UK urges Ireland to build wind farms on west coast

Plans to link electricity grids offer the UK a chance to meet its clean energy targets – but threaten to blight Irish beauty spots

Interesting, Ireland ask UK to list Sellafield on stress test list. They do. Irish Govt. are so happy they put out a press release. UK Govt. take Sellafield off the list and Irish Govt. say nothing… This game on polly put the kettle on continues. UK ask Ireland for a blow of its wind. We are being urged by a UK plan. I’m sure if we could we would sell the wind power, but respect first. SHUT SELLAFIELD. respect us, and we respect you.

THE BRITISH authorities have decided to exclude the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria from an imminent round of stress tests on European nuclear installations.

The move comes despite indications to Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan from British energy secretary Chris Huhne that the stress tests would include Sellafield.

Voluntary tests on Europe’s 143 nuclear reactors follow the Fukushima nuclear emergency in Japan, which raised questions as to whether previous safety audits were thorough enough.

The tests, which begin next month, will examine the resilience of nuclear installations to earthquakes, tsunamis, air crashes and human error. A group will also be set up to deal with the risk of any terrorist attack on a nuclear plant.

“The answer is no,” said a British government spokeswoman in Brussels when asked whether Sellafield would be examined.

She explained the decision by saying the plant is now engaged in nuclear fuel reprocessing and no longer generates power. “It’s just for existing generation sites,” she said of the tests.

previously the British told the Irish they would include it. See http://url.ie/bjdx

The future of a nuclear fuel plant at Sellafield in Cumbria hangs in the balance after the Japanese Prime Minister called for the closure of a nuclear power station near Tokyo, which was to be the UK plant’s most important customer.

The setback is the latest blow to Britain’s faltering strategy for dealing with its growing mountain of reprocessed nuclear waste, and further evidence of the extent to which the devastating Japanese earthquake of 11 March has changed the nuclear picture – in particular the international trade in reprocessed nuclear fuel.

If the power plant at Hamaoka, 200km from Tokyo, closes, shipments of nuclear fuel to Japan from the Sellafield Mox Plant would stop before they had even started. It is the latest in a long series of problems for the nuclear fuel plant at the Sellafield complex which had already cost taxpayers £1.34bn even before the impact of the earthquake and tsunami was felt.

LONDON — The police in Britain said that they had arrested five men under anti-terrorism laws near the Sellafield nuclear site in the north of England.

The men were stopped in a vehicle “close to the site? on the Irish Sea coast on Monday afternoon according to a statement from West Cumbria police. All are aged in their 20s, the statement said, and all are from London.

They were arrested under a provision of Britain’s terrorism laws that allows suspects to be questioned without charge, police said, and have now been handed over to the specialist North West Counter Terrorism Unit in Manchester.

A BBC report suggested the men were of Bangladeshi origin and that they were thought to have been filming near the site.

A spokeswoman for the unit, which works closely with Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5, declined to confirm the report or provide further details because “the investigation is at an early stage,? and questioning is under way.

But she did say that there is “no link at this stage? to the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, an event which prompted Islamic extremists to warn that Britain will be a target for retaliatory attacks. British authorities have told the public to be alert on public transportation and in other venues.

Between 1952 and 2009, Sellafield discharged more than 47,855 terabecquerel of cesium-137 and strontium-90, two of the most dangerous radioactive elements to human health, according to calculations based on data from the U.K. Environment Agency and the Journal of Radiological Protection.

not another glowing report?

Britain sees three radiation spills at nuclear plants

Health fears have been raised as three recent radiation spills at Britain’s nuclear power plants were revealed to ministers.

Sellafield Nuclear Power Station in Sellafield Sellafield Nuclear Power Station in Sellafield (Pic: AP)

Radioactive waste leaked from the Sellafield complex in Cumbria, said the nuclear watchdog.

One month after the Japanese tsunami, the world’s biggest reserve of plutonium waste is reaching crisis point. It was meant to be reprocessed and sold – but now no nation will take it. So where is this vast stockpile? Not Fukushima, but Sellafield, Cumbria

it goes on to say

“The existing Sellafield Mox Plant, opened in 2002, has cost more than £1.3bn to date yet has produced just 13.8 tons of Mox fuel in nine years compared to an expected output of 120 tons per year. A leaked cable from the US embassy in London said Sellafield’s Mox plant was a white elephant costing about £90m a year and considered, privately, by the UK Government as “[one of] the most embarrassing failures in British industrial history”.

A Norwegian delegation has visited the British nuclear processing station at Sellafield in north-west England – and criticized the plant operators for becoming “more reticent? in the face of Norwegian concerns.

The Norwegian government has pushed over the past 15 years to have the operation shut down. Radiation leaked from the site over a number of years has entered the North Sea and been transported along the Norwegian coast, threatening fishing stocks and the local population.

A delegation including environment minister Erik Solheim and Nils Bøhmer, a nuclear physicist with the environmental foundation Bellona, visited the site on Thursday April 7. Tensions between the visitors and their hosts heightened when a number of journalists, including one from Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), were not allowed into a closed section of the facility with the delegation.

Bøhmer told newspaper Aftenposten that he “did not understand the reason for keeping the journalists outside.? The physicist was further frustrated when the Sellafield leadership did not answer questions on exactly how much atomic waste remains at the decommissioned plant, or how the operators planned to reduce waste to the so-called “buffer level? of 200 cubic meters, which they promise to do by 2014. This is a year quicker than demanded by the British government.

Speaking further to Aftenposten, Bøhmer felt that Sellafield’s new withholding of information “makes it even more important to gain support for a moratorium? in the processing operations. The mayor of the southern coastal city of Stavanger, Leif Johan Sevland, who joined the delegation, concluded that it is “essential? that Norwegians “keep up the pressure.?

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland has confirmed that it has detected the presence of trace amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima accident in Ireland, but they are of no public health concern.

The amount of radio-iodine identified is extremely low, is consistent with levels found in other European countries and has no public health implications.

via rte.ie

http://www.rpii.ie/Monitoring-Stations/Clonskeagh.aspx

Secretary of State Huhne acknowledged the Irish Government’s concerns and indicated his Government’s continued support for the ongoing constructive engagement between Ireland and the UK on nuclear-related matters.  He also confirmed that the UK will be participating in the development of the proposed ‘stress test’ to ensure that the robustness of the safety arrangements at nuclear facilities, including Sellafield, are challenged and improved where necessary in light of events in Japan. 

emphasis by bhg

Good to see Sellafield not escape a stress test. The tests must be independent of the industry that is well known at covering up large and small accidents.

But while it is good to see Sellafield included (excluded first off because there is no working nuclear power plant there?) The Irish Government in Dublin should be aware that the largest UK reactor in Wylfa Wales is bigger than Sellafield’s old nuclear power plant, is operational and is closer to Ireland’s capital city Dublin than Sellafield is.

The point the Irish Govt. do not seem to get is that the UK site the majority of their sites on their west coast. The coastal position is so they can use the Irish sea to cool down and discharge into. There are 5-6 active sites on the UK’s west coast out of a total of 9 active sites in the UK today (sites not reactors). The UK plan 11 new sites 7 of which are on the UK’s west coast. These points need to be raised, safety is very important but as a neighbour of UK nuclear plants, Ireland should object to the building of these plants and the disproportionality of the sitting of plants on the Irish sea.

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