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Nuclear power is important for the rich because of its links to nuclear weapons.

Britain’s first nuclear plant was Windscale, which opened in 1956.

It was later renamed Sellafield—because the name Windscale was so associated with a 1957 disaster.

Right from the start, the aim was always to produce weapons.

Plutonium was produced there to fuel Britain’s atomic bomb programme.

The problems came fast. A serious fire in a reactor chimney in 1957 released radiation across the surrounding countryside.

At the time it was the world’s worst nuclear accident to date.

From the 1960s, Windscale began reprocessing spent nuclear fuel—which continues to this day in the now named Thorp reprocessing site at Sellafield.

Sellafield still dumps eight million litres of nuclear waste into the sea—every day.

ARTHUR BEESLEY, European Correspondent

THE GOVERNMENT wants forthcoming stress tests on EU nuclear installations to include the Sellafield reprocessing plant in Cumbria, Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte has said.

At a special meeting to discuss the Fukushima nuclear emergency and the turmoil in the Arab world, the EU agreed yesterday that Europe’s 143 reactors should be subject to new safety standards.

Mr Rabbitte told reporters as the meeting broke up that the Government did not detect any resistance by London to the inclusion of Sellafield. “The Irish Government wishes that the stress tests that are going on will include Sellafield,? he said. “I have no reason to believe that there will be resistance. There’s no evidence to that effect.?

and

via http://www.nuclearcounterfeit.com/?p=8994 “Europe should realize that it doesn’t take a major earthquake to cause a cooling-related nuclear crisis -about half Europe’s reactors are of particular concern,? said Greenpeace EU nuclear policy adviser Jan Haverkamp. “It remains to be seen whether the stress tests being talked about for nuclear plants will be more than a fig leaf for business-as-usual.?

Irish Times Reports

Meanwhile, the emergency committee that meets in the event of nuclear radiation threats to Ireland has had two informal meetings over the past few days. The full national emergency planning body has not met, however, in response to the ongoing nuclear risk in Japan.

The committee, comprising representatives from Government departments and State agencies, convenes at times of nuclear threat. This is when the National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents takes effect.

The unfolding Japanese nuclear crisis did not represent a significant threat to citizens here however, according to a spokesman from the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland.

“It hasn’t been invoked because there is no risk to Ireland,? he said yesterday.

“There was a mini-meeting on Saturday of a few of the agencies but the full National Emergency Plan for Nuclear Accidents hasn’t been invoked,? the institute spokesman added.

A second informal meeting was held on Monday, he said. This included members of the emergency Response Co-ordinating Committee including representatives from the institute, Met Éireann, the Garda and at least two departments, Environment and Foreign Affairs, he said.

The idea was to keep the channels open and to exchange information on the unfolding events taking place in Japan.

The institute has already issued two statements indicating that the limited radiation releases from Japan were too far away to pose any health risk here.

What’s in a name?

Some brands are beyond redemption, particularly if there appears to be little commitment to change within the company. The British government’s rebranding of Windscale nuclear power station as Sellafield in 1981 is a case in point.

The rebranding was essentially a cosmetic exercise, designed to break the link with the disastrous Windscale fire in October 1957, which remains western Europe’s worst-ever nuclear accident, spreading radioactive contamination across a wide area.

It subsequently emerged that the incident was caused by flaws in the power station’s basic design, causing irrep-arable damage to the Windscale brand.

But little changed after the introduction of the Sellafield name, with numerous incidents linked to lax safety procedures at the plant occurring since then. One of the most damaging came in 1999, when it was discovered that workers had been falsifying safety records at Sellafield’s new £1.2bn MOX reprocessing plant.

taken from Corporate makeovers can save or sink firms in trouble – irish independent 25/July/2010

even turning the brand to a science visitors centre failed.

The former Sellafield Visitors’ Centre is now the Sellafield Centre and is open Mon – Fri, and is used for business events. A small section is still open to the public but only at selected times.

At its peak, the Visitors’ Centre attracted an average of 1,000 people per day. In recent years, its popularity has deteriorated, prompting the change from tourist attraction to conference facility.

Local Democracy Dumped!

As government ends flawed consultation on nuclear power, anti-nuclear power activists step up resistance and blockade Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk, England.

Since 6.40am this morning, anti-nuclear power activists from the ‘People Power not Nuclear Power Coalition’ [1] have been blockading Sizewell power station in protest against the flawed government consultation on nuclear new build, which ends today, and the dumping of local democracy.

Sizewell is one of ten sites nominated for nuclear new build; and, together with Hinkley in Somerset, one of the two most likely sites for one of the first new nuclear reactors to be built by EDF Energy.

In preparation for new nuclear reactors, the government introduced the 2008 Planning Act [2] to limit the local planning procedure to relatively unimportant matters, and centralise siting and nuclear design decision on the national level. Today, the seriously flawed consultations end on the National Policy Statements for energy, including nuclear power, [3] designed to give the go ahead for ten new nuclear power stations in the UK.

“In order to build new nuclear power stations, government dumped local democracy”, Mell Harrison, 38 from Geldeston and a campaigns worker for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said.

“We are blockading Sizewell today, to show that the government will not achieve its aim to fast track nuclear power. If local democracy is dumped, then nonviolent direct action will be our answer. Any new build will be met with resistance, and this blockade today is just the beginning.”

She continued:

“The government and the nuclear industry present nuclear power as low carbon energy and a necessity to combat climate change; but nuclear power is dangerous, expensive and does not deliver any significant reductions in carbon emissions. It locks us into a centralised energy system, and is part of the problem of climate change, not part of the solution.”

“Chipper”, 44, a male activist from Stop Hinkley added:

“The government and the nuclear industry approach the problem of nuclear waste with wishful thinking, as the conclusion of the National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation shows.” [4]

Andreas Speck, 45, from London, originally from Germany, added:

“Just to wish away the problem of nuclear waste is highly irresponsible. Spent nuclear fuel is highly toxic and remains radioactive for tens of thousands of years. Here at Sizewell, a new dry storage facility is planned, to store spent fuel rods for more than 100 years in casks. However, how long these last is unknown, and problems with similar casks at Gorleben in Germany after only a few years show that this is no solution. There is no final safe storage [for high level radioactive waste] in existence anywhere in the world. The responsible thing to do is to shut down all nuclear power stations immediately and stop producing yet more nuclear waste.” [5]

(more…)

Land near Sellafield sells for 70 million. the 470 acre site goes for 6.7 million an acre. The site near Sellafield processing plants will become a NEW NUCLEAR 3.5MW power station. “The Sellafield property deal followed similar sales of NDA lands in Anglesey, Gloucestershire and Essex. John Clarke, Commercial Director of NDA, informed that the combined sales of lands would generate £450 million, which will be used by the organization [NDA] to clean up and decommission old nuclear energy plants.” [1]

The clean up bill is £73bn and rising [2]. the old plants, now in private hands are not paying for this, the British tax payers are. FFS – the master plan is to sell greenfield land near old nuke plants to build new nuke plants and the cash will pay for the clean up?. BUT the cash is £73bn short of an old cost reported in 2008 where the cost rose from £12bn to £73bn.

What really annoys me is that sloppy journalism doesn’t point out these massive anomalies. The technology in new nuke has the same of clean up problem as old nuke plants, where do they hide the waste?

[1] http://url.ie/2ruf
[2] http://url.ie/2ruh


photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/tim_d/

Spectacular green neon flashes flaring up the sea along Ireland’s east coast is not radioactive waste but a harmless natural phenom-enon, marine experts have said.

Hardy swimmers taking dips after dark in popular outdoor bathing spots such as the Forty Foot and Killiney Bay in Dublin have been enjoying the aquatic light show in recent weeks.

The Marine Institute said the flashes were most likely a bioluminescent plankton called Noctiluca scintillans – sometimes known as Sea Ghost or Fire of Sea – and not radioactive waste from Sellafield as some swimmers had feared. via (PA)


full story here

newsandstar.co.uk reports

Cumbria narrowly averted a nuclear disaster “five times worse than Chernobyl?, a county councillor has claimed.

Labour’s Wendy Kolbe, who represents Ulverston East, told councillors that a failure in the cooling system at Sellafield on April 1 could have led to a catastrophic explosion.

Her comments have been dismissed as alarmist and untrue.

She said: “For four hours radioactive storage tanks lost cooling water.

“If that had continued for eight hours it would have created a major disaster not only for Cumbria but for Europe.

“We could have been looking at devastation to our county. Something five times worse than Chernobyl.?

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