RE: Infrastructure Planning (Radioactive Waste Geological Disposal Facilities) Order 2015
The Facebook group No Nuclear Waste Dumping and sister-page No Geo Nuke Dumping have been researching the above proposed UK legislation, which seeks to class the creation of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) as being in the national interest. As Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) the planning authority will be removed from the Local and County Councils and the final decision passed instead to the Secretary of State, currently Eric Pickles.
18th Feb 2015
One conversation I had today threw up this question: “Surely this has to happen? …the waste has to go somewhere.”
What to do with the world’s nuclear waste is THE question for our generation. Fukushima is an ongoing and almost indescribable nightmare, illustrating how lethal these radioactive poisons are – to all living things.
The catastrophic safety failure at the plant in 2011, resulting in 250,000 (permanently?) displaced residents of Fukushima and the ever-growing number of children who have developed thyroid cancer, are some of the reasons why the former Prime Minister of Japan is now actively warning the world to DITCH NUCLEAR ENERGY.
He most recently said this in person on a visit to the people of Anglesea (see Stop Wylfa campaign page on Facebook.)
As well as the seemingly unsolvable, utter catastrophe at Fukushima (4 reactor melt-downs) we are already suffering from ongoing leaks at Sellafield (into the ground, where the waste is stored) with radioactive waste continually spewing into the Irish Sea round the clock, 365 days per year (and not a watt of electricity going to the National Grid – it just produces materials for nuclear weapons!); escaped radionuclides from WIPP, New Mexico (where the ceilings collapsed after a fire and nuclear explosion); two recent leaks from nuclear reactors in the Ukraine; the continuing radioactive legacy from the Windscale Fire and Chernobyl; the horrific consequences of depleted Uranium in Fallujah (where parents have been told by the World Health Organisation: DO NOT HAVE KIDS); effluent contaminating the River Ribble from the nuclear fuel-rod Factory near Preston called Springfields (no, it’s not a joke) ; 99 recorded nuclear accidents at Faslane (atomic submarines) during 2013-2014 and we could go on and on and on.
This industry is routinely irradiating our environment.
Halton is 15 miles up-wind from Urenco and Sellafield, Capenhurst, Cheshire – which is one of only a few Uranium-enrichment plants in the world. It just so happens that Halton is also the UK’s cancer capital.
The ever-present and lethal danger posed by this sick manipulation of rare Earth minerals, producing synthetic poisons that can last for MILLIONS of years (uranium-238 has a half-life of 4.468×109 years, or 4.468 billion years!) needs to be taken to a much wider audience.
These plans to put these toxins into the ground are forging ahead with virtually no mainstream-media mention.
The REASON for the change of gear and dramatic new approach to Nuclear Waste Disposal is because the EU decreed that ‘the UK must have a robust plan in place for the stored waste and future waste legacy’ to get the green light for the proposed new generation of Nuclear Power Plants: Hinkley C and Moorside.
The search is on for a host site because Cumbria County Council had the sense to say no.
The sanctioning in principal and in advance of a potentially lethal experiment is bonkers. How can we allow the burying of spent nuclear fuel next to the source of our water supply!?!?!
The outrageous reality of this sudden urgency to deal with the waste is this:
1) The technology to achieve this aim safely does not exist.
The Research and Development (R&D) for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) rely on computer modelling, that the programmers themselves admit the limitations of. There is no way to accurately map the porosity of all the host rock. There is no way to accurately predict the future movement of water down there either. Hence there is no way to predict the movement of the radionuclides.
2) A huge chunk of the funding for the ongoing Research and Development (R&D – or, as Nikki taught us, RD&D) is coming from the Nuclear Industry. (e.g BNFL’s £5 million grant to Sheffield University’s Material Science Department.) Enough said.
3) “the Inspector at the Public Planning Inquiry of 1995-96, held to determine whether Nirex could go ahead at Longlands Farm, rejected Nirex’s proposals. He said that the underground laboratory was the precursor to a full underground repository, that the site had been chosen on manipulated criteria, that the geology and hydrogeology were unsuitable” [as reported by David K. Smythe Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow.]
4) Rather than ACCEPT Cumbria County Council’s rightful, democratic and scientifically-based decision to say NO to that plan (and twice since!) the government is instead effectively REMOVING the powers of this planning authority by classing this activity as being in the national interest (NSIP).
Planning regulations set up to ease the creation of new trunk roads are NOT a legitimate way to impose a nuclear dump.
5) The July 2014 Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper describes a ‘voluntarist approach’ of identifying host communities who will have an ongoing ‘right to withdrawal’. This has yet to be legally defined.
BUT it’s worth bearing in mind, that the Government, via UKOOG, has (legally?) defined the meaning of the word community to mean perhaps one property:
UKOOG: How will community be defined?
“This will largely be determined by the geography of the local area around each of the sites where exploratory drilling or production goes ahead. Typically, local communities are defined as those parishes, community councils or properties which are directly located in the vicinity of any producing site or affected by any of the infrastructure required to support a producing site. The exact boundaries of the ‘local community’ will be defined on a site-by-site basis in conjunction with the community.”
6) The 2013 public consultation into the siting of a GDF document states:
“Any planning application will need to take account of community views where they are relevant – but there is no requirement for community support inherent in the planning process itself.”
People need to know about this!
This is like the Infrastructure Bill + Fukushima!
It continues, “Through application of this voluntarism and partnership siting we would go further and require a demonstration of community support before development could proceed.”
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) spell out that they will set up ways of ‘demonstrating community support’ here in the minutes from their >6th GDF Users’ Group Meeting< Thursday 26th September 2013:
MRWS and NDA update, including siting process review:
“Initial discussions included questions on how the new process would engage communities at the national level, on the level of response to the previous Call for Evidence received from local authorities (e.g. district/county councils), on any means DECC may be considering in overcoming the lack of trust in RWMD/DECC raised by stakeholders, on the potential timing and extent of community benefits, and on the nature and timing of activities aimed at demonstrating community support envisaged by proposed changes.”
Pinning them down on what a, “demonstration of community support” actually is, will be a job all of it’s own!
Why do we want to lobby against this proposal to change the law?
- To preserve the established DEMOCRATIC PROCESS of applications being submitted to an elected Council planning committee, with the responsibility to local people to FULLY SCRUTINISE proposals; make decisions; hear appeals; call expert witnesses; conduct public full consultation and subsequent analysis; and trigger a Public Inquiry if necessary. This is PRECISELY what elected local councils are for!!!
- The SAFEST way of tackling the waste is if the BEST scientists, geologists and engineers were working on such a project NOT constrained by time or budget in a NOT-FOR-PROFIT setting.
- The recent experience of the NMP (Nuclear Management Partnership) private consortium (now sacked!) up at Sellafield PROVES that profit-making and safety DO NOT MIX and that system is wide-open to abuse. Sellafield cut up the bodies of 76 nuclear workers for testing without their families permission – that says it ALL for me! The private sector cannot be trusted to dispose of this waste. End of.
What else will help us fight this?
- Think of ways to educate more people that Nuclear Power is inherently dangerous.
- Facts like the IAEA admitting, “there is no such thing as a safe level of radiation” need to be dug out and SHARED
- The LIE that the Nuclear Industry is “carbon neutral” needs exposing!
- The fact that Nuclear is subsidized at the expense of investing in Green Energy needs to be highlighted.
- Government figures for Nuclear new build (£60BN)+ nuclear decommissioning & disposal costs (£73BN) + twatty trident (£34BN at the very minimum) equal £86,000 per UK household per annum for the next 30 years! Imagine the amount of solar panels and wind turbines that could pay for (not to mention the jobs that could be generated!) These figures are MENTAL!
- Challenge Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace about their deafening silence on this issue (wtf?)
- Encourage more links between anti-nuclear campaigners and Earth Protectors from the Anti-Fracking movement.
The smiley-faced assassin Professor Brian Cox lending his nuclear-friendly face to assist Baroness Verma opening that exhibition at the Sellafield Visitor’s Center last May can kiss my arse!
Pro-Nuclear celebrity endorsement needs exposing for what it is. He also presented a Horizon Special recently that kept claiming we need Nuclear Fusion (not fission) to ‘solve the energy crisis’.
There is no ‘energy crisis’ !
The crisis is a bunch of greedy capitalists using their existing wealth as a strangle-hold to control the supply of energy and they literally do not give a fuck about pollution. And they are inextricably tied up with the rulers of our country.
More and more people are waking up to this fact, as they investigate into the murky mechanics and dirty politics of Fracking. The ever-growing, well-educated anti-fracking movement is a HUGE bonus if we can help people to join the dots to this issue as well.
There IS a link between Nuclear Waste Disposal and fracking. Here’s the article from the US where it is suggested Radioactive Waste has been routinely disposed of under the guise of hydraulic-fracturing for decades. Having searched for the patents, sure enough, they go right back to the 1960s, registered by Halliburton and others.
So far in the British mainstream press, we’ve only spotted what Damian Carrington printed in the Guardian which links the two topics (in paragraph 8 of the article below):
“taxpayers funding exploratory boreholes in shale…the data gathered will be used for the disposal of nuclear waste”
We need to keep scouring the press for more evidence of the inevitable soft-sell.
It’s down in black and white in the Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper that the fracking boreholes are AT LEAST going to be used to scope out a potential site… and plenty of evidence in academic papers from the Universities of Sheffield, Durham, DECOVALEX, etc. that Deep Borehole Disposal (DBD, BDB, BGF, BOSS, etc.!) designs are being seriously considered as temporary, if not permanent, solutions for the waste disposal.
Disposal being a FALSE term – as you can only contain radioactivity, not get rid of it.
Out of sight most definitely is NOT out of danger from contaminating air, soil and water.
Professor Fergus Gibb of Sheffield University PATENTED a method of Deep Borehole Disposal in 2007 – the exact same year he was appointed to CoRWM!
“The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) provides independent scrutiny and advice to the UK governments on the long-term management of higher activity radioactive wastes.”
If he ends up recommending Deep Borehole Disposal as a method for waste management, how can that be ‘independent scrutiny’?? Unbelievable.
We have found the evidence and were right to be watching out for this move to change the law, stripping the planning power away from councils.
To my mind, we were posting factual information to warn others at the earliest possible stage and I love you all for that.
On top of CONTINUING this backroom shared research, and wave of information-sharing from No Nuclear Waste Dumping and No Geo Nuke Dumping, I suggest we self-publish the latest news ourselves, like Marianne does so well.
We can produce fully-referenced articles to be shared and used to link people back to our pages and Radiation Free Lakeland to gather new supporters and create some momentum. We might try to publish pithy factual articles to match the bullet points above that not many people are unaware of, rather than just the latest news? YOUR IDEAS PLEASE! 🙂
p.s. now that this is ‘out there’ (well done team!) we have to watch the threads.
I already spotted one troll today who wrote, “there’s no way they’ll put waste down fracking holes!”
Pftt, wanna bet?