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.’