Capenhurst – The Facts

Press release
Capenhurst – the Facts

A pamphlet that takes a critical look at URENCO’s Capenhurst uranium enrichment plant in Cheshire has been published by the Close Capenhurst Campaign. 

Capenhurst – the Facts is the first publication of its kind. The report includes a description of URENCO’s activities, transport of material, accidents that have occurred, the tailings plant that will store depleted uranium hexafluoride for years to come, and storage of submarine reactors.

Although the Capenhurst uranium enrichment plant plays a key part in the nuclear cycle, its functions – and indeed its existence – have been largely unknown to the general public. 


The 20-page pamphlet  is available for £2 from

closecapenhurst@gmail.com 

It can also be read
online.

Without a doubt, there are very real concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding Capenhurst’s activities – the adequacy  of nuclear safeguards at Capenhurst, environmental  and public health risks associated with Capenhurst’s routine operations, as well as incidents and accidents associated with Capenhurst’s management of uranium hexafluoride.”   
Dr Paul Dorfman  The Energy Institute University College London

“The uranium hexafluoride (UF6) containers in your photos are of the type 48Y which is designated as a Type B cask that is required to sustain immersion in a fire of 800°C for 30 minutes – this test condition is not that particularly onerous, neither in temperature nor duration of  the immersing fire.”
John Large
(in an email to Radiation Free Lakeland) John Large was the Leading independent analyst of safety and security in the nuclear industry up until the time of his death, aged 75, from a heart attack in 2018

Capenhurst, The Facts is “quite wonderful, congratulations”  Helen Caldicott  Founding President of Physicians for Social Responsibility – The umbrella organisation International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985
ENDS

Contacts:
The Author Lowana Veal T:  00354 5577045, 00354 6991522.
Close Capenhurst T 0151 7060575. M. 07951965499
Publisher – Wildart Books. 015395 63671

Countering Capenhurst – Winter 2019

Ellesmere Port Igas Inquiry.

During January a planning inquiry took place in Chester concerning the proposal to set up a Fracking facility just a few miles from Capenhurst.

This was our response to it.

PRESS NOTICE

Radiation Free Lakeland and Close Capenhurst have successfully placed a late Comment

before the Ellesmere Port Igas Inquiry.

Uranium Hexafluoride and Fracking Side by Side?  What Could Go Wrong?

Nuclear safety group Radiation Free Lakeland says – “alongside the group, Close Capenhurst, we have been working on a report which exposes the unique dangers of the Capenhurst plant.  Capenhurst is the UK’s uranium enrichment plant with 600 container movements annually of uranium products including Uranium Hexafluoride which is uniquely dangerous to health. Adding a fracking site just 4 miles away from this already intolerable chemo and radiotoxic burden would be madness”.

URENCO in the news.

Source of Capenhurst humming noise which torments residents revealed.

In an update issued on Thursday, January 3, URENCO cited three ventilation stacks as the source of the nuisance noise.

New CEO

URENCO has appointed a new chief executive.

Boris Schucht will take up the position in May 2019, at which time he will also be appointed to the company’s board.

Up until now he has been working for the German company 50Hertz.

End Game

On January 11th PAWB (People Against Wylfa) issued a press release welcoming reports from Japan which strongly suggest that Hitachi will freeze their project to build a nuclear power station at Wylfa.

Then on January 17th we read: –

Hitachi scraps £16bn nuclear power station in Wales

This is very good news, yet it’s not end game until we close down all the existing reacting reactors, together with Capenhurst & Springfields.

While we still need to keep campaigning on the long term nukiller waste issue.

Statement.

What is very telling are some of the remarks made by Greg Clark MP, Business and Energy Secretary, in a statement to Parliament on January 17th.

‘Why the government was unable to reach an agreement with Hitachi over Wylfa nuclear plant that strikes a fair deal for billpayers and taxpayers’

These include the following:-

‘The cost of renewable technologies such as offshore wind has fallen dramatically, to the point where they now require very little public subsidy and will soon require none.’

&

‘Across the world, a combination of factors including tighter safety regulations, have seen the cost of most new nuclear projects increase, as the cost of alternatives has fallen and the cost of construction has risen. This has made the challenge of attracting private finance into projects more difficult than ever, with investors favouring other technologies that are less capital-intensive upfront, quicker to build, and less exposed to cost overruns.’

Thus we have progressed from the line about ‘too cheap to meter’, to ‘too expensive to build’ within just a few decades.

While the clean up costs will continue for many centuries in to the future.

Decommissioning Costs

During January the National Audit Office issued the following press release: –

Oil and gas in the UK – offshore decommissioning

The key line being: –

‘ The government estimates that decommissioning the UK’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure will cost taxpayers £24 billion, although the actual cost is highly uncertain – – – .’

Meanwhile this is the latest news on what it might cost to clean up the existing UK nukiller power plants.

‘ The current nuclear provision is estimated at some £164bn, over the next 120 years as the NDA (nuclear decommissioning authority) undertake the decommissioning of 17 of the UK’s older nuclear sites.’

Anniversaries & Forthcoming Events

Fukushima Day.

8th anniversary events in London 2019

Kick Nuclear will be holding an evening vigil outside of the Japanese Embassy on Monday March 11th, march on Saturday March 16th

April 26th – Chernobyl Day.

On Saturday April 27th SNNA will be holding an event outside of the Springfields plant.

May 4th – 8th.

This will be the 40 anniversary of the Torness Occupation.

Aside from marking this as the last major anti-nukiller action on a now completed green field site, it might also worth while making the point about this is now a dangerously ageing reactor.

October 10th62 years since the Windscale Fire.

We will be organising another event to mark this anniversary.

Details about this will be announced later year.

Other Events.

If anyone wishes to join us on any of our regular leafleting sessions about nukiller waste trains, or wants a speaker on any aspect of the dangers inherent with the use of nukiller power, then please let us know.

Countering Capenhurst – End of Year 2018

To fully appreciate why we need to focus upon what goes on at Capenhurst, just focus for a while upon the climate changing aspects of Uranium mining, and the issue of land rights within those regions.

This is just one example of how these issues are being challenged: – Aboriginal Elders Face Off with Uranium Mining Co. in the Australian Outback

They need our support !

Nukiller Sites – News Round Up.

Moorside.

The BIG NEWS is that Toshiba has decided to pull out of the project to build a new reactor at Moorside.

Now Read on:-

WE DID IT (MAYBE?) DID WE JUST STOP MOORSIDE?

Sizewell.

While there is still a danger that a new reactor might be build at Suffolk.

So here is the  Petition Against the Building of SIZEWELL C on the Suffolk Coast

Windscale, Springfields, Fracking, and Hex.

Following on from the event we held outside of the Springfields plant on the 61st anniversary of the Windscale fire, there has been a lot on the press about the Fracking sites in the area.

Yet very little has been published about the Hex in the plant, and how it is transport along country lanes from Capenhurst.

Now Private Eye has broken the silence: –

‘It has taken some doing but at last a national media outlet has exposed the close proximity of fracking operations on the Fylde to the UKs nuclear fuel site, ‘Springfields’.

Rossing Uranium Mine.

The RTZ Rossing Uranium Mine in Namibia will be very familiar to anyone who was active in an earlier age while campaigning against Apartheid. While the activities of the company have been the subject of Shareholders actions by Partizans (People against Rio Tinto and its Subsidiaries).

In November the company announced that it will sell its remaining 60% ownership in the mine to the China National Uranium Corporation Limited.

News In Brief

Cumbrian Transport.

Tyson H Burridge provide:-  ‘General Haulage, Hazardous Waste Transportation, Warehousing & Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Services throughout Cumbria and the UK’.

One of their vehicles was recently spotted inside the Capenhurst site.

Civil Nukiller police.

The Chief Constable of the CNC [ Civil Nukiller police ] is to depart next year.

Hinkley.

The Stop Hinkley Campaign Newsletter [ December 2018 ] is online now.

AWE Waste to Cumbria.

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) plan to send up to 5,000 barrels of Higher Activity Waste to Sellafield for treatment and storage.

Anniversaries and Forthcoming Events

Fukushima Day.

Kick Nuclear will be holding an evening vigil outside of the Japanese Embassy on Friday March 8th, and a march on Saturday March 16th.

The full details will shortly be posted upon the Kick Nuclear Website.

April 26th – Chernobyl Day

On Saturday April 27th SNNA will be holding an event outside of the Springfields plant.

Torness  

 Next may it will be the 40 anniversary of the Torness Occupation.

Aside from marking this as the last major anti-nukiller action on a now completed green field site, it might also worth while making the point about this is now a dangerously ageing reactor.

October 10th62 years since the Windscale Fire.

We will be organising another event to mark this anniversary.

Details about this will be announced next year.

Other Events

If anyone wishes to join us on any of our regular leafleting sessions about nukiller waste trains, or wants a speaker on any aspect of the dangers inherent with the use of nukiller power, then please let us know.

Countering Capenhurst Early – Autumn 2018

Adding up Waste Flask Risks

There is a combination of activist & train spotter information which has been collected upon the movements of DRS nukiller waste trains for almost a quarter of a century.

Yet all of this information only gives the engine, but never the flask numbers.

So we just can’t work out from these records how long any individual flask have been in use.

One thing we do know is that steel subjected to radiation transforms in to Cobalt 60.

Knowing how many journeys the flasks were in use will help us to work out just how much Cobalt 60 they contain.

There is a way of doing this if we were to know the thickness of the ‘skip’ the fuel rods are placed in, and that of the outer steel casing. Plus the level of radiation the steel is subjected to from the used fuel rods per hour.

That should give us an idea of how long the waste flasks can safely be used before being replaced.

Yet that will only give us starting point, as we just don’t know how long any of the individual flasks have been in use, while there would seem to be very info on what happens to them once the time comes to decommission them.

So any information on this issue would be of very great help to us.

Test No Test.

One thing the nukiller industry keeps saying is that all the waste flasks are 2000% safe.

Yet this is not so as this videos shows.

Nuclear Train Flask Collision Test – Operation Smash Hit (1984)

What’s scary about the first test in this video is that it states some of the water in it escaped. In a real world ‘accident’ that would be highly radioactive water.

Pay particular attention to the section 4.26 in to this video.

New CCC Publication.

We are currently working on the production of a pamphlet about Capenhurst.

This will be published within the next couple of months.

It will be the first time that any such work has been published about the plant.

Fukushima Update.

Simply Info has just published a very worrying update about the continuing disaster at Fukushima.

Fukushima Microparticles, An Unrecognized Threat

This report states: –

‘ In the years since the initial disaster there have been disparities between the official radiation exposure estimates and the subsequent health problems in Japan. In some cases the estimates were based on faulty or limited early data. Where a better understanding of the exposure levels is known there still remained an anomaly in some of the health problems vs. the exposure dose. Rapid onset cancers also caused concern. The missing piece of the puzzle may be insoluble microparticles from the damaged reactors.’

It ends by stating that:-

‘Additional SimplyInfo.org reports on the microparticle issue are forthcoming.’

Forthcoming Events and Anniversaries.

There will be an event to mark 61 years since the Windscale fire outside of the Springfields plant on Weds Oct 10th. This is being organised by CCC & Radiation Free Lakelands. It would be good if we could get a number of activists from outside the area to join us on the day.

July 2019

The next DRS Open Day will take place at their depot at Carlisle.

We will be back to leaflet the event in the company of our fellow activists from Radiation Free Lakeland.

Countering Capenhurst – Summer 2018

Statement by Dr Paul Dorfman

There is no question but there are very real concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding Capenhurst’s activities  the adequacy of nuclear safeguards at Capenhurst Environmental and public health risks associated with Capenhurst’s routine operations as well as incidents and accidents Capenhursts management of uranium hexafluoride.

Fukushima Contrasts

If anyone wants to know just what the ONR [ Office for Nuclear Regulation ] has to say about the ongoing disaster at Fukushima, then they should read the following: –

Fukushima and the UK nuclear industry

That report was penned in 2011, and they have added nothing to it since then.

In contrast Kick Nuclear has been producing the regular Fukushima Updates.

The latest of which is to be found here.

More on Uranium exports to Russia.

Radiation Free Lakeland published this very useful article on the sale of Uranium products to Russia.
The Beautiful Game?  

EXPORT OF URANIUM PRODUCTS TO RUSSIA FROM PRESTON “IS IMPORTANT” to the UK.

As we keep saying: –

These sales raise many very worrying concerns, while the details of these exports are surrounded in secrecy.

DRS Open Day – July 2018- A summary report

July 21st was the 5th time that we have gone to a DRS Open Day event.

This year, despite our not being able to get more activists to turn up on the day, we did never the less managed to hand out some 2,500 leaflets in just under four hours.

While inside the depot there was a nukiller waste train wagon on display.

You can view them upon just some of the youtube videos of the event here, here, & here.

What strikes us about this is that DRS are now aiming to normalise seeing these waste flasks.

Next year we will be at the DRS Open Day at Carlisle, where we will be organising a protest in the company of our fellow activists from Radiation Free Lakelands.

Anniversaries & Forthcoming Events

August 4th – St Bees, Cumbria.

Radiation Free Lakeland [ RFL ] has sent an urgent to Sellafield, asking them to monitor and retrieve radioactive particles from St bees beach ahead of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust ‘Beached Art’ day on Sunday August 4th.

Sellafield have treated this straightforward request under Freedom of Information rules which means that there will not be a reply for at least a month, and even then they might have to pay for the request to be answered.

The request has been sparked by a citizen science project carried out by Radiation Free Lakeland volunteers in collaboration with nuclear science undergraduates at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the US.

In the absence of any warnings from the authorities, RFL will once again be at the beach at St Bees to leaflet and warn people about the very real possibility of their children (or pregnant mothers) ingesting radioactive cesium, americium and plutonium.

August 6th – Hiroshima Day.

August 9th – Nagasaki Day.

October 10th – Springfields

We will be back at the Springfields plant to mark 61 years since the Windscale Fire.

July 2019

The next DRS Open Day will take place at their depot at Carlisle.

We will be back to leaflet the event in the company of our fellow activists from Radiation Free Lakeland.

Thomas the Stank Engine

Thomas the Stank Engine got his name because he hauls DRS [Direct Rail Services] train wagons, which contain very stinky, very dirty, and very nasty nukiller waste.

Come Join us as we tell the tale of Thomas and his mates!

Distribute this information outside any of the railway stations which Thomas passes through.

 

Come Leaflet With Us.

The DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] Open Day attracts many thousands of train spotters each year.

This year there will be a special train spotters day trip to the event.

They will be in carriages hauled by a DRS Class 88 engine from Euston to Crewe, and a DRS Class 68 engine on the return journey.

These are the exact same engines which haul radioactive waste flasks to Sellafield.

Our aim is to inform all those who attend this DRS Open Day event about the nature of these high level nukiller waste trains.

What we need are more activists to come help us leaflet the event between 10.30, & 15,30. coming this Saturday – July 21st

DRS Nukiller Waste Flasks Leafleting on July 21st

The current { July } Issue of the Railway Magazine lists the following DRS nukiller waste train sightings.

On May 9th a waste flask was taken through Berwick-upon-Tweed.

While on May 22nd a flask train was seen going from Crewe to Sellafield.

So that’s another two reasons to join us on July 21st between 10.30. and 15.30. while we leaflet outside of the DRS [ Direct Rail Service ] open day event at their Gresty Bridge depot in Crewe.

STOP URENCO Declaration 2018

It is now 40 years after the Stop URENCO Declaration which stated that: –

‘We declare our total and uncompromising opposition to URENCO and in particular to the supply of enriched uranium.’

The Declaration went on to state that: –

‘No safeguards are adequate to prevent the diversion of nuclear material for the production of nuclear weapons.’

While URENCO continues to enrich Uranium and sell it to many countries around the world, we will continue to oppose these sales, much in the same way as we oppose all aspects of the nukiller power industry.

Our immediate concerns are:-

– The URENCO sale of depleted uranium Hexafluoride to Russia.

– The increase of radioactive waste which is a direct result of uranium enrichment.

and

– How the proposed building on new nukiller reactors will result in the creation of yet more highly radioactive toxic waste.

We continue to declare our opposition to URENCO and the nukiller power industry,

and are prepared to take all non-violent steps necessary to achieve these ends.

Close Capenhurst Campaign

Greenpeace [ London ]

Kick Nuclear

Nuclear Waste Trains Action Group

PAWB People Against ‘Wylfa-B

Radiation Free Lakelands

June 24th 2018

Forthcoming Events – Capenhurst & Crewe

There are two important protest events take place during June & July.

June 24th  –  Capenhurst

We will be going back to Capenhurst to read out the 1978 URENCO Declaration, together with an updated version, which will reflect the damage which currently being done by URENCO.

There will be some activists who were at the 1978 demonstration to read out these declaration.

The reading will start at 13.00.

Travel directions – Overground from Chester or Liverpool.

July 21st –  Crewe

Once again we will  be back to the DRS [ Direct Rail Service ] open day at their Gresty Bridge depot in Crewe.

DRS are the railway company which transport highly radioactice nukiller waste to Sellafield.

This will be our 5th demonstration and leafleting session at a DRS open day event.

This is what is stated about the event on the DRS website: –

‘Bring the family along for a fun day out as we invite you to have a look behind the scenes’.

We will be telling a very different story.

The leafleting session will last from 10.30 to 15.30.

The Depot is a 10 minute walk from Crewe station.

Please email us to know if you can attend either of these events.

 

 

New CCC, Kick Nuclear, & Radiation Free Lakeland Springfields Report.

Spotlight on Springfields

On 25th April 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union shook the world. While that disaster has been unfolding for the last 32 years the worlds first nuclear fuel manufacturing plant based in a small village near Preston, UK has been quietly continuing with its civil and military nuclear contracts

Through the gates of the Springfields plant pass a deadly cargo of nuclear materials which have fuelled nuclear bombs, nuclear reactors and nuclear accidents for over 70 years. These materials pose a radiological and chemical threat to human health and to the environment.

Springfields has been operating so quietly under the radar that the recent public inquiry into fracking at Roseacre Woods has failed to expose the inconvenient truth that the fracking HGVs would share the exact same country lane with nuclear materials including the uniquely toxic uranium hexaflouride (Hex) to and from the Springfields site.

This briefing is a snapshot of hard earned knowledge gained by campaigners. It is a work in progress and aims to shine a Spotlight on Springfields”

In a forward to the briefing Dr Paul Dorfman of The Energy Institute, University College London states:

‘Given the very significant radiological risk associated with production at Springfields, and the fact that the major population centre of Liverpool is down-wind, it’s truly astonishing that more attention hasn’t been paid to this facility.  This well-researched document opens the lid on the can of worms that is Springfields’

Included in the briefing is:

Hex’ and some reasons for concern –

  • In 1989 M. A. Simpson of BNFL Springfields wrote: “The fuel and enrichment divisions within BNFL are involved in some 4000 lorry journeys per year covering the transport of non-irradiated fuel elements as well as the feed materials and intermediate products of the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle.”   (Transportation for the Nuclear Industry Edited By D.G. Walton, S.M. Blackburn)
  • Flasks used by the nuclear industry to carry deadly radioactive material around the country could explode, causing nuclear disaster. Research by French scientists found that the flasks were only able to resist fire for less than three minutes. The flasks transport uranium hexafluoride, or “hex”- used to make fuel for nuclear power stations.
  • As well as being radioactive, hex reacts with air to produce hydrofluoric acid. This is a gas, which can destroy the lungs. The nuclear industry transports hex to Russia, the United States and Europe from its Springfields nuclear plant in Preston.

Uranium concentrations found in Springfields stream sediments have been found to be about 20 times background level. Radmil monitoring organisation, Lancashire County Council’s now defunct nuclear watchdog, had tested the River Ribble and there was no radiation along it from granite. The elements which formed the source of the Ribble pollution could only have come from Springfields.

The Springfields website boasts that it has already produced several million fuel elements and provided products and services for over 140 reactors in more than 12 countries. The country road to and from Springfields, situated at the far end of Preston New Road, is the worlds first nuclear fuel highway. Springfields is being primed to produce ever more nuclear fuels and nuclear materials and now may well have fracking lorries for company.

A print edition of this report will soon be available.