US – radwaste

The mining of salt from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico is expected to resume in the coming weeks. Mining of Panel 8 was halted in 2014 following separate fire and radiological events that suspended waste emplacement operations at the facility.

World Nuclear News 18th Oct 2017 read more »

In the event of a dirty bomb or a nuclear meltdown, emergency responders can safely tolerate radiation levels equivalent to thousands of chest X-rays, the Environmental Protection Agency said in new guidelines that ease off on established safety levels. The EPA’s determination sets a level ten times the drinking water standard for radiation recommended under President Barack Obama. It could lead to the administration of President Donald Trump weakening radiation safety levels, watchdog groups critical of the move say. “It’s really a huge amount of radiation they are saying is safe,” said Daniel Hirsch, the retired director of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s program on environmental and nuclear policy. “The position taken could readily unravel all radiation protection rules.”

Bloomberg 16th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 October 2017

Sellafield

FIREFIGHTERS at Sellafield nuclear processing plant in Cumbria walked out on strike yesterday in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions. The half-day strike began at 6am and will be repeated tomorrow.

Morning Star 18th Oct 2017 read more »

Independent 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Express 17th Oct 2017 read more »

BBC 17th Oct 2017 read more »

City AM 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 18 October 2017

Sellafield

Firefighters at the Sellafield nuclear site have launched the first of two 12-hour strikes in a dispute over pay and conditions. Members of the GMB union walked out at 6am, with a similar stoppage planned for Thursday. The union accused Sellafield management of failing to keep promises made in July to settle the dispute.

Energy Voice 17th Oct 2017 read more »

ITV 17th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 17 October 2017

Decommissioning

Nuclear clean-up robot tested at Sellafield and Fukushima.

Reuters 13th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 14 October 2017

Dounreay

Dounreay near Thurso in Caithness is being decommissioned at a cost of £2.32bn. Safety concerns were raised in August about the handling of radioactive waste at the plant. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said safety has “deteriorated” at Dounreay and warned improvements made after a fire in 2014 had not been kept up. Environmental protection agency Sepa rated the handling of waste last year as ‘at risk’ and called the management of vaults used to store it ‘poor’. There were three serious incidents at the 60-year-old plant, where decommissioning work has been under way since the 1990s. They included workers dropping a glovebox – a device used to store leftover coolant – which caused the release of radioactive contaminants.

Energy Voice 12th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 October 2017

Radwaste

The Environment Agency and Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (the nuclear regulators) joint publication about their scrutiny of RWM’s work relating to geological disposal of radioactive waste. Government policy for managing higher activity radioactive waste in the long term is through geological disposal. The nuclear regulators provide regulatory advice to RWM about implementing geological disposal. This report explains what the regulators looked at and the main comments provided to RWM. It also highlights areas for RWM to improve. RWM is making good progress towards ensuring that it will have the right people, skills and systems in place by the time it applies for environmental permits and a nuclear site licence for a geological disposal facility. The regulators will make sure that any future geological disposal facility meets their high standards for environmental protection, safety, security, radioactive waste transportation and safeguards.

Environment Agency 11th Oct 2017 read more »

Nuclear’s wastelands part 2 – Hanford, the nuclear frontier, by Professor Andy Blowers. In the second of a series of articles on the local and social legacies of nuclear energy, Andrew Blowers looks at the history of nuclear activity at the Hanford site in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. For the foreseeable future Hanford will remain a nuclear wasteland, where risk from wastes not fully comprehended or characterised lurk on and beneath its surface with no final solution yet in sight. It is a place where the impacts from a frenzied period of destructive impulse will linger indefinitely; a place where, in the words often attributed to Native American Chief Seattle, it may truly be said: ‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’

TCPA Journal Sept 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 October 2017

Dounreay

Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC) has been awarded a four-year framework agreement from Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) to provide mechanical, electrical, control and instrumentation services for one of the most complex nuclear decommissioning projects in Europe.

Seeking Alpha 10th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 October 2017

Terror

Seven experts on nuclear issues and terrorism, commissioned by the environmental NGO Greenpeace to draw up the worst-case scenarios of attacks on our 19 nuclear power stations. Objective: to identify security holes, and to alert the public authorities and EDF, the operator of our nuclear fleet, about the danger that this represents. Except that the conclusions of the report are so alarmist that the experts and Greenpeace, nevertheless broached the most worrying hypotheses, decided not to make public this Tuesday morning a version “light”, redacted from the most sensitive information. “It is a matter of alerting public opinion and the authorities, justifies Yannick Rousselet, campaigner with Greenpeace. Not giving ideas to ill-intentioned people. In the end, only seven copies of the report are presented this morning by Jean-François Julliard, the CEO of Greenpeace France, to various senior officials in charge of defense and security issues within the institutions (ASN, IRSN and Cossen) and the government. “The Parisian” – “Today in France” is the only medium to have been able to consult the entire report.

Le Parisien 10th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 October 2017

Sellafield

Arriving at Sellafield today to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Windscale Fire, CORE campaigners (and media) were somewhat dumbfounded by the mysterious re-emergence of the memorial plaque whose loss had recently been confirmed in a letter from Sellafield Ltd. Without any explanation of the plaque’s reappearance still hard to come by, its return – albeit lacking some TLC and not in its original position against the site’s perimeter fence – is widely welcomed and allowed today’s ceremony to go ahead as in previous years. Whilst there is now no need to take up Sellafield’s offer of a replacement, CORE will seek the company’s co-operation in fashioning a more secure fixing for the plaque in a permanent position out of harm’s way.

CORE 10th Oct 2017 read more »

Monday outside the Springfields Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing plant to remember the Windscale Fire, the first major nuclear disaster in the UK. Springfields Near Preston is where the diabolic nuclear fuel was made and is still being made.

Radiation Free Lakeland 10th Oct 2017 read more »

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Windscale fire – the worst nuclear accident in British history. On Thursday, October 10 1957, the 400ft pile at the Windscale works caught fire and burned for three days. The twin Windscale piles had been producing plutonium in top secret as part of Britain’s atomic bomb project.

ITV 10th Oct 2017 read more »

A robot has been sent into Sellafield’s most hazardous nuclear waste store for the first time. The Avexis will help dislodge and clear waste from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo, Sellafield Sites announced today. The Magnox Swarf Storage Silo was built in Cumbria, England in the 1960s to store waste from the UK’s earliest nuclear reactors. It closed in 2000 and has now been prioritised for clean-up by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It is the first time a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has been deployed inside the building. Sellafield Sites said. The robot – which can ‘see’ inside the silo via cameras attached to its body and also clear away small bits of waste clinging to the silo wall – was developed by Cumbrian firm Forth Engineering with support from the University of Manchester. Maryport-based Forth Engineering specialises in remote tooling, deployment methods, and sensor systems.

World Nuclear News 10th Oct 2017 read more »

Energy Live News 10th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 11 October 2017

Sellafield

At 1030 on Tuesday 10th October 2017, CORE Campaigners Janine Allis-Smith and Martin Forwood will lay flowers at the Sellafield site perimeter fence in a simple act of remembrance of those whose health was affected by exposure to radiation in the plume released during the fire of 1957 – and the bravery of those who fought to bring the blaze in Pile 1 under control. Members of the public are invited to add their own floral tributes during a week of remembrance. A CORE spokesperson said today: ‘The laying of flowers this morning is wholly marred by the recently confirmed ‘loss’ by Sellafield Ltd of the commemorative plaque laid in 1987 on the 30th Anniversary of the Fire. With some exceptions that have seen its unduly rough and insensitive treatment by site workers, the plaque had served as a focal point for those wishing to pay their own tributes. Its loss and past treatment reflects a singular lack of the respect expected for a dedicated memorial’.

CORE 9th Oct 2017 read more »

On Thursday, October 10 1957, the 400ft No 1 pile at the Windscale works caught fire. Since 1951, in top secret, the twin Windscale piles had been producing plutonium for Britain to make its own atomic and hydrogen bombs. The explosive material from the operation of the first reactor was used for the UK’s first nuclear weapons test in Australia on October 3, 1952. Radioactive fallout from the 1957 fire spread across the region and there was an immediate ban on the distribution of milk from an area covering 200 square miles.

Carlisle News and Star 10th Oct 2017 read more »

Scientists have established a link between nuclear discharges from Sellafield and traces of radiation found in marine mammal predators off the Scottish coast. Among the seals and porpoises contaminated were animals living all along the west coast from Kinlochbervie down to Stranraer between 1991 and 2015. The researchers from the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS) studied the transfer of Sellafield-derived radiocarbon — known as 14C — through to predators at the top of the food chain. They said the findings provided evidence that radiation which leaks from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing and decommissioning site, on the coast of the Irish Sea in Cumbria, moves up through the marine food chain.

Times 9th Oct 2017 read more »

Sellafield Ltd has to monitor beaches close to the Sellafield site to check for radioactivity. This beach monitoring programme is a condition the Environment Agency imposed on Sellafield Ltd when it issued them with an environmental permit.

Environment Agency 9th Oct 2017 read more »

Firefighters at the Sellafield nuclear power station are to stage two days of strike action later this month in a dispute over pay.

Energy Voice 9th Oct 2017 read more »

BBC 9th Oct 2017 read more »

Posted: 10 October 2017