hall.

Full details if these events can be found on the Remember Fukushima website.

https://rememberfukushima.org/

 

Tracking the Waste Trains

The latest edition of Freightmaster  No.84 : JANUARY 2017 to MARCH 2017  has a special feature upon the Cumbian coastline.

That includes the DRS nukiller waste flasks which are taken to Sellafield & Drigg.

This is an essential reference work for anyone who is concerned with the nukiller waste trains issue.

Capenhurst Firefighters Update.

We have just received the following email:-

‘ Just to inform you that Urenco and Babcock have gone through with their plan to dissolve the site fire and rescue service. The new service that is in place is a combined fire and security team know as incident responders.

In the past the fire and rescue service on site were a fully trained professional fire team. What you now have is a team of security guards with very minimal very basic fire training (a one weeks course) with a few of the old fire team. On occasion there is only one of the old fire team on shift which is highly unacceptable and dangerous not only to site but also to the local community.’

Moorside.

Criticism continue to grows about the AP1000 reactor proposed for the Sellafield Moorside site.

In November a report by Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy, written by Pete Roche, commissioned through crowd funding by campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland was published.

The AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design report concludes with the following:-

‘ The AP1000 reactor design is not fit for purpose and so should be refused a Design Acceptance Confirmation (DAC) and Statement of Design Acceptability (SDA)by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency.

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have endorsed this Damning Report.

We have also looked at the Westinghouse design for this plant, and have our own additional worries about the amount of water which might be available to cool down the reactors at the plant should they be needed.

What is very remarkable about this document is the number of times it repeats stating just how safe their ‘defence-in-depth’ safety systems might be.

Yet there are a number of aspects of the plant cooling system which are very worrying indeed

Here are our various questions and observations about the WestinghouseAP1000®Nuclear Power Plant Spent Fuel Pool Cooling design.

Potential power problems.

The document states that it has:-

‘Passive systems, requiring minimal or no operator actions, are sufficient for at least 72 hours under all possible loading conditions.’

Yet we know that many reactor problems [ accidents ] last for a much longer time.

It also states that:-

‘During normal and abnormal conditions, defense-in-depth and duty systems provides highly reliable spent fuel pool cooling, relying on offsite AC power or the onsite Standby Diesel Generators.

– What might happen if there was ‘accident’ which lasts for longer, and all the grid power supply was cut?

– What size of diesel generators would be needed should this happen?

&

– How much diesel fuel would need to be stored on site to keep working for a two week period, which might be needed if any fuel tanker could not get through to the plant ?

Water supplied to the reactor core and cooling ponds.

The document makes a great point about the water storage capacity at the plant,

but also states that: –

‘ After 72 hours, operator action is required to align the Passive Containment Cooling Ancillary Water Storage Tank (PCCAWST or “Ancillary Tank”) located in the Yard to the Spent Fuel Pool. The Ancillary Tank contains 925,000 gallons (3,500 m3) of water at ambient temperature and pressure and can supply enough makeup water to the Pool for at least an additional 4 days using an Ancillary Diesel Generator-powered pump. Note that about 1/3 of the Ancillary Tank water capacity is available for Pool cooling as the tank also supplies water to cool the Containment Vessel.’

Further on the document states that:-

‘ – – – in the rare case of a loss of normal Spent Fuel Pool Cooling in the middle of a refueling outage, with no fuel in the reactor vessel, and a Pool completely filled with fuel including a full core offload:

The maximum amount of decay heat possible will be present in the Pool and the water in the Pool will begin boiling within approximately 2 hours.

As there is no longer any fuel in the reactor vessel, decay heat does not need to be removed from the core. This allows the Pool to take advantage of the large volume of water in the Containment Cooling Tank on top the Shield Building to make up for water inventory lost to boiling for approximately 5 days.’

Lets just think about these time scales.

Here are just 3 questions need asking.

– What might happen if there was a loss of water in the cooling ponds, while it is also needed to cool down the reactor ?

– In the event of all the water storage tanks being emptied, then from which water source will they be replenished ?

&

– Has any thought been given to just what contingency planning might need to be in place should such an event occur ?

The document states that:

‘One of the unique methods an AP1000Plant uses for providing makeup water to the Pool is via a safety-related fire hose connection located in the Yard. This allows fire hoses to be safely connected by personnel in the Yard and to use a portable pump to inject makeup water to the Pool.’

– Yet what might happen if they could not get in to the yard as it was filled wilt debris, or there are high levels of radioactivity in the immediate area?

So let’s just hope that no ‘accident’ occurs which involves the loss of water in the cooling ponds, while water from the tanks is also needed to cool down the reactor core.

In to the Air.

In Section 2:  Additional Means of Spent Fuel Pool Cooling

we read that: –

‘In case of any event which results in a loss of the normal means of Pool cooling (i.e., heat exchangers and electrically-powered pumps) then safety-related passive means of providing heat removal from the used fuel are initiated.

As the used fuel in the Pool continues to generate decay heat, the water in the Pool increases in temperature and will eventually begin to boil the water in the Pool within

3 to 8 hours (depending on how much fuel has recently been removed from the reactor). The decay heat from the fuel is transferred to the Pool water which then boils, producing non-radioactive steam.

This steam generated by boiling will fill the Fuel Handling Area and cause the room temperature to increase. Once a preset temperature limit is reached, an engineered relief panel in the wall will open without the need for power and allow the steam to vent to the atmosphere.’

Logically, if the water in the pond continues to drop, and the fuel rods split or catch fire, then any radioactivity released will also get in to the atmosphere.

The document makes no mention as to just how the engineered relief panel might be closed if such an occurrence takes place.

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.’