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.

This Years DRS Open Day Event

The next DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] open day event will take place at Carlisle this Saturday July 22nd.

Activists from the Close Capenhurst Campaign & Radiation Free Lakeland will be joining together to leaflet at the event.

It is the 4th year running that DRS will have been leafleted about the radioactive waste flasks which they transport to Sellafield.

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.

No Nukiller Submarine Waste at Sellafield Demonstration

Radiation Free Lakeland will be holding a demonstration at Whitehaven, in Cumbria, on Tuesday January 27th. This is in opposing to the proposed dumping of radioactive debris from 27 nuclear submarines at Sellafield.

The demonstration is supported by the Close Capenhurst Campaign as a part of its own opposition to these submarine parts being dumped at any of the various MOD proposed sites for this waste.

You can find out more about it on the Radiation Free Lakeland Website.

Ellesmere Port Stall and Petition Hand-in

On Friday 18th April we will be holding a stall in Ellesmere Port town centre from 11am and our petition will be handed in to the URENCO-owned uranium enrichment plant at 2pm

As a clear, transparent way of showing just how dangerous Capenhurst, and other plants like it, is we will be using Geiger counter to discover how much radiation the place is releasing in to the surrounding environment.

The message is simple and straightforward: Capenhurst, uranium enrichment and nuclear power pose such great risk to the world that must be abolished!

At the same time our fellow activists in Germany will be holding a demonstration at Gronau which is located close to the German/Dutch border in North-Rhine-Westphalia and roughly 40 kilometres from Urenco’s Dutch enrichment plant at Almelo.

This demonstration will take place over the Easter weekend and we’re hoping that a lot of people will be there with us. As part of the action we will be handing in the Close Capenhurst petition which you can sign now in to the plant.
More information will be posted over the coming weeks.

Close Capenhurst Fukushima Day Petition

Please take a moment sign the Close Capenhurst petition calling for the shut down of the uranium enrichment and storage facility. We will hand the petition in to Capenhurst at the demonstration on April 11th and the Office for Nuclear Regulation on March 11th to coincide with the third anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

For more information about Capenhurst please explore this site!
Thank you!