Open Letter to DRS

Over the last few months we have been working with the NFLA to list our main concerns about the movement of highly radioactive materials via rail, and in particular used fuel rods to Sellafield/Windscale.

These concerns and numerous questions about the safety of the fuel flasks has just been communicated to DRS.

You can read it here –


Countering Capenhurst – June 2022

The Return of Thomas the Stank Engine

The next DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] open day will be on Saturday July 16th at Crewe.

As in previous years we will be outside the DRS depot to leaflet the event from 10.30. onwards.

Short News Items


Energoatom Refuses To Purchase Uranium Concentrate In Russia, Plans To Increase Its Supplies From UK URENCO

Small nuclear reactors produce ’35x more waste’ than big plants.

Stop Seismic Testing

We have joined with others to oppose the proposed Objection to Seismic Blasting in the Irish Sea to test the geology for a deep geological nuclear facility for heat generating nuclear wastes.seismic testing of the coast of Cumbria.

Objection to Seismic Blasting in the Irish Sea to test the geology for a deep geological nuclear facility for heat generating nuclear wastes.

Countering Capenhurst – Mid April

Urenco cancels Russia contract for uranium waste

– Action group Münsterland against nuclear plants

– Environmental Working Group (AKU) Gronau
– SOFA (Immediate Nuclear Abandonment) Münster
– Federal Association of Citizens’ Initiatives for Environmental Protection

Gronau/Münster, 9 March 2022

Urenco cancels Russia contract for uranium waste

– Reaction to protests and EU sanctions

But: Uranium for Ukraine continues despite war Urenco is supplier of enriched uranium

In reaction to the protests of anti-nuclear initiatives and environmental associations and in view of tightened EU sanctions, the Gronau-based uranium enricher Urenco informed the Westfälische Nachrichten yesterday that it had terminated its contract with the Russian nuclear industry. This means that uranium waste will now no longer be exported from Gronau to Russia. As this has so far been the main route for the disposal of waste residues from the Gronau uranium enrichment plant, Urenco spokesman Chris Breuer spoke of “considerable consequences” for his company. German, Russian and Dutch anti-nuclear initiatives had protested foryears against the irresponsible uranium waste exports. Urenco has now announced an earlier commissioning of the uranium oxide uranium waste storage hall in Gronau, built in 2014.

“We of course welcome the overdue stop of the Russian business at Urenco. But it is very sad that it took a Russian war of aggression in Ukraine to get the Gronau uranium enricher to act. We continue to demand a general stop of uranium exports – enriched uranium has no future for a peaceful and renewableenergy world and dramatically aggravates military conflicts,” says Matthias Eickhoff of Aktionsbündnis Münsterland gegen Atomanlagen.

Very worrying, therefore, is yesterday’s announcement by Urenco that it will continue to provide “assistance” to the supplied nuclear power plants in Ukraine. How this is supposed to be possible in the midst of war, Russian attacks and military occupation is completely unclear. Urenco must completely rethink its own business policy – nuclear power is not the solution, but part of the problem. That is why anti-nuclear and peace initiatives are also demanding the shutdown of the Gronau uranium plant.

For several years, the German-Dutch-British uranium enricher Urenco has been supplying Ukraine with enriched uranium. This is then processed into fuel elements by the US company Westinghouse in Västeras, Sweden, and sent from there to Ukraine. The most recent export licenses for enriched uranium from Gronau to the Swedish fuel element factory were issued on 1 February 2022 and 2 December 2021, according to the export list of the Federal Environment Ministry.

Short News Items

Desert Island Risks

Anyone who knows anything about Sizewell, or has studied the OS map of the area, knows that it will become an island as a result of global warming and rising tides. So the proposal to build new reactors at the site can only be described as totally irresponsible in so many ways.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities Briefings

NFLA Policy Briefing 229b: Update on the Ukrainian Power Plants

Environment Agency’s outrageous fee hike ‘pours cold water’ on future small hydro schemes in England

Mistaken Plans

On March 24th URENCO took part in a meeting with the UK government and the following nukiller power companies: – Aviva Investors, Balfour Beatty, Bechtel Group, EDF Energy, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, L&G, Mace, (UK) NuclearAdvanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Nuclear Power Jacobs, NuScale, Rolls-Royce, Rothesay Life, and Westinghouse Electric.

The subject of this gathering was how to accelerate nukiller energy projects.

DRS Haul 1,000 tonnes of waste to Drigg

‘The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority trumpet their latest “success” – the dumping of more than 1000 tonnes of steel drums filled with nuclear wast at the “Low Level Waste Repository in Drigg, Cumbria – from the redundant Magnox site at Winfrith, Dorset.”

DRS Updates

Flask Movements

On March 3rd a single flask was taken from Crewe to Sizewell and back again.

This was one of the yearly movements which rail companies use in order to maintain an allocated railway route.

CCC Finances and Future Activities

We now have reached a stage in our campaigning at which there is an increasing amount of work which needs to be done over the next year or so.

This work is still falling upon a very small number of activists, especially in Cumbria and the Nukiller North West.

It is all manageable to do, but we do need more people to help support our work.

Thus we will be doing a review of how to forward our campaigning work and how to finance it all over the coming months.

In the meanwhile we are still looking to find more people who can help promote our work in a number of locations, and specifically at Chester, Ellesmere Port, Preston, and all those towns where DRS nukiller waste flasks go through.

We also need more donations in order to promote our work, and in order to engage in much more public education on the dangers posed by the nukiller power industry.

Countering Capenhurst – March 2022

URENCO at 52

On March 4th it was 52 years since the founding of URENCO with Treaty of Almelo.

Aside from rereading out previous statements about our opossition to URENCO we read out the following new one from Radiation Free Lakeland

‘ Radiation Free Lakeland stand in solidarity with Close Capenhurst and would like to thank the Close Capenhurst campaigners for representing all of us who are impacted by the nuclear waste industry from its obscene beginnings in uranium mining to its ‘dangerous to all life on earth’ end product which is long lived nuclear wastes. We have long been concerned about the exports of Uranium Hexafluoride from URENCO Capenhurst (and Springfields) to Russia and other countries, one mans nuclear waste is another mans nuclear weapon.

In Cumbria we are being asked to “look again” at the dumping of High Level Nuclear wastes in our flawed and complex geology – this time even the subsea area is on the table including the Irish Sea area either side of the controversial coal mine plan.

Incredibly the coal mine boss Mark Kirkbride is giving the UK government advice on costings – not only on the digging of very deep holes for Geological Disposal of High level Nuclear wastes but also on the digging of not so deep holes for Near Surface Disposal of Intermediate Level Nuclear Wastes.

We have set up a new campaign to fight these plans called Lakes Against Nuclear Dump and we are calling for the dumping of nuclear wastes to cease – everywhere! The first step is to Just Stop Nuclear.’

Check out Lakes Against Nuclear Dump

URENCO Uranium to Russia.

The following is a press release from Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow-Dannenberg in Germany.

Gronauer Uran in umkämpften Ukraine-AKW?

Uranium waste export from UK to Russia stopped?

A few days ago – still after the beginning of the war – Urenco wanted to use the Russian nuclear freighter “Mikhail Dudin” to bring depleted uranium waste from the British uranium enrichment plant Capenhurst to Russia for final storage. The deal apparently fell through at the last minute after protests from Germany and the Netherlands. A Dutch Urenco spokeswoman told the newspaper Tubantia that Urenco would “of course” comply with EU, UK and US sanctions. But does this about-face also apply to uranium waste transports from Gronau to Russia?

Uranium enriched in Gronau in Münsterland is probably also being used in the fiercely contested nuclear power plants in Ukraine. This is the fear of anti-nuclear initiatives, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate IPPNW and the Federal Association of Citizens’ Initiatives for Environmental Protection (BBU). They therefore demand that the German government immediately stop the delivery of uranium from Gronau and of fuel elements from Lingen to Russia and Ukraine. This also means a binding end to uranium waste exports from Gronau to Russia.

For several years, the German-Dutch-British uranium enricher Urenco has been Ukraine’s main supplier of enriched uranium. This is then processed into fuel elements by the US company Westinghouse in Västeras, Sweden, from where it is exported to Ukraine. According to the export list of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the most recent export licences for enriched uranium from Gronau to the Swedish fuel element factory were issued on 1 February 2022 and 2 December 2021.

The transports from Gronau to Russia were stopped for a couple of years, but take place constantly nowadays.

Civil Nukiller Police

During Febuary American Soldiers from their Nuclear Disablement Team 2 (NDT 2) toured the CNC Griffin Park Tactical Training Centre at Sellafield during a recent visit


Here are few short briefings following the overnight attack upon the Zaporizhzhia nukiller power plant in the Ukraine.

This first one is by the NFLA

This second one is a Guardian newspaper briefing.

Ukraine invasion: rapid overview of environmental issues

‘ 48 hours in and we are already seeing a pattern of environmental harm in Ukraine.’

This includes both Nuclear facilities and radiation risks.

Background information on the plant

Reuters Report.

Countering Capenhurst – February 2022

URENCO at 52

On March 4th it will be 52 years since the founding of URENCO with Treaty of Almelo.

When the 50th anniversary of the treaty occurred in 2020 we stated that was nothing to celebrate.

We will be going back to the Capenhurst plant at 14.00. on March 4th to repeat this statement.

Short news updates

Civil Nukiller Police

Following a Subject Data Access request it has been revealed (amongst other things) that Radioactive Waste Management has given false information to the police/Civil Nuclear Constabulary about the founder of Radiation Free Lakeland

Windscale Mud

Decades of Sellafield’s Reprocessing Waste on the Irish Sea Bed Would be Churned Up by Coal Mine Subsidence

The Same old

Rising tide has just published the following useful piece: –

“Same Old Not New Not Zero Nuclear” (or, most of what you need to know about Nuclear Power in the UK but weren’t nerdy enough to ask).

DRS Updates

DRS Claim to be a Low Carbon Company

DRS continues to try to kid us all that they are concerned about the environment. It is all a part of the nukiller greenwashing which we are all so depressingly familiar with,

Here is just one example from the DRS Website: –

Nuclear Transport Solutions’ rail division has launched a new locomotive design at this year’s Low Carbon Logistics event in Mossend, Scotland.’

Flask Movements.

On January 7th Hunterston B stopped producing electricity having first done so in 1976, and following 8 years of construction.

Now the process of what is known as defuelling has became, and so DRS will be taking the highly radioactive used fuel rods to Windscale / Sellafield for the next three years.

Award Short listing

We are now starting to compile short list for the 2022 George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwash award.

As you will be aware, the award is named after the influential journalist George Monbiot, who mistakenly believes that Nuclear power is the solution to the Global climate change crisis.

So far we have added Drigg and Copeland Council to the short list, but will add more during the year

Countering Capenhurst – End of year 2021

Recent Developments and a lot of future campaign work to do.

Much of the recent news about nukiller power has concentrated on the prospect of more new reactors at such places as Sizewell, as well the development of Small Nukiller Reactors.

This can be summed up as yet another threat to produce much more radioactive waste, which we will all land up having to pay for, both financially and in terms of ill health.

It all needs to be stopped, but do still keep in mind that do need many more activists to focus upon Capenhurst, Drigg, Sellafield/Windscale, Springfields, and the DRS nukiller waste trains.

Short news updates


Greenland prepares legislation to ban uranium exploration and mining.

Which was followed up with: –

Greenland puts a stop to uranium mining


Nukiller Submarine Company Babcock has made a £1.6bn loss during the last financial year.

Flood Alert

At the end of October there was a flood alert for the West Coast of Cumbria.

This included the River Calder which runs through the middle of the Sellafield Plant, and the area around the Radioactive waste dump at Drigg.

ONR Capenhurst Report

The following is from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)Site Report for Capenhurst Works Report for period 1 April – 30 June 2021.

‘ Legacy waste was discovered on a plant despite a prior campaign by Urenco UK Ltd to remove this type of waste, this was communicated to ONR via the event reporting process. ONR will now follow-up with the licensee anyresulting actions,during routine engagements, to ensure any improvements necessary are implemented.’

We make no comment upon this.

Capenhurst To Take in Radioactive Waste.

The following was published in Cheshire Live on November 5 – Guy Fawkes Day.

‘ Radioactive waste will be transported into Chester village.

5,000 tonnes of radioactive waste is set to be brought into the area every year.’

That is if the proposal to process low level radioactive waste at Capenhurst is approved.

DRS Updates

Flask Movements.

On both August 11th and August 24th flasks were observed coming from Windscale / Sellafield.

While on October 6th flasks were observed at Dungeness.

Then on October 20th there were two flasks taken from Dungeness.

Following On – An Appeal for Help.

Follow on from the news that nukiller waste is to be taken through to Capenhurst.

The video on this news story is worth noting. A reading of 88 from the vehicles outside the plant.

Yet that is not being picked up by many people.

What we now need is a good rad meter which we can use outside of nukiller plants around the Nukiller North West, and places like the beech at St Bees in Cumbria.

Thus this appeal for donations which can be used to buy a unit which can be used by both the Close Capenhurst Campaign and Radiation Free Lakelands.

If anyone would like to help this way then please let us know, and we will pass on info about the account details.

Background Reading

Low-carbon” misses the point

‘The view that climate protection requires expanding nuclear power has a basic flaw in its prevailing framing.’

Forthcoming Events

URENCO at 52

On March 4th it will be 52 years since the founding of URENCO with Treaty of Almelo.

When the 50th anniversary of the treaty occurred in 2020 we stated that was nothing to celebrate.

We will be going back to the plant on March 4th to repeat this statement.

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’.  


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 Summer 2021

Countering Capenhurst – Late Summer 2021


Recent Radioactive Waste Flask Movements.

On July 7th two used fuel rods flasks were taken from Dungeness.

Of particular interest is that eight flasks pulled by Four engines were moved from Windscale/Sellafield to Crewe on July 28th. We do not know where they were destined to go after that, but we do know that every flask movement requires two engines.

Yet again we appeal for more individuals to monitor these flask movements in order that we can establish just how much radioactive material is being dumped in Cumbria.

References works.

Anyone who wishes to track the movements of nukiller waste trains, and the rail routes they go by, could do no better than to purchase a copy of the Railway Atlas.

Capenhurst Emergencies Update.

The ONR [ Office of Nuclear Regulation ] has just published the following document.

URENCO UK (UUK) Limited Emergency Arangements

Approval of the amended Urenco UK(UUK)Emergency Plan made under LC11.

While this document gives something of an overview of the management structure of the Capenhurst Emergency plan, it is very short on details as to just how it would operate in practice.

In other words: – It is full of Management Speak.

URENCO Order Books and Profits Drop.

The ill gotten gains, or financial profits, for Urenco fell for the first half of this year.

This reflects a turnover which has dropped of late, but the company is still has over 9Billion Euros worth of future orders.

You can read the full set of figures here

It might be also be noted that the URENCO order books are half of what they were during 2010.

Short News Updates

Any Old Iron ?

Urenco is planning to open a Metal Recycling Plant at Capenhurst during 2024.

CNC Base

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary are planning to build a new base at Windscale / Sellafield.

Spanish Uranium Processing plant Stopped

In July Spain’s Nukiller regulator withheld authorisation for a uranium ore processing plant, and thus killed off the efforts by the Australian-owned Berkeley Energía to open Europe’s largest uranium mine at Retortillo in the province of Salamanca.

Long Term Campaigning.

The way things are going it is possible to stop new build.

After that we need to really concentrate our efforts upon uranium mining, uranium enrichment, and uranium processing.

Yet dealing with the radioactive waste is a much more difficult campaign to focus upon.

The existing waste sites at Windscale/sellafield and Drigg are already highly polluted.

They will take centuries to clean up.

All the coastal nukiller sites, such as Dungeness, Heysham, Drigg, Windscale / sellafield, and Sizewell, are going to be effected by rising tides way before being fully decommissioned.

While DRS ( Direct Rail Services ) continues to carry highly radioactive used fuel rods through our towns and cities.

So what ever else might happen, we will need more activists to join in our existing long term campaigns.

Countering Capenhurst – July 2021


Waste Train Tracking.

On April 20th a single waste flask was seen on the way to Sizewell. While on March 30th four flasks were taken from Sellafield to Crewe.

New Publications

There are three new publications which feature DRS and the transport of Nukiller Waste flasks.

The first of these is a feature entitled: –

Those Mysterious Nuclear Flask Train Services. Trains & Wagons.

This is within the June-July edition of Modern Locomotives Illustrated, which has lots of glossy photographs.

Most importantly it includes a useful list of the Wagon Fleet,and the Flask Railheads.

The second of these publications is a book.

McAlone, David

The Railways and Britain’s Nuclear Industry

Key Publishing – 2020

ISBN: 9781913295653

What is particularly of interest with this book is that it contains not only photographs of the now very familiar spent fuel flasks, but all the other types of containers which radioactive waste are transported in.

Model Review

The current ( August 2021) edition of Railways Illustrated has a three page review about the new model OO gauge Accurascale KUA Nukiller Flask Wagons.

These Nukiller waste flask trains go from MOD Devonport and Rosyth to Sellafield. They have occasionally been used to transport Radioactive waste from Dounreay to Sellafield.

The article includes a very useful history of these flask wagons.

Of particular interest to note is the Radiation hazard and other signs on the wagons.

Short News Updates

Kick Nuclear Fukushima Pickets

JAN [ Japanese Again Nuclear ] and Kick Nuclear have restarted their regular pickets of the Japanese Embassy and TEPCO.

They are now held on the second and last Friday of each month.

11.00 – 12.30, 13.00-13.30.

Meanwhile in a statement recently made the head of TEPCO, it was stated that the company intends to restart some if their reactors.

While they intend to complete cleaning up the damaged Fukushima plant by 2051.

Workington Port Radioactive Storage

Cumbria County Council have said that the storing of up to 80 containers of radioactive scrap metal at the Port of Workington is “permitted development” requiring no discussion or vote.

Cumbria Coal Mine

There is now cartoon publication which explains just what the proposed new coal mine in Cumbria is all about. That includes the use it as a radioactive waste deposit once the mining has ended.

You can find out more here.

Spycops Targeted Anti Nukiller Activists

The Undercover Spycops Public inquiry has just published two SDS [ Special Demonstration Squad ] / Special Branch documents which refer to Anti Nukiller Protests, Torness, and SCRAM.

The first of them is the Special Branch report describing the development of the anti-nuclear movement in the UK

The second of these is the SDS annual report for 1980.

You can read more here: –

Secret papers reveal UK spied on Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners

Online Resources.

Emergency Exercises.

The Office of Nuclear Regulation [ ONR ] publishes Calender of Emergency Exercises, which can be found here.

This is a very useful list for local activists to note.

Future Events

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

– Fukushima Day – March 11th.

– The DRS Open Day – DRS have announced that this event will not take place this July, but that they do intend to hold it 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 over the coming months.