Springfields Wins New Award

Springfields Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing Plant Wins the first George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwash award.

To mark the anniversary of the 1957 Windscale [ Sellafield ] fire in Cumbria,  the Close Capenhurst Campaign and Radiation Free Lakeland have awarded the first George Monbiot Award to the Springfields Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing plant in Lancashire. 

 George Monbiot

The award is named after George Monbiot, the influencial journalist , who believes that Nuclear power is the solution to the Global climate change crisis. 

Mining, Transporting, and processing of Uranium increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, as does the use of vast amounts of concrete used in the building of nuclear reactors.

This is before all of the energy used and CO2 created in processing or storing all of the highly radioactive waste after these reactors have been supposedly ‘decommissioned’.  

RADIOACTIVE POLLUTION

The Springfields Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing plant operated by Westinghouse is at the beginning of the process which has led to nuclear accidents and routine emissions of radionuclides such as radioactive carbon, cesium, strontium and host of other damaging and very long lived radionuclides.  Incredibly Springfields has rebranded itself as a “Clean Energy Technology Park.”  The nuclear industry is increasingly promoting itself as “clean” and “renewable,”  George Monbiot has played a key part in facilitating this dangerous rebrand.

       About the Award

The award itself is a tarnished gold coloured cup, made in low quality plastic, symbolising  the ecologically damaging nature of the nukiller industry.

Each year the cup will be awarded to other parts of the nukiller industry in order to highlight the irreparable damage they are doing to the environment and to public health. Nuclear sacrifice zones are increasingly a consequence of nuclear power as are the increasing number of people suffering from radiation linked diseases for which the industry has a Compensation scheme for its workforce.  No such scheme exists for members of the public impacted by accidents such as the Windscale Fire, fueled by nuclear fuel made at Springfields.

The cup itself will held in safe keeping by the two campaigns in a bid to protect it from radioactive damage by the award winners.  

Countering Capenhurst – Late Spring 2021

DRS

Waste Train Tracking.

Freightmaster is a guide to rail-borne freight services, which include the scheduled movements of DRS Nukiller Waste flask movements

As of march this year there are no longer printed version of Freightmaster, but they contine to be available online.

New Logo.

DRS has just launched a new Logo.

The old one had a resemblance to the NATO symbol.

To quote the DRS website: –

‘ The modernised identity for Direct Rail Services (DRS) has been created to give a slightly differentiated yet family resemblance with the Nuclear Transport Solutions [ NTS ] brand.’

Waste Train Photos.

Meanwhile the latest issue of Railways Illustrated [ May 2021 ] has a four page photo feature in it about DRS.

Direct Rail Services in Scotland.

This feature includes a couple of photo of Nukiller waste trains. One of them includes the following caption which is of note: –

‘ As a rule of thumb, all nuclear trains with two locos to cover any potential breakdown.’

Waste Flask Movements.

On February 18th there was Waste Fuel flasks being taken from Hunterston to Sellafield.

Woops!

On March 1st there was a points failure outside of the Brigdewater goods yard. That is the one were Nukiller fuel flasks from Hinkley are transferred from Road vehicles to DRS rail wagons.

As as result of this points failure a DRS train hauling a solitary empty fuel flask was left to wait for four and a half hours.

If it had been the other way around, with the flasks full of radioactive used fuel rods, then it would have been somewhat worrying.

Half a century of Campaigning

Greenpeace [ London ] Marks 50 Years of Campaigning

It was on July 8th 1971 that Peace News published the original

Greenpeace You and Your Environment broadsheet.

This listed many ways in which an individual could take actions to save the environment.

Out of the broadsheet and people around Peace News that Greenpeace [ London ] came in to being. The group has in later years been referred to as London Greenpeace.

The early work of the group was centred around a campaign to stop French atmospheric Nukiller bomb tests in the Pacific.

Then in the mid 1970s the group started campaigning up the issue of nukiller power and uranium mining.

That included founding the founding of Stop Urenco.

This is how the group become of interest to the SDS spycops.

Currently the group and activists in the group are core participants within the Undercover policing inquiry.

Short News Updates

Springfields.

We noted with great interest the following headline in the Blackpool Gazette :-

Jobs face the axe at Lancashire’s key nuclear fuels plant
Around 120 jobs may be under threat at Lancashire’s nuclear fuels plant, as unions blame the government for dragging its feet on building new nuclear power stations.’

Wirral

Wirral Council is the local authority for the area just north of Capenhurst.

In march the council announced that it would use 100% renewable electricity from April.

This is due to concerns about climate change.

Cumbia Coal Mine

At the end of march we signed the following statement as part of the campaign to stop a new coal mine being created next door to Sellafield.

No Need for Expensive Public Inquiry – Just Block Licence to Drill Say Leading Organisations

Online Resources.

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung has just published the following: The 7 reasons why nuclear energy is not the answer to solve climate change.

Forthcoming Events

– 64th Anniversary of the Windscale fire – October 10th.

– Fukushima Day – March 11th.

– The DRS Open Day – In July if it takes place next year.

What Next ?

After what will be almost a year and a half of curtailed activities due to the pandemic we will need to kick start our work again.

In particular we will need to have a gathering of activists within the North West in order to work out how we focus our wok within the coming year.

In the meanwhile we will aim to hold a couple of small symbolic protests at both Capenhurst and Springfields.

Countering Capenhurst – March 2021

Continuing to Campaign

While we are still in lockdown it remains difficult to keep active campaigning going, which is why we still looking at some of those aspects of the nukiller industry which normally get very little attention.

DRS Updates

Flask Movements.

We are still looking for individuals to help keep us informed about the movements of the various DRS nukiller waste flasks. So if do see any please let us know.

In the meanwhile here are a couple of reports of late.

On December 7th two flasks were spotted at Dungeness,

while on December 9th a flask or flasks were sent from Huntington to Sellafield.

Cumbrian Community Rail

Community Rail Cumbria (CRC) comprises the three accredited Community Rail lines in Cumbria which includes the Cumbrian Coast Line. That is the rail line which runs from Carlisle to Barrow, and includes Sellafield.

This is how the station is described upon their website: –

‘ Sellafield station was opened in 1850 to serve a remote area of farms. The station is now a busy freight location, as much of the nuclear waste arising from the UK’s decommissioning programme is carried by train here from the docks in Barrow-in-Furness or from rail-connected nuclear power stations elsewhere in the UK. The station marks the end of the single line section from Whitehaven, which is operated using the electric key token system.’

The Aims pf the CRC include:-

– To undertake a pro-active approach to those sections of the Cumbrian community disadvantaged by health, isolation or social deprivation.

&

– To seek effective passenger and freight rail service improvements;

The DRS Connection

During November Eddie Pollock became the new CRC Chairman.

This is how he is described upon the website _

‘As a long-standing member of the Partnership, Eddie has represented Direct Rail Services who have been an influential and supportive partner for many years

Recently, his role within Direct Rail Services has evolved from Projects Planner to Business Development Manager.’

Working together

In February we read the following news in the Rail Advent:

‘Direct Rail Services has announced that has joined up with NDA Transport Subsidiaries to launch Nuclear Transport Solutions, which will start in April 2021.’

‘ The freight operator is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with Nuclear Transport Solutions expected to become the “centre of excellence” that will bring together commercial, legal and operational expertise under one roof.’

NDA Update

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority [ NDA ] has just publish their

Draft Business Plan1 April 2021 to 31 March 2024

This includes a section upon both: –

Springfields Fuels Limited and Urenco Nuclear Stewardship Limited.

Contact Update.

You may of noticed that we have disabled the Comments feature on this webpage. This has been done due the high volume of spam we were receiving.

While due to lockdown it is taking longer for any mail to get to us.

So if you have any need to contact us then please use our email address.

closecapenhurst[at]gmail.com

Forthcoming Events

– Fukushima Day – March 11th.

– The DRS Open Day – In July if it takes place this year.

– 64th Anniversary of the Windscale fire – October 10th.

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.

REMEMBER The WINDSCALE FIRE.

A Vigil to REMEMBER WINDSCALE – 10th Oct 2pm Outside Springfields

On the 62nd Anniversary of the UKs first nuclear accident a Vigil will be held outside Springfields Nuclear Fuels, Near Preston.

Radiation Free Lakeland and Close Capenhurst >ask others to join them on the 10th October at 2pm outside Springfields, Salwick. Nr Preston, in remembering the UKs first nuclear accident. The UKs first nuclear accident took place at Windscale in Cumbria. The fuel for this disaster was made at Springfields near Preston.

The Windscale fire caused widespread radioactive pollution including plutonium and the deadly poison polonium over a wide area of the UK and Europe. The health impacts are still being felt now decades later. Campaigners are calling for an end to the manufacture of nuclear fuel at the Springfields site.

Springfields has fuelled nuclear reactors both here in the UK and overseas since the 1940s and is gearing up to produce the uranium fuel for the next generation of nuclear reactors including that of Hinkley Point C.

Marianne Birkby from Radiation Free Lakeland said “Springfields has been fuelling nuclear accidents alongside routine emissions for decades. As with Sellafield there will be jobs at Springfields for many years to come in “clean up” but as for dangerous new uranium based fuels and the growing tsunami of nuclear wastes, there is not enough fossil fuel and steel in the world to make sarcophagus after sarcophagus to protect the public from the nuclear industry’s ambitions enough is enough”.

Radiation Free Lakeland and Close Capenhurst have been lobbying Lancaster City Council and others to include a No New Nuclear clause in their climate emergency planning. At the presentation of an almost 500 signature strong petition, Lancaster City Council were however not minded to include a No New Nuclear clause. Campaigners say that this nuclear complacency is dangerous : “The nuclear industry despite being a ‘mature’ technology is still a bottomless drain on the public purse. Not only does nuclear take money away from genuine solutions but it has, for decades, been actively suppressing renewables and energy efficiencies in order to leave some room in the grid for nuclear. Salters Duck and unlimited wave power was killed off by the nuclear industry. The nuclear industry is now promoting itself as ‘part of the solution’ this is dangerous nonsense and is the reason why we asked on the 25th September that Lancaster City Council include a No New Nuclear Clause in your Climate Emergency Plans. We hope that you reconsider this request as there must be No New Nuclear here or anywhere else if we are to achieve a sustainable future in the UK.”

Another critic of Springfields continued manufacture of uranium nuclear fuel is energy expert Dr Paul Dorfman ‘Given the very significant radiological risk associated with production at Springfields, and the fact that major population centres are down-wind, it’s truly astonishing that more attention hasn’t been paid to this facility. ‘

Dr Paul Dorfman

The Energy Institute

University College London

No New Nuclear in Climate Planning petition to Lancaster City Council

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.