Issues Briefing – The ONR

The Office for Nuclear Regulation

When it comes to making the nukiller industry accountable for its actions, one of the greatest barriers we face in doing so is the Office for Nuclear Regulation [ ONR ].

What they say

This is the stated aims of the Office for Nuclear Regulation [ ONR ] : –

‘ ONR independently regulates nuclear safety and security at 36 nuclear licensed sites in the UK. We also regulate transport and ensure that safeguards obligations for the UK are met. Our duty is to ensure that the nuclear industry controls its hazards effectively, has a culture of continuous improvement and maintains high standards.’

What We Know

The ONR is run for the nukiller industry for the benefit of the nukiller industry.

To quote the ONR CORPORATE PLAN 2019 – 2020: –

‘ We are the UK’s regulator for the Energy Act 2013 for the nuclear industry. We regulate safety at relevant sites such as civil nuclear sites, and some operated by the Crown (for example, Ministry of Defence). Some aspects of our vires (that is, legal powers) are limited to Great Britain (GB), while others extend out to the UK and beyond. We regulate security at civil nuclear sites in GB and more widely, where the law requires. We also regulate transport of civil radioactive material in GB.’

Yet the nukiller industry carries on in the same old shambolic fashion, polluting our planet, and creating dangers for us all.

Who Runs the ONR

The membership of the ONR Board consists of individuals with very close links to extreme energy companies, nukiller power industry, and the military.

Here are four examples of just how close these links are.

Sir Simon Lister

At the end of 2017 it was announced that ‘Sir Simon Lister appointed to ONR Board’.

What they didn’t mention is that he is better know as Vice Admiral Sir Simon Robert Lister, KCB, OBE.

Or that he was a :-

‘Senior Naval Member on the Directing Staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies in April 2008[3] and Director, Submarines in 2009’.

Mark Foy

Chief Nuclear Inspector at the ONR is also a Chartered Fellow of the Nuclear Institute.

Adriènne Kelbie

The ONRChief Executive, Adriènne Kelbie, is an Honorary Fellow of the Nuclear Institute, and was a Patron of Women in Nuclear UK between 2016 & 2019.

&

Mark McAllister

Mark McAllister is the chair of the ONR. He has spent his working life working in the oil and gas industry.

Keeping Secrets.

The ONR claim to be answerable to the public.

To quote the ONR annual report 2019-2020:-

‘ OUR MISSION IS TO PROVIDE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE REGULATION OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY, HOLDING IT TO ACCOUNT ON BEHALF OF THE PUBLIC.’

Yet every time we have put in any freedom of information requests, it has been a case of them not having the information we are interested in finding out about, or will cost us a lot of money for them to supply a redacted version of the information.

Here is just one example of this in regards to Capenhurst and how much Depleted Uranium Hex is stored at the site.

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

Is it any wonder that we are very sceptical about the ability of the ONR to deal with the nukiller power industry ?

Countering Capenhurst – June 2020

DRS – Not This year

This years DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] Open Day event has been cancelled. This is why as described on the company website: –

‘We are in unprecedented times and want to ensure the safety of everyone who attends our events.’

This is the same DRS that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), and which hauls nukiller waste to Sellafield.

Despite this years cancellation we will continue to campaign upon the nukiller waste trains issue, and be back to picket their next open day event.

Issues Briefings

While subject to lockdown, and a very restricted public transport service, it is going to be very difficult to organise events of any kind for some while to come.

Thus we have been putting together a series of issue briefings. The first of these have been about Drigg, Barrow, the Hartlepool reactor, Tyson H Burridge, and how Rising tides will effect various nukiller power sites.

We are currently working on a few more of these briefings.

The next one will be about the ONR [ Office of Nuclear Regulation ].

So watch out for these reports upon this website during the next few months.

Future Events

Given the current restrictions on public transport, it is not possible to do much forward planning, or undertake any of our regular events.

We will however be marking the anniversary of the 1957 Windscale on October 10th in some form or other.

Issues Briefing – Hartlepool

Hartlepool – The Forgotten Reactor

The EDF Owned AGR reactor was commissioned in 1983.

It is currently expected to close some time during 2024.

Activists have focused very little attention upon the Hartlepool reactor, as there are No anti-nukiller campaigns within the area.

There is however a lot of information about the plant to be found upon the No2Nuclear website.

Waste From the Plant

Nukiller waste transported by DRS from the plant is taken through Hartlepool, Sunderland, Park Lane Junction Gateshead, Haydon Bridge, Wigton, Maryport, Workington, Whitehaven, & St Bees, to Sellafield.

Past plans & Current Status Reports.

During 2010 Hartlepool was mooted as a possible site for a new reactor to be built by 2025, but this idea was dropped.

The ONR [ Office of Nuclear Regulation ] reports about the plant are to be found here.

While this is how EDF report the reactor status.

Cracks in the Core

During 2019 there were raised concerns about the condition of the plant, which may be read about on the Radiation Free Lakeland website.

Cracked Regulators Allow Hundreds of Cracks in Graphite Cores of Reactors across the UK.

Thus the Harlepool, and All the AGR reactors, need to be closed down immediately as a matter of public safety.

Issues Briefing – Drigg

Drigg

Drigg is one of the least known radioactive waste dumps.

During World War two it was an explosives factory.

For a history of the explosives plant see: –

Factories at Drigg and Sellafield made the high explosive TNT using a variety of potetntial dangerous chemical processes.

Thousands of tons of Radioactive waste are now stored at the site, which is just 7 minutes by train from Sellafield, and runs along a coastal walk.

Our concerns include the high possibility of flooding at the site, and how radioactivity could leak from the dump in to the environment.

We have done some campaigning to stop more waste being dumped at the site, but what’s really needed is more people to take up this work.

RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

The following links are to found upon the Radiation Free Lakeland website.

Field Notes from the”Delegated Decision” to Sweep Ever More Nuclear Waste Under the West Coast at Drigg

LOCK THE GATE ON DRIGG – STOP THE OPEN DOOR POLICY TO NUCLEAR WASTE

Groups Slam Plan to Stack Shipping Containers of Nuclear Waste Ever Higher Beside the Irish Sea Near Drigg

&

DRIGG DECISION: ‘We are Caught in a Trap, No Way Out, Because We Love Nuclear Waste Too Much’ ?

Issues Briefing – Tyson H Burridge

Tyson H Burridge Hazardous Waste Haulage Company.

Tyson H. Burridge is a haulage company based in Cumbria which specialises is transporting Radioactive materials.

Though it is not just nukiller materials that it transports.

A full list of the Hazardous waste which the company transports includes: –

– Organic peroxides,

– Poisonous substances,

– Acid substances and corrosives,

&

– Inflammable liquids, such as Nitrogen and toxic or corrosive liquids.

We have seen Tyson H Burridge trailers regularly parked up in the grounds of Capenhurst.

The Company.

Tyson H Burridge is a Private limited Company which was founded in 1963.

It was previously registered as

H. & M.E. FEARON LIMITED , and FOCNES LIMITED.

Being a private company there is very little information about their haulage operations online, with one of the exceptions being this news story from 2017:-

How Cumbria’s hauliers are solving a driver shortage

Those who run the Company obviously have a particular sense of humour, as displayed by the names allocated to their trucks, such as the following: –

– WINDJAMMER

– HUSTLER

– DEFENDER

– CAVALIER

&

– SURVIVOR

More Information Needed.

As with all such Haulage companies, we do not know exactly what loads they might be transporting at any one time, or the routes they use.

So we need to know much more about the company and just what loads it carries.

Issue Briefings – Barrow & Rising Tides

While much of our campaigning work concentrates upon a couple of plants, and nukiller waste, we should never forget the wider issues which we all face.

Thus we have put these two sets of briefing notes to show just how these concerns extent in to other areas.

Barrow

Barrow in Furness became a port because it has a deep water channel.

The building of war ships has been a major industry in the town since the middle of the 19th century.

Today Barrow is best known as the place where BAE Systems build Trident nukiller submarines. The company is also building the Astute-class submarines.

What is less well know is that the ships which transport nukiller waste around the globe go out of the port of Barrow.

Neither do most people realise just what else goes on in the town.

Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited, a subsidiary of International Nuclear Services, is based at Barrow. The company website boast that it is ‘the world’s most experienced shipper of nuclear cargoes’.

Barrow is also the home port for James Fisher & Sons, which works for the military, and built its first ship suitable for transporting irradiated nuclear fuel in the 1960s. The company also provides Nukiller equipment and services.

Then follow up on the various articles on these websites.

From Barrow “Home of Trident” to Faslane: Bairns Not Bombs!

Getting Out Of The Place.

Radioactive Waste – A New Policy In The Making ?

Earthquakes, Rising Tides, and Changes to the Landscape.

When considering the future of any coastal reactor or nukiller plant, we do need to think about the changing landscape, the long term danger of flooding, and the effects of earthquakes.

It might also be noted that this list includes the two earthquakes which effected Blackpool during April & May 2019.

Both of these were caused as a direct result of fracking.

Sellafield

The river Calder, from which the Calder Hall reactor is named, used to be a meandering river. Now the first part of it which goes through Sellafield runs in a straight line. So that any Tsunami which hits the plant will gather momentum as it is channeled through the plant.

It might be noted that there have been a number of floods within the plant over the last few years.

Dungeness, Hinkley, and Sizewell are also in danger of the effects of rising tides, major storms, and tsunamis.

Such dangers can be seen if one looks at the history of these areas.

Dungeness

The Dungeness area is surrounded by marshland. It is well worth considering just how this area has changed over the centuries.

Hinkley

The existing Hinkley plants lie on the River Seven and on the edge of the Somerset levels. That’s an erea which has suffered a lot from flooding over the years.

It is proposed to build a new reactor at Hinkley, though not if we and the Stop Hinkley Campaign can help it

Bradwell

Then consider the Colchester earthquake of April 1884, which is also known as the Great English earthquake.

The key point being that its epicentre was very near what is now the former reactor at Bradwell on the essex coast.

There was the Great Tidal Surge of 1953 which effected the area.

You should also keep in mind the Dogger Bank earthquake of 1931, which reached a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter magnitude scale.

Looking at the Maps.

Even a brief examination of the Ordinance Survey maps will give one an idea of just how much of a disaster might occur if something might go wrong at one of these sites.

For Dungeness see: –

Asford & Romney Marsh.

Rye & Folkstone.

Landranger 189

For Hinkley see:-

Western-super-Mare

Bridgewater & Wells

Landranger 182

For Sizewell see: –

Saxmundham, Aldeburgh & Southwold.

Landranger 156

and

For Sellafield see: –

West Cumbria and Cockermouth

Landranger 89