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.

 

Countering Capenhurst – April/May 2018

H&S Executive Petition

On monday February 19th we attempted to hand in a petition to the Health and Safety Executive office at Bootle.

In it we asked for them in there role as protectors of the Health and Safety of UK citizens, to urge HM Government to effect an immediate ban on the extraction of fossil fuels within 10 miles of Nuclear Installations.

Noted in the ONR report.

We noted the following within the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)

Site Report for Urenco UK Limited (UUK) Capenhurst

Report for period Jan – Jun 2017

Tails Management Facility (TMF) Project

The TMF programme and permissioning Hold Point Control Plan are subject to continued delay and uncertainly. To enable and monitor progress, ONR holds regular meetings with UCP to discuss the recommendations that ONR requires to be addressed prior to ONR permissioning active commissioning of the TMF.

Just what these delays and uncertainties might be is a very interesting indeed.

New UK Government Regulations

Civil liberties are a continuing concern for anyone who is involved in campaiging against nukiller power.

That is why we have noted the following: –

The Nuclear Security (Secretary of State Security Directions) Regulations 2018

As with all such acts and regulations, it is how they are used which worries us most.

Resist Uranium Mining

Uranium mining starts the a whole cycle of radioactive pollution which ends up at places like Capenhurst, Sellafield, and Drigg.

So Stopping the nukiller power industry starts with resisting Uranium mining, such as has happened in Australia.

Submarine Waste

An update on the Radioactive submarine waste which will be stored at Capenhurst has just been published in the Plymouth Herald under the headline:-

The nuclear graveyard in Plymouth where submarines go to die.

This includes HMS Conqueror, which sank the Belgrano during the Falklands War.

Anniversaries & Forthcoming Events

April 26– Chernobyl Day

June 24 – 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.

The reading will start at 13.00.

Travel directions – Overground from Chester or Liverpool.

June 26 to 28  – Glasgow

This years Clarion Events Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) Arms Fair and conference will be held in Glasgow.

This event sponsored by both BAE systems & Babcock.

July 21 Crewe

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

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

October 10Springfields

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

Countering Capenhurst – Winter 2018

Countering Capenhurst – Winter 2018

As ever we are doing a lot of campaigning work about all aspects of nukiller power, but much of it centrers around doing a lot of research, while working in co-operation with other campaigners.

Capenhurst in the news.

Japanese sale speculationOn January 19, 2018 the following news story appeared in the Nikkei Asian Review.

‘ Japan in talks over bid for UK uranium powerhouse

The Japanese government has entered into negotiations to acquire U.K.-based Urenco, a major European producer of enriched uranium, in a deal that is expected to be worth several billions of dollars.

The state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation is expected to make an offer together with U.S. nuclear energy company Centrus Energy.’

But URENCO says No.

On the same day we read in Nasdaq the that ‘Urenco, the world’s second largest nuclear fuel vendor after Russia’s Tenex, said on Friday it was not in discussion with the Japanese government about the sale of its business.’

So it’s a case of protest as normal.

Brookfield and Springfields.

At the start of January it was announced that Toshiba is selling its westinghouse subsiduary, and thus Springfields to Brookfield.

This is a $4.6 billion deal.

Brookfield is a Canadian investment company, which desribes their investment philosophy as such

‘ Our investment strategy is simple: utilize our global team of investment professionals, our vast network of employees across our operating businesses, and our industry partners to identify and acquire high quality assets at favorable valuations and finance them on a long-term, low-risk basis.

We then create value by increasing cash flows and asset values, and realizing the investment at the right time. Because the businesses we invest in form the backbone of the global economy, we are able to make operational improvements, generate steady cash flows and generally provide insulation from the extremes of market cycles. Nevertheless, we always seek downside protection, and we’re proud of our ability to generate strong risk-adjusted returns across all market conditions.

 

So what this might mean is that Westinghouse is restructured, parts of it merged in to other companies, and some major changes make to its nukiller power building programme. Although it is just too early to tell just what these changes might be.

Forthcoming Events.

Fukushima Day Events

 – Friday March 9  – 

Vigil to mark Fukushima day in Lancaster. This will be to point out the dangers of new build, and those which are inherent with the Heysham reactors continuing to be in use.

London – Kick Nuclear & JAN events.

Friday March 9th – 17.30.

Vigil opposite the Japanese Embassy, Piccadilly. WI.

Sunday March 11th

March from the Japanese embassy to Whitehall. Assemble Noon.

Wednesday March 14th

Parliamentary Public Meeting. 

Portcullis House, Westminster, London SW1 – 19.00. – 21.00.

April 26th – Chernobyl Day

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.

The reading will start at 13.00.

Travel directions – Overground from Chester or Liverpool.

July – Crewe

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

This will be our 5th anniversary demonstration / leafleting session.

October 10thSpringfields

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

Countering Capenhurst – December 2017

No useful information from the ONR.

During 2016 we asked the Office for Nuclear Regulation [ONR] just how much depleted Uranium Hex is held at Capenhurst, and received this reply.

We know that depleted uranium hex is being sent to Russia for further enrichment, and so we asked the ONR just how much this might be.

We also asked for any details which they might have about this URENCO contract.

The reply we received gave us no information as to just what this might be.

Amongst other things we were told that the ONR does not possess any details on any commercial contracts made by the company.

Thus it raises more questions than answers.

– Such as just how much depleted uranium hex will be left at Capenhurst to go through the new tailing’s plant ?

– How this related to the various non-proliferation treaties ?

&

– Just how do we hold Urenco accountable for their ‘commercial operations’ ?

 Yet another MOD link.

The link between Nukiller Power and Nukiller Weapons is and has always been a strong one.

One of the latest links between the two comes in the form of Vice Admiral Sir Simon Lister, who has just been appointed to the board of the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

He has previously worked for the MOD, and is :- ‘ Predominantly experienced in the Defence nuclear sector’.

Neither an estimation or guestimation.

Working out just how much depleted Uranium Hex is left at Capenhurst will give us a clue about just how much the new tailing plant will be able to process each year. We have even worked out a formulae in order to do so.

Yet just how can we get this end result, without the figures to go with it?

Flags wanted.

We already have a number of anti-nukiller Smiling Sun & Remember Fukushima flags to use at various events.

We we now need are some Australian Aboriginal flags to go with them.

This is to illustrate the link between  Uranium mining,  and various indigenous people.

For example: –

Australia’s uranium has been mined since 1954, and three mines are currently operating. More are planned.

Australia’s known uranium resources are the world’s largest – almost one-third of the world total. 

It should be remembered that Friends of the Earth Australia has been: –

‘ Working with the Mirrar people and other environmental organisations we helped stop the development of the Jabiluka uranium mine in Kakadu in the Northern Territory.’

&

‘Working with the Kupa Pita Kunga Tjuta, we stopped the development of a radioactive waste dump on indigenous lands in northern South Australia’

Resources. 

Magazines from the international movement against nuclear power.

Laka Foundation, the documentation and research centre on nuclear power, has an extensive library with many thousands of books and reports (check the catalogue), posters (check), buttons, and a lot more. Laka also has a large collection of magazines from movement against nuclear power from all over the world. From obscure pamphlets to full-colour magazines.


‘The past few years we digitized all important magazines from the Dutch movement (1975-1995) (check), and now we are starting to work on magazines from other countries .

40 Years On.

The URENCO Declaration was published on June 24th 1978.

We will be going back to Capenhurst to read out this decoration again, together with an updated version, which will reflect the current work being done by the company.

61 Years on.

We will also be back at the Springfields plant on October 10th to mark 61 years since the Windscale Fire.

More details on these events will be published during 2018

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.

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

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.’