April 2006

One year ago this week, 19/04/2005 it was reported that there was a level 3 accident at Thorpe nuclear reprocessing plant Sellafield. Thorpe is closed but the shipments still arrive.

the BBC reported after the event the following.

A leak at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria was not spotted for three months, an investigation has revealed.

More than 20 tonnes of uranium and 160kg of plutonium spewed onto a floor when a pipe fractured at the Thorp reprocessing complex in January.

The British Nuclear Group, which carried out the inquiry, stressed that the material leaked into a sealed cell.

The discovery was made after a camera inspection of the cell in April.

It was classified as a level 3 accident by the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) because of the acid released in the incident.

INES measurements listed the 1986 Chernobyl disaster as a level 7 incident and Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979 as level 5.

greenpeace video

Jan 2006 A video showing terrorists crashing a passenger plane into a nuclear power station. click here

Fiction? post 9/11 this 10/29/2001 report by wise-paris explains a lot.

Whitehaven News reports: THE first moves have been made to clean-up the ponds used to store Britain’s first-ever plutonium fuel rods from the crash programme to create the UK’s A Bomb.

The ponds at Sellafield were used to hold nuclear fuel rods when they came out of the Windscale plutonium piles just after the end of the Second World War.

British Nuclear Group last week announced the first step towards decommissioning the original fuel storage pond for the Windscale Reactor at Sellafield, which dates from 1948.

Looking ahead, Glenn McCracken, head of delivery for Pile Fuel Storage Pond, said: “This year promises to be an even more challenging year for the team as completion of several major activities are required to prepare for pond desludging including the installation and commissioning of a local effluent treatment plant.

This is a key enabler to project progress and will provide treatment prior to effluents being discharged to the low active drain and effluent treatment plant before subsequent discharges to sea.? more

CNN writes: A successful terrorist plot to crash a hijacked airliner into the Sellafield nuclear energy plant could cause hundreds of thousands of cancer deaths across the British Isles, experts have warned.Frank Barnaby, a nuclear physicist from the Oxford Research Group think-tank, said a September 11-style terrorist attack would cause 210,000 deaths for each of Sellafield’s 14 tanks used to store high-level radioactive waste.

The scenario was outlined in a report submitted to the UK government’s review of Britain’s energy policy, which is considering whether to build new atomic power stations. more

News & Star reports: A NUCLEAR flask carrying plutonium-contaminated material fell off the side of a wagon at Sellafield yesterday.

It is the second time in less than three weeks that British Nuclear Group has had trouble with its nuclear transports – a Sellafield train was derailed at Barrow Docks at the end of March.

The Sellafield Site Emergency Control Centre was set up as a precautionary measure following yesterday’s incident, which happened just after noon.

Sellafield Station Gate had to be closed and site traffic was diverted via the site’s main, north and Calder gates.

British Nuclear Group has stressed that there was no release of radioactivity during yesterday’s incident and no-one was hurt.

The stainless steel waste package container was carrying plutonium-contaminated material which had been recovered from the low level waste repository at Drigg, It was being taken to Sellafield to be stored on the site. more

see also BBC report 

Next Tuesday/Wednesday is the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Reuters reports some facts: Reactor number four at the Soviet-designed Chernobyl nuclear power plant 130 km (80 miles) north of Ukraine’s capital Kiev exploded at 1.24 a.m. on April 26 following a test on capacity when the safety system was temporarily cut off. more

Belfast Telegraph writes: Concerns about nuclear waste disposal will need to be addressed before a new nuclear power station can be built at Sellafield, the local authority has warned.The alert follows publication of a dossier examining the feasibility of building more nuclear reactors on the controversial site, which has been the subject of environmental protests from campaigners in Northern Ireland.

A document produced by Cumbria County Council on the impact of nuclear industry practices stated: “On the issue of nuclear new build, the question of disposal of nuclear waste needs to be determined before a commitment is made to build new nuclear power plants.

“The experience of the past 50 years, where decommissioning and waste management liabilities have not been recognised until recently, is not a sound basis on which to commence a new programme of construction.” more

breakingnews.ie reports Northern Secretary Peter Hain tonight ruled out the prospect of a nuclear power station being built in the North.

As Derry councillors listened to a proposal from businessman Robert Andrews to build a plant in the city, the British government moved to destroy any notion that the North would lose its status as a nuclear-free region.

A government spokesman said: “The Secretary of State has already made it clear that nuclear power is not going to happen in Northern Ireland.

“It would be ultimately his decision, even though we have no expectation that Derry Council would want to go down this route in this case.?

Mr Andrews is proposing a plant that could generate about 2,000 megawatt hours.

To generate the same amount of power using wind, he claimed, there would need to be 300,000 wind farms throughout Ireland.

The Guardian reports The British Nuclear Group (BNG) is to be prosecuted for breaches of health and safety regulations at Sellafield in a move that could hit government sell-off plans.The negligence charges follow an accident that closed the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) a year ago and which is causing huge stockpiles of spent fuel to mount up at the Cumbrian site.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would not comment on BNG, which runs Thorp and the wider Sellafield complex, but well-placed sources said a formal announcement would come within days. more

in an effort to reduce costs at Sellafield workers not paid.
newsandstar.co.uk reports HUNDREDS of agency workers at Sellafield were left without cash over the Easter weekend after employer Capita failed to pay them on time.

Staff were told that they would be paid last Thursday – a day early because of the holiday – but some workers were not paid until late yesterday afternoon.

Capita only took over the contract – worth £150m – to supply Sellafield with more than 1,500 agency workers at the beginning of the month.

The late payment was the first time staff received their wages, paid on a weekly basis, from their new employer.

One employee, who asked not to be named, told the News & Star that she had been forced to borrow money to pay the bills.

She said: “We are supposed to get paid each Friday but we were told that because of the bank holiday we would be paid on Thursday. They even gave us a deadline that we had to have our time sheets in by so that we would get paid. more

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