Countering Capenhurst – End of Year 2023

News and resources update edition.


Flask Movements

On August 14th and 22nd there were waste flasks moved from Torness. While on september 12th there was a flask movement from Sizewell.

There were also Flasks which were take from Sellafield to Crewe on October 21st and 28th. We do not know just where they were being taken.


Sizewell and our fragile Coast

Photo shows significant erosion in front of the Sizewell C site in November 2023.

This is something which we predicted as likeley to happen within one of our briefings.

Issue Briefings – Barrow & Rising Tides

Short News Items

Bechtel to expand key depleted uranium processing plant in Cheshire

Why Uranium Prices are Soaring.

Urenco to expand capacity at Dutch facility

Uranium enrichment services provider Urenco has announced plans to increase capacity at its plant in Almelo in the Netherlands by 15%

Global scramble for Uranium spells trouble for UK’s nuclear plans

UK nuclear treatment plant to increase access for European market

Urenco and Energoatom sign long term contract

Countering Capenhurst Summer 2023

This issue of Countering Capenhurst follows on from the meeting we had with the DRS management in April, and covers some of the other campaigns which we support.


During June DRS Launched a ‘Major Recruitment Drive’.

Waste Flask Movements

On May 16th three flasks were taken from Windsale / Sellafield to Crewe. Eight days later there were more flasks being moved along this route. Then on May 18th flasks were observed being moved from Torness to the DRS depot at Carlisle.

We have recently learnt that there are on average 8 flask movements to Windscale / Sellafield each week.

So here are just a few of the recent ones which we are aware about taking place.

– On June 3rd June 10, June 24th and July 1st

– To & from Heysham on May 25th , June 1st.

Last Four Flasks Photo

The cover of the August 2023 issue of Today’s Railways UK shows two DRS engines taking the last four flasks being taken from Hunterston to Windscale / Sellafield on November 9th 2021.

Waste Flask Concerns

At 17.50 on June 8th Four flasks were spotted being transported south just outside of Carlisle on the way to Sellafield / Windscale.

These flasks passed a Northern Rail passenger train which was going north at the time.

Upon arriving at Carlisle it was possible to have a word with the Northern Rail driver who confirmed that they are given no special instructions about just what to do should they encounter a DRS derailment, etc.

This confirms exactly what we have always suspected to be the case.

From another source it has be confirmed that eight waste flask trains travel along the West Coast [ Sellafield / Windscale ] each week.

World Ocean Day Event.

On June 8th we were in Whitehaven. This was to hand over following letter and petition opposing any further “investigations” into a deep nukiller dump under the Lake District Coast is to be delivered to the Marine Management Organisation.

Short News Items

£485m to be spent on decommissioning and removing asbestos at Magnox’s Nukiller power plants.

The Australian government will establish a new agency and regulatory body as part of establishing a nukiller powered submarines programme.

Urenco has announced that it is going to increase production at their Eunice, New Mexico plant.

Drones to be used at Windscale / Sellafield Plant

The plan is to use these drones to monitor radiation levels in the site, but the real need is to look at the levels of radiation within the area

James Fisher Nuclear enters administration


Anyone who is interested in campaigning about what goes on along the west Cumbrian coast should examine the historic Godfrey edition ordinance survey maps.

The Ravenglass & Sellafield 1875 map which covers Drigg, Seascale, Sellafield is of particular interest.

While the two 1923 maps of Whitehaven show the many disused mines in the area.

Sixty Six Years.

On Tuesday October 10th it will be exactly 66 years since the Windscale fire.

We will be marking this disaster with an event on the day at which we announce the winner of the 2023 George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwash Award.

Helping Your Knowledge and Helping US to Continue Campaigning.

Please remember that we can give you presentations be it by talks or one-to-one briefing sessions on various aspects of the nukiller power issue.

Please contact us if you wish someone to do so.

While we still need to have some financial help in order to keep going,

We are not a membership organisation and so all out work is financed by donations.

We do not have any paid staff or offices, and so we do not have large overheads to pay for, but there are other other items we do have to pay for.

So just the odd donation will help us to continue campaigning.

Please contact us if you are able to do so.

Countering Capenhurst – Year End 2022 – Summary Edition

Updates and What Next ?

This issue of Countering Capenhurst is an information update.


The Return of Thomas the Stank Engine – Part Two

On July 16th we went back to Crewe in order to communicate with those who attended the DRS open day event.

Despite the few of us who turned upon the day, we did manage to distribute just over two thousand leaflets. The DRS Website stated that Three and a half thousand people attended the event.

If anyone is interested in them, then we do have some of the current Thomas the Stank Engine leaflets which can be used at other events.

Out next task will be to draft a leaflet which focuses upon some of the route that the waste flasks are carried along, and the specific dangers that they posse.

DRS Open Day Videos.

Every time there is a DRS Open day event it is followed by many train spotter Youtube videos.

Here are just two examples of what they look like.


There is also the following which looks like it copies DRS propaganda.

There is also a half page colour photograph of the event in the August issue of the Railway Magazine. This is an aerial view which shows something of the scale of the event.

Short News Items

More Power to Millom: NFLA backs new protest group opposed to nuclear waste dump

Chancellor urged to leave Sizewell ‘well alone’

The Nukiller Armed Force

The Civil Nukiller Police ( CNP ) have just published their Strategic Plan for 2022 to 2025.

What’s notable is all the management speak in it, and all the photos of the armed CNP which are to see in it.

It’s well worth looking at if you have never seen such reports in the past.

Type B Gemini container movements.

A first shipment of so called ‘legacy’ waste drums has Magnox Harwell to Sellafield.


New Book

Hughes-Wilson, Colonel John

Eve of Destruction

The Inside story of Our Dangerous nuclear world.

John Blake Publishing 2021

ISBN 978 1 78946 417 7

This well researched book gives a good oversight of the Nukiller disasters, and very many near disasters, which have happened over the years.

It covers both Nukiller Weapons and Nukiller Power.

Website Updates

We have recently been updating what is included upon the CCC website.

The most important change is that we now have the following:-

Forthcoming Protests and Events.

This replaces the ongoing lists which have been included within Countering Capenhurst.

Previous Protests

This lists all of our previous events and protests.

We have also updated the description of our work in the About page.

All of these changes should make our website less clunky to navigate.

At various towns.

During the last couple of years it has been very difficult to organise any events, or distribute any leaflets at the various places which are immediately effected by the nukiller industry.

Thus we look forward to being more proactive again.

But we still need to have more activists within the following towns: –

Chester, Ellesmere Port, Preston, Runcorn, Warrington, and Wigan.

Financial help.

Unlike many large or membership organisations, all of our work is finances my a small number of donations.

Neither do we employ any campaign workers.

So all of our income goes directly in to the work we are engaged upon.

We are currently working upon putting together our campaign budget in order to produce a financial appeal.

This will be published within the next couple of months.

In the Meanwhile.

We are appealing for money so that we can get out to hold more events, and cover our ongoing expenses.

Open Letter to DRS

Over the last few months we have been working with the NFLA to list our main concerns about the movement of highly radioactive materials via rail, and in particular used fuel rods to Sellafield/Windscale.

These concerns and numerous questions about the safety of the fuel flasks has just been communicated to DRS.

You can read it here –


Countering Capenhurst – End of year 2021

Recent Developments and a lot of future campaign work to do.

Much of the recent news about nukiller power has concentrated on the prospect of more new reactors at such places as Sizewell, as well the development of Small Nukiller Reactors.

This can be summed up as yet another threat to produce much more radioactive waste, which we will all land up having to pay for, both financially and in terms of ill health.

It all needs to be stopped, but do still keep in mind that do need many more activists to focus upon Capenhurst, Drigg, Sellafield/Windscale, Springfields, and the DRS nukiller waste trains.

Short news updates


Greenland prepares legislation to ban uranium exploration and mining.

Which was followed up with: –

Greenland puts a stop to uranium mining


Nukiller Submarine Company Babcock has made a £1.6bn loss during the last financial year.

Flood Alert

At the end of October there was a flood alert for the West Coast of Cumbria.

This included the River Calder which runs through the middle of the Sellafield Plant, and the area around the Radioactive waste dump at Drigg.

ONR Capenhurst Report

The following is from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)Site Report for Capenhurst Works Report for period 1 April – 30 June 2021.

‘ Legacy waste was discovered on a plant despite a prior campaign by Urenco UK Ltd to remove this type of waste, this was communicated to ONR via the event reporting process. ONR will now follow-up with the licensee anyresulting actions,during routine engagements, to ensure any improvements necessary are implemented.’

We make no comment upon this.

Capenhurst To Take in Radioactive Waste.

The following was published in Cheshire Live on November 5 – Guy Fawkes Day.

‘ Radioactive waste will be transported into Chester village.

5,000 tonnes of radioactive waste is set to be brought into the area every year.’

That is if the proposal to process low level radioactive waste at Capenhurst is approved.

DRS Updates

Flask Movements.

On both August 11th and August 24th flasks were observed coming from Windscale / Sellafield.

While on October 6th flasks were observed at Dungeness.

Then on October 20th there were two flasks taken from Dungeness.

Following On – An Appeal for Help.

Follow on from the news that nukiller waste is to be taken through to Capenhurst.

The video on this news story is worth noting. A reading of 88 from the vehicles outside the plant.

Yet that is not being picked up by many people.

What we now need is a good rad meter which we can use outside of nukiller plants around the Nukiller North West, and places like the beech at St Bees in Cumbria.

Thus this appeal for donations which can be used to buy a unit which can be used by both the Close Capenhurst Campaign and Radiation Free Lakelands.

If anyone would like to help this way then please let us know, and we will pass on info about the account details.

Background Reading

Low-carbon” misses the point

‘The view that climate protection requires expanding nuclear power has a basic flaw in its prevailing framing.’

Forthcoming Events

URENCO at 52

On March 4th it will be 52 years since the founding of URENCO with Treaty of Almelo.

When the 50th anniversary of the treaty occurred in 2020 we stated that was nothing to celebrate.

We will be going back to the plant on March 4th to repeat this statement.

On The 62nd Anniversary Of The Windscale Fire.

Public Statement to be read outside of the Gates of the Springfield Plant on the 62nd anniversary of the Windscale Fire.

October 10th 2019

We are gathered here today to lament the Windscale fire which occurred exactly 62 years ago,

The fire was one of the greatest nukiller disasters on British soil.

We remember that the uranium fuel rods which burnt in the fire were manufactured within the Springfield plant.

We remember how the use of Uranium at Windscale and its highly radioactive waste products will continue to be highly dangerous to all life for many centuries to come.

We remember all those people who have suffered ill health as the result of Uranium mining, and its use over the years.

We remember all those are suffering now and in to the future, as the result of the activities which go on in the Springfield plant.

We demand the immediate halt to the production of Uranium fuel and closure of all atomic power plants.

Signed by

Close Capenhurst Campaign

Kick Nuclear

Nuclear Waste Trains Action Group

PAWB – People Against Wylfa-B

Radiation Free Lakeland


SWAN – South West Against Nuclear

On behalf of all Humanity.

Telling the Real Tail About Tailings

A New Plant at Capenhurst.

Having spent almost One Billion pounds, and over four years late to complete, the new URENCO tailings plant at Capenhurst is opening this month.

The plant will convert the highly dangerous Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride [ Hex ] stored at the plant in to Uranium Oxide.

Depleted Uranium Hex is a highly toxic radioactive substance, which is corrosive to most metals, and should never be exposed to water.

It is estimated that the new plant will operate until 2052.

Past Mistakes

The depleted Uranium Hex at the Capenhurst plant was created as a part of the Uranium enrichment process, which is still being used to create more nukiller fuel rods.

In turn these fuel rods becomes highly radioactive nukiller waste, which adds to the existing radioactive problems at both Sellafield and Drigg.

There is just no need to produce energy this way.

Future Mistakes.

While the Capenhurst URENCO uranium enrichment plant is still in operation, it will continue contributing towards the making of yet more nukiller fuel, and thus much more highly radioactive waste.

Our continuing Demand.

We call for the closure of all uranium enrichment plants, and an end to the nukiller power industry.

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.



Countering Capenhurst – November 2017

As ever there is a lot of campaigning work which needs to be done.

Yet much of this work is very dependent upon putting a lot of time, and effort,  in to constantly monitoring what goes on at the various radioactive fuel plants.

It is not the most glamorous type of campaigning work, but it is an essential activity.

This issue of Countering Capenhurst contains some of the various documents which we have been looking at of late.

At some stage in the future we will combine a lot of this information.

After which we might be better able to estimate just how much Depleted Uranium Hexafloride is still to be found at Capenhurst.

That’s in contrast to all of the guestimations which we have been able to do so far.

After that we will try to put together an estimation of just how long it will take URENCO to process it all in their new tailings plants. Though it will not be possible to do until we have more figures to work with.

Another URENCO Contract Comes To Light.

Finding out just which contracts URENCO has is not an easy thing to achieve.

So we found the following news story of interest.

OPPD [ Omaha Public Power District ]board of directors unanimously approves new vice presidential position.

The key text in this news story being: –

‘ Recently, Hansen’s production fuels team unwound the last of four outstanding nuclear fuel agreements with URENCO, a global player in the nuclear industry that was asking OPPD for a sizable payday.

Hansen said earlier this week that URENCO argued OPPD owed “on the order of $66 million” as outlined in a contract between the two parties.

OPPD refuted the assertion, disassembled nuclear fuel that was not used or needed at Fort Calhoun and sold it back to URENCO, netting about $15 million in the process.’

Not seeing the flasks because of the trees.

This is a quote from the current issue of the Railway Magazine – November 2017.

It is to be found under Operations Track Record – DRS.

‘ The RM carries regular reports regarding the numerous flask trains which run around the country.

One correspondent reported a visit made to Dungeness branch on September 19 when class 68 Nos 68003 + 68018 arrived with a train, with the class 68s having bodyside damage caused by trees, buckthorn, and brambles growing along the branch.’

We make no comment upon this report.

Recent Activities

On October 10th it was the 60th anniversary of the Windscale fire.

We joined with Radiation Free Lakeland to mark this event at both the Spriingfields and Sellafield sites.

While we continue to keep leafleting outside of Warrington station on a regular basis.

Warrington is just one of the many railway stations through which highly radioactive used fuel rods are taken to Sellafield.

If you want to take part in any of these leafleting sessions, or hold one at your local station where these waste trains go through, then please get in contact with us.

Further Research & Further Reading

Survey into the Radiological Impact of the Normal Transport of Radioactive Material in the UK by Road and Rail

Published by

Public Health England

March 2017

This is one of the most interesting documents which has been published this year.

Amongst other things this document give a total of the amount of radioactive materials which originate at the various nukiller plants.

What’s of particular interest is amount of waste which being transported by road.

‘Taking into account that the Magnox data provided was for a six month period, the total number of packages currently transported over a year is estimated to be about 9,200 by road and 700 by rail.’

This is broken down in to tables such of the following: –

‘ Table : Summary of the consignments (C) and packages (P) containing radioactive waste transported by road and rail to and from LLWRbetween April 2014 and March 2015.’

Yet there are still major information gaps in these figures.

Such as within the following:

‘Information on movements of radioactive material was also obtained from a metal recycling facility which treats radioactively contaminated metal. Surface contaminated metal is treated at this UK site but activated metal is sent to an overseas facility for treatment. In 2014, 131 consignments containing 950 packages were made from the metal recycling company. About 20% of the total consignments were to UK air and sea ports and were subsequently shipped overseas.

There is no indication of which companies or ports these might be.

While much of the information in this document uses the word Estimated.

For example while referring to just how radioactive expossure the transport workers receive per year.

Thus it lists the following: –

– Estimated doses due to transport during the nuclear fuel cycle.

– Estimated doses due to transport during the uranium enrichment process.

– Estimated doses due to transport of radioactive material from the nuclear fuel reprocessing facility.

– Estimated doses due to transport of low level radioactive waste for recycling, storage and disposal.

While this quote says it all: –

‘During a visit to the fuel fabrication facility at Springfields it was not possible to take dose rate measurements around a loaded vehicle as none were available. It has therefore not been possible to estimate doses to workers loading or unloading vehicles or doses to drivers transporting the different fuel types.

In summary.

This document does contain a lot of very useful information, but it can not be defined as one of the most comprenensive publications on the subject.

Some Forthcoming Events.

Saturday December 2nd.

We will be running a stall at the

Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair

March 2018

On March 11th it will be 7 years since the start of the ongoing disaster at Fukushima.

Kick nuclear will be marking this date with a series of events.

In the meanwhile the regular weekly picket of the Japanese embassey & the London TEPCO offices continues to be held every friday.

July 2018

We will also be back at the DRS [ Direct Rail Service ] open day at their Gresty Bridge depot in Crewe next July.

More details on this when we have the exact date this will take place.

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.