Countering Capenhurst – Issue 13 – August 2017

Countering Capenhurst – Issue 13 – August 2017

Five Years On.

On August 8th it was five years since the start of the weekly Kick Nuclear and JAN UK vigil  outside of the Japanese Embassy.

This is not something to celebrate, as there will be nothing to celebrate until there are no more nukiller reactors operating in Japan.

In the meanwhile, if anyone is in London on a Friday morning, then they should come join in this ongoing protest.

New Nukiller Waste Train leaflet

We have just published a new leaflet about the transport of high lever nukiller waste by DRS [Direct Rail Services].

It can be distributed outside of any of the railway stations where used atomic fuel rods are taken through.

The leaflet is entitled Beware.

If you wish to take a part in the campaign to stop this waste being taken through our towns and city,

then you can download a copy of it here.

Not a good investment.

It looks like the money markets are now getting the message that there is no money to be made in the nukiller industry.

Here is what has been happening with just three of these companies of late.


‘Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) will sell its nearly five percent stake in Areva to the French state as the nuclear group is delisted and will stay away from nuclear investment.’

It will be making an 86% loss on these shares.


‘ Toshiba shares demoted from first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange’


In march we read that:-

‘EDF’s share price has tumbled to an all-time low after it launched a €4bn capital raising.’

While in July we read: –

‘French state-controlled utility EDF said its first-half 2017 core earnings dropped nearly 22 percent to 6.99 billion euros ($8.17 billion) as two nuclear plants remained closed and competition weighed on retail electricity prices.’

Some 10 years ago EDF shares were valued at around 83 Euro.

They are now worth just 8.75 Euro.

The Golden Question.

There are two major questions which we keep asking.

Just which nukiller power companies has both Urenco and Toshiba Westinghouse got contracts with?


Just where does the enriched Uranium and Fuel rods produced at Springfields go to ?

All we ever get to read are a few reports which give us just a hint of where that might be.

Thus we welcome any scraps of information which will help us to answer these questions.

Shipping Report

Tracking just where Uranium from Capenhurst is transported to, or which ports it goes through is very difficult to ascertain.

We do however know something about when it has done through the German port of Bremen, thanks to a series of reports which have been produced by the BREMISCHE BÜRGERSCHAFT.

Here is a link to just two of these reports.

Atomtransporte durch das Land Bremen seit dem 30. Juni 2014


Atomtransporte durch das Land Bremen

This covers the period from 2005 to 2010These are well worth reading as they show just how much nukiller material is being transported by sea.

Countering Capenhurst Issue 12 – May 2017

What Goes on at Springfields ?

It has:-

Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facilities.

Uranium Enrichment Facilities.


Centrifuge Plants.

You can find out more on the World Nuclear Fuel Facilities website.

For more information see the WISE website – Springfields Fuels Ltd nuclear fuel fabrication plant

Springfiels is owned by Westinghouse, which a part of Toshiba.

Cameco is one of the companies which has uses the Springfields plant via a 10 year contract.

To quote the company website: –

‘The agreement allows Cameco to increase uranium hexafluoride (UF6) sales and utilize excess capacity at its Blind River refinery in Ontario. Under the agreement, Springfields Fuels Ltd. can process up to 5 million kgU of uranium trioxide (UO3) from Blind River to UF6. Cameco markets UF6from Springfields to its customers around the world.’

Springfields link to Capenhurst is a key facility in the Nukiller Power cycle.

So we will be doing a lot more campaigning work about both of these plants from now on.

Windscale in October

The Windscale fire took place on October 10th 1957.

We will be joining with Radiation Free Lakeland and other groups in the Working Alliance with a series of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the fire.

The full details will be published in future issues of Closing Capenhurst.

DRS Open Day Protest

DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] will be holding there annual open day at their Kingmoor depot in Carlisle,  on Saturday 22nd July 2017.

We will be at holding another protest leafleting session on the day from 10.30. to 14.30 .

This event is being organised by CCC in cooperation with Radiation Free Lakeland as a part of Working Alliance.

DRS Official and Open Day Online Videos.

In order to give activists an idea of what goes on during these events we have produced a list of youtube clips.

This is just a small selection of some of these videos, from which you will get an idea of how many train spotters attend these events, and just what DRS put on show.

The important thing to keep in mind is that these video clips are filmed by train spotters for the enjoyment of train spotters.





Official DRS Videos

Direct Rail Services Corporate Video 2013

In this video you can see the full range of activites the company gets up to.

DRS Openday 2013

Countering Capenhurst Issue 11 – April 2017

This issue of Countering Capenhurst is very much an update one, as we are working on events which will be taking place later on in the year.

A full list of these events and new resource lists will be published within the next few weeks.

What Now and What Next ?

There has been a lot of news stories of last about Toshiba / Westinghouse, & EDF having a lot of financial problems. How this will effect new build at Moorside and Hinckley is very much of an open question.

Rather that duplicate these news stories we would recommend you look at the following websites.

No2nuclearpower    &   Radiation Free Lakeland

Clearing the submarine site.

It looks like the Capenhurst site is now being cleared for the building to hold all of the old 27 submarine waste

Here is what proves it: –

First of all on Google Earth

You can see a JCB moving one of the hex drums in it, and just where the other depleted Uranium Hex drums used to be.

Now look at map on PP 30 of this document.

Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP)

Consultation Document on the Site for Interim Storage of Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste.    14th November 2014

It’s one & the same location.

URENCO Finances

Amongst the many news stories which have been speculating about Brexit we can upon the following one:-

‘The German head of one of the UK’s top nuclear companies is counseling Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on what needs to be done to protect a global hub for the industry from Brexit.

Included in this news story Is this gem of information: –

‘Companies like Urenco face a potentially “high impact” from Brexit, Moody’s Investors Service wrote in a May 22 note saying that the overall credit impact from leaving the EU will be modest. Urenco, which has 2.1 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of outstanding debt is rated Baa1, two grades above junk by Moody’s.’

Nuclear flasks failed safety test.

Worries about the issue of Uranium Hex are nothing new.

In April 2000 the following news story was published in the Guardian : –

It reported that: –

‘ Flasks used by British Nuclear Fuels to transport dangerous radioactive material can resist fire for less than three minutes ‘ … … …

‘ The tests by France’s nuclear safety agency showed that the flasks would rupture within 175 seconds in a fire.

The flasks are used to transport 20,000 tonnes of uranium hexafluoride or “hex” – the raw material to make fuel for nuclear power stations – around the world every year, much of it for BNFL. Hex is particularly dangerous because as well as being radioactive it reacts with air to produce hydrofluoric acid, a gas which destroys the lungs.’ … … …

‘BNFL confirmed yesterday that it used 48Y containers for shipping hex in Britain and abroad. It was transported from Springfields to Capenhurst near Chester for enrichment, as well as to enrichment plants in Russia, the US, France, Germany and Holland.’

What we would like to know is just how many of these flasks are still in use to store depleted uranium hex at Capenhurst.

Now read this: –

Thermo-mechanical study of bare 48Y UF6 containers exposed to the regulatory fire environment.

Film Night

We have put together the following short list of youtube film clips which you might to watch, as they show the way the nukiller industry has been viewed over the last 60 years.

Peace – And The Atom (1954)

Cumberland, Preston & Cheshire.

Criticality 1969

Nuclear criticality training film, UKAEA, 1969.

Dismantling an atomic building Capenhurst site timelapse video


Atomic Milk (1957)

Windscale and Egremont, Cumberland

Urenco corporate video

Video showing the transportation of cylinders to Urenco


Protest outside of the URENCO Almelo site in the Netherlands  June 7th 2012

Protest tegen uitbreiding Urenco Almelo

Who Will Regulate URENCO Post Brexit ?

First of all a little history.

The European Union Referendum Act 2015 stated that it was consultative in nature. There was no reference to this including the UK withdrawing from EURATOM.

Now the government of the Unelected UK prime minister Mrs May states that Brexit will include Britain withdrawing from Euratom.  This might have some very unforeseen consequences.


URENCO is a jointly owned Dutch, German, and UK uranium enrichment company, with plants in each of these countries.

URENCO was established under the Treaties of Almelo

There is also a separate treaty which covers the activities of URENCO in the USA.

Under Which Regulatory Authority ?

There is at present a tailings plant being built at Capenhurst, which will convert all the Depleted Uranium Hexachloride [ Hex ] stored there in to a much safer form. This plant will not start operating until at least 2020.

The plan is that once all the Hex at Capenhurst has been converted, then all the Hex at Almelo be treated next.

The Hex currently being stored at Almelo will be transported by sea, as it banned from going through the Channel tunnel.

Thus the treatment and transportation of this Almelo Hex might then come under at least three separate sets of Regulatory Authorities. This includes those which regulate the shipping regulations,

Nowhere has there been any thought given to just which safety bodies will take a overview about about how this takes place.

Neither has any thought been given as to what might happen if the long expected sale of URENCO takes place.


How Much Depleted Hex Is At Capenhust ? ? ?

How Much Hex ?

Uranium Hexafluoride is highly toxic, radioactive, corrosive to most metals, and reacts violently with water.

One of the questions we have been asking since the Close Capenhurst Campaign was established is just how much Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride is stored at the URENCO Capenhurst site.

The best answer we have received is ‘ A vast Quantity’,which is also the only way we have been able to describe it.

We just don’t know.

Although one recent article stated that it is some 60,000 tonnes.

This is exactly what we want to know.


1. How many containers of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride are stored at the Capenhurst site ?

2. What is the total mass of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride which each of the containers at Capenhurst can hold ?

3. What is the total mass of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride which is stored at the Capenhurst site ?


4. How much of the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride will the new tailing plant at Capenhurst be able to process each hour ?

We recently submitted these questions to the Office of Nuclear Regulation as a Freedom of Information request.

This is the response which we received from them: –

‘We receive updates (a month in arrears from relevant UK dutyholders) on the amounts of material held on sites that are under our Nuclear Safeguards regime. Whilst we hold some of the data you require, we unfortunately do not receive it in the format that you have requested – it would take a significant amount of time to interrogate the data, to extract the specific volume of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride and provide the information in the requested format, approximately 60 man hours at a cost of £900 over and above the £600 or 3 days’ effort that you are assigned under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We cannot release the data set in its entirety as it contains Sensitive Nuclear Information, which would need to be redacted/extracted under section 24 of FOIA, National Security.’

In other words

They would only be willing to let us have the answer, if we were willing to give them £900.

This ‘fee’ will then be used to redact much of the information from any reply which we might receive.

Our response to this is as follows.

– 1. That what we asked for relates to a matter of very great public concern, and should be freely available to us all.

– 2. That we Do Not intend to pay out any money in order to maintain the secrecy which is an integral part of how the Nukiller Industry operates.


– 3. That we will continue to keep asking the same questions until we get the information which we require.