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Radioactive Waste 55 – Illegal Nuclear Waste Dumping in England 1

….Here we have a government agency, the U.K. Ministry of Defense, breaking rules about nuclear waste safety at a government waste repository, Driggs. It is bad enough when unscrupulous companies conspire to with the Mafia illegally dump nuclear waste as I covered in recent posts. But when government agencies are mishandling nuclear waste, where is the public supposed to turn to rectify the situation?….

http://nucleotidings.com/article/radioactive-waste-55-illegal-nuclear-waste-dumping-england-1
By phoenix | 2/11/14

Yesterday, I blogged about illegal dumping of radioactive waste in a national nuclear repository in France. Continuing my focus on illegal radioactive waste dumping, today’s blog is about illegal dumping in the United Kingdom. The UK Ministry of Defense has shipped waste from nuclear submarines based at Devenport in Plymouth to Driggs in Cumbria on the west coast of England for decades. Recently the Observer newspaper learned and reported that since 1990, the waste being shipped to Driggs from Devenport has been exceeding the strict safety limits set by UK law for radioactivity.

Driggs is a repository for low-level radioactive waste that was operated by British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL), a company owned by the U.K. government. BNFL was founded in 1971. It made nuclear fuel, ran nuclear reactors, generated and sold electricity, reprocessed and managed spent nuclear fuel and decommissioned nuclear power plants. In 2005, it transferred all the nuclear sites it managed, including Driggs, to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. By 2009, BNFL had sold off all of its operation divisions and it was announced in 2010 that it would be abolished. BNFL had been repeatedly criticized for poor record keeping and management of nuclear sites including Driggs.

Some of the waste coming from the nuclear subs at Devenport had levels of radioactivity that should have been classed as intermediary. Since 1988, waste bound for Driggs was limited to a certain level of carbon-14. Tests have indicated that drums of waste sent from Devenport to Driggs exceeded the allowed level of carbon-14 in 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995. One year, the waste was three hundred percent of the allowed level. Carbon-14 is dangerous because it has a long half-life and because it is taken up by living systems. Driggs is near a heavily populated area and if carbon-14 leaked out of the waste dump into the surrounding environment it would be a threat to plant life, animal life and human beings. There are fears that radioactive materials may be leaking out of the Driggs site and into the Irish Sea.

It has been said that the U.K. Navy does not know what to do with all the nuclear waste generated by their submarines and that Driggs was not really aware of what sort of waste was being deposited there. BNFL has claimed that no radioactive materials have leaked out of Driggs and there has been no danger to the public or the environment. Depending on what is found during the investigation by the U.K. Environmental Agency, the waste in question may have to be returned to Davenport. This would cost the U.K. taxpayers hundreds of thousands of British pounds. The Devenport site has been sold to Halliburton, a U.S. nuclear contractor. They assure the British public that there is no danger from the waste being stored there.

Here we have a government agency, the U.K. Ministry of Defense, breaking rules about nuclear waste safety at a government waste repository, Driggs. It is bad enough when unscrupulous companies conspire to with the Mafia illegally dump nuclear waste as I covered in recent posts. But when government agencies are mishandling nuclear waste, where is the public supposed to turn to rectify the situation?  Fortunately, another government agency, the U.K. Environmental Agency stepped in in this case. That may not always happen in the U.K. or in other countries. There are many technical problems with nuclear power, but the worst problems seem to be regarding government protections of the interests of the people.

– See more at: http://nucleotidings.com/article/radioactive-waste-55-illegal-nuclear-waste-dumping-england-1#sthash.3P38ArcE.dpuf

February 12, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. […] Radioactive Waste 55 – Illegal Nuclear Waste Dumping in England 1 […]

    Pingback by Nuclear waste danger in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog | April 20, 2014 | Reply


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