Friday, 13 March 2015

STAND against Oldbury
14th Newsletter           July 2014
Wrong technology, wrong place, better ways to power our future
STAND is at present trying to find ways to get the people of Bristol aware of the plans for new Oldbury - and all the problems connected with it. 

In October we will be taking part in Nationally organised events to highlight the issue of Nuclear waste. 

In the meantime, here is some national and International news.
Government showing desperation in trying to solve problem of nuclear waste storage.
This week the Government has said that communities could be paid millions of pounds just to consider having a facility to bury nuclear waste in their area.
Community projects could receive payments of up to £1 million a year if local people engage with officials about developing a geological disposal facility to permanently store underground the radioactive waste from nuclear power, industry and defence.
The figure would rise to £2.5 million a year if drilling of bore-holes to assess the suitability of a site went ahead - money that would be "no strings attached" as the community would still not be tied in to hosting a site.
However, alongside the bribes, the Government has removed a local council’s right to stop the process, as it is no longer possible for any one, single, layer of government to refuse to host the waste, as happened at Cumbria, making a mockery of any attempt at consultation.
With the process of talking to communities and investigating sites taking up to two decades, communities could be paid more than £40 million without committing to accepting a £12 billion nuclear waste facility - with increased payments if it gets the go-ahead.
The Government said going ahead with a facility, would be paid for by the taxpayer and take 100 years to plan, construct, fill and seal off.
 Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Louise Hutchins said: "This is a bullying and bribing approach by a government that is getting desperate about solving this problem.
"First David Cameron reneged on his promises not to allow new nuclear reactors until the problem of waste disposal was solved. Now he's resorting to bribing reluctant communities just to talk about nuclear waste whilst stripping them of the right to veto it.
"A better use of this money and political will would be to spend it on the proven clean energy technologies that don't require thousands of years and billions of pounds to clean up."
STAND steering group hold meeting with Chris Gifford
Last week a group of STAND members had a very useful meeting with the author of books on Nuclear Power and a retired Health and Safety Executive  chief for engineering. The key points he talked about were:
·      Most people are not aware of a lack of evacuation plans and the fact you can not insure your home against radiation.
·      The safety review following Fukushima has done nothing to protect us against a similar accident. The only difference is that emergency plans have been extended from 2 to 2.5 km where the limit goes through an area of population.
·      The Government is still planning for 10 new nuclear stations.
·      The nuclear lobby is powerful and self perpetuating through bodies such as Royal Society of Engineers.
·      The Health and Safety Executive for NP has now become the Office for Nuclear Regulation.  ONR is paid for by the nuclear industry while being the only safety overseer. There is concern that ONR is bringing in a new culture, which includes "supporting economic growth", while still "holding industry to account".
 International news
·      Fukushima – The water problem - Too much water
For nearly 40 months now, water has been poured down through the three reactors at Fukushima which suffered melt-downs in the March 2011 disaster. This is in order to prevent them again heating up causing the cores to again become molten and start flowing; and nuclear fission reactions to restart, resulting in the release of yet more high-level radiation.
It’s been reported that as much as 300 tonnes of water has to be poured through the three reactors daily. The trouble with this is that the water becomes radioactive in passing through the reactors,  so it can’t just be allowed to run into the sea.  This water could be recycled through the reactors but this would mean that this water will just become more and more radioactive. 
To prevent all this radioactive water contaminating the Pacific, the only present method seems to be to store it in an ever-increasing number of tanks, where it will presumably have to stay until some better way of dealing with it is found or until its radiation level drops sufficiently for it to be considered “safe” to let it flow into the sea, say in a few thousand years time.  As there is in fact no safe level for radiation – it has been shown by reputable scientists that any increase in radiation level means an increase in the risk of some cancers - any so-called “safe” level is an arbitrary matter.  Indeed the officially safe level of radiation has itself been raised in Japan since the disaster.
In addition many of these tanks have proved inadequate for storage even for a short time and have sprung leaks or have become over-filled by mistake and all this lost radioactive water inevitably flows into the nearby Pacific.
TEPCO has used unroofed tanks, so rainwater has also fallen into the tanks which has also caused them to overflow.
Fukushima was built in the path of a stream and this is responsible for sending some 100 more tonnes of water into the site daily to mix with the radioactive water already swilling around the site.  This year TEPCO started doing something about this, by trying to divert this stream of water round the site and into the Pacific without passing through it.  But since this water is presumably not itself markedly radioactive this does little to reduce the amount of radiation on the site, all is does at best is to lower by some 25% the volume of radioactive water having to be stored on the site while ceasing to dilute its radioactivity.
 The water won’t freeze !
In September 2013, TEPCO announced it planned to build an underground « ice wall » by pumping super-cooled calcium chloride into a line of wells it was to dig.  It was hoped this would prevent radioactive water from the site seeping into the Pacific. 
However this June TEPCO  had to admit  that they couldn’t get the water to freeze.  The problem seemingly is the continual spread of wastewater through the site…
·      US study – over-use of water
A report from the US Department of Energy entitled “The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities” (published 18th June) argued that US « water stress » may drive a shift to more wind and solar power generation to conserve water.
It found thermoelectric power, including gas, coal and nuclear, was responsible for 40% of all US freshwater use and that among thermoelectric generation technologies, nuclear power was the most dependent on water, withdrawing around 45,000 gallons/MWh.
Furthermore there was a risky mutual dependence between energy and water, with energy needed to pump, treat and transport water, while water is needed to cool electricity generating equipment in thermal power plants such as gas, coal and nuclear ones.
And, the report argued, climate change would exacerbate these mutual risks.  Climate change would be likely to involve shifts in rainfall and water temperatures and these would be likely to lead to more regional variations in water availability.  Also rising temperatures had the potential to increase demand for electricity for cooling.
Indeed the effects of this have already been felt, it said : «When severe drought affected more than a third of the United States in 2012, limited water availability constrained the operation of some power plants and other energy production activities.» 
Solutions to this included less water-intensive forms of power generation including wind and solar photovoltaic power; greater efficiency of fossil fuel generation; and the use of alternative water supplies, ranging from “produced water” in oil and gas extraction to solar-powered desalination.
The report calculated that the U.S. energy mix was already moving in the right direction, towards using less water, as result of rising wind and solar power generation replacing coal.  It said, “While more than 90% of the (power generating) capacity set to retire requires cooling, only 45% of the planned additional capacity requires cooling,” referring to expected additions and retirements up to the end of 2017.
·      France cutting Nuclear Power
President Hollande pledged during his 2012 election campaign that he would reduce France’s reliance on nuclear for electricity production from its present roughly 75% to 50%.  He seems intent to carry out this policy -  on 18th June a draft energy policy was announced to do just that…by 2025.
 Initially the plan would be to cap energy at present levels, ruling out installing any new nuclear plants that would raise nuclear electricity output above the current 63.2GW.  This would mean EDF would have to close some existing capacity before connecting the under-construction Flamanville plant to the grid.  The policy’s commitment to reduce France’s dependence on nuclear electricity from 75% to 50% by 2025 would of course require many more of France’s present 58 reactors to be shut down.
 However, the French  energy and environment minister Ségolène Royal told a news conference that: "We won't exit nuclear, that's not the choice we're making. »  She said the aim was rather to diversify energy sources.  Part of this would be to increase generation of electricity from renewables from the present 20% to 40% by 2030.
To return to the water question, France itself was forced to suspend the operation of many of its nuclear power stations in 2012 when a drought meant many rivers were too low to supply all the water needed for cooling purposes for the stations. In France as in the US, but unlike in Britain, most nuclear power stations are built inland, using water from rivers or lakes for cooling.
Nuclear Train derails
On June 17th, a diesel locomotive drawing a carriage loaded with highly-radioactive spent nuclear fuel rods from HMS Talent derailed in Devonport Navy Dockyard. The submarine was there for a refit and the spent fuel rods were on their way to Sellafield in Cumbria for reprocessing or storage.
 Nuclear Veterans fight on
The Supreme Court hearing  intended to address the question of "Limitation" and qualification for Nuclear Verteran claimants from the UK, NZ, Fiji, and Australian, was lost by the most narrow of votes a - 4 to 3 majority. But the  Supreme Court verdict has not closed down the nuclear test veterans campaign .
 The Supreme Court  verdict is regarded as inherently unsafe because the  prime causal link to ill health from genetic damage arising from inhaled / ingested radiation (alpha and beta particles) has not been allowed to be presented in court .
Nuclear test victims in Australia, including the indigenous aboriginal populations victims of downwind fall out, as with armed forces personnel  of Commonwealth nations who participated in the British nuclear test experiments, would show significant elevated chromosomal translocations in their DNA if cytogenetically blood tested. This was recognized and demanded by Senator Lynn Alison but the UK government and the nuclear industrial protectionist Australian government preferred instead to hide behind the manipulated epidemiological Adelaide University study which, without any cytogenetic blood analysis of victims, could not show the inherent genetic damage and subsequent legacy ill health in those who were present in the fall out zones. The US government on the other hand  compensate not only their veterans who attended fall out locations but also their civilians downwind of US mainland nuclear weapon test locations. 
 The UK and Australian governments are clearly lagging behind in the moral and ethical stakes regarding persons exposed to ionising radiation and have much catching up to do.
 STAND member and speaker Dennis Hayden still works tirelessly on this issue.
It may be hard to protest against Nuclear in the UK – but at least we can !
The Russian organization Ecodefense, who are actively involved in our anti-nuclear networks, and who successfully campaigned against Baltic NPP and uranium waste transports from Germany to Russia, has been declared a "foreign agent" by the Russian Ministry of Justice about two weeks ago. Currently they are appealing against this punishment.
 At the same time a case against the Murmansk human rights group "Humanistic Youth Movement" (GDM) started in court. It is also about "foreign agent" persecution. Activists of GDM are involved in the Nuclear Heritage Network and in projects like NukeNews and ATOMIC BALTIC.
 A classification as "foreign agent" virtually means the closure of the affected NGO. It is almost impossible to continue work with this stigmatisation.
 All the more reason for us to be active while we can!!
Please email or ring 01291 689327 to offer help.
Best wishes,
Barbara, for STAND against Oldbury

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