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With UK floods now, a timely call to stop extending Cumbria nuclear waste dump

sign-thisLOCK THE GATE ON DRIGG – THE UKS NUCLEAR WASTE SITE https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/lock-the-gate-on-drigg-the-uks-nuclear-waste-site  Campaign created by

Marianne Birkby

Map Sellafield & Drigg wastesTO: CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL

Early in 2016 Cumbria County Council will be considering the plan to extend the lifetime and capacity of Drigg Nuclear Dump on the West Coast of Cumbria. We the undersigned ask that you Lock the Gate on Drigg.

Why is this important?

To describe the UKs nuclear waste site as a “Repository” is putting a spin on the UKs main nuclear dump for “low level” waste. There is “controlled discharge direct to the Irish Sea” not to mention run off to the Drigg Stream and River Irt. Discharges to the air of radioactive gases are ongoing. According to the British Geological Society the Drigg site is above a regional aquifer. It is also “likely to be destroyed by coastal erosion” in 500 to 5000 years (computer modelling can be wrong either way) . Much of the waste is long lived and high risk.
Below are a few of the reasons why it is important that Cumbria County Council Lock the Gate on Drigg:

Cumbria Drigg waste site

“Planning Application 4/11/9007 Low Level Waste Repository Site Optimisation and Closure Works.”

1. CLOSURE: The statement “closure works” is hugely misleading. The date for “closure” is set at 2079. So Drigg would continue to accept nuclear waste until that time. The site would be “capped.” Again this is misleading and to “cap” a nuclear dump is akin to putting a cap on a fizzy lemonade bottle while there are holes in the bottom of the bottle. The site will continue to leach aqueous emissions to groundwater and gaseous emissions to air for thousands of years.

2. LOW LEVEL: This suggests that the waste at Drigg is low risk and short lived. Neither is true. As the University of Reading has pointed out: “The Drigg site uses two disposal systems: 1) An original system operated from 1959 to 1988 comprising a series of parallel trenches excavated into glacial clays, back filled with LLW and covered with an interim water resistant cap. 2) Current disposal of compacted waste placed in steel ISO-freight containers, with void space filled with highly fluid cement based grout. These containers are then disposed of in a series of open concrete vaults. Radionuclides with highest activities in the inventory include 3H, 241Pu, 137Cs, 234U and 90Sr, 238U and 232Th.

3. RADIOACTIVE FLY TIPPING: The chemical and nuclear dump site has moved on from the years 1940 to 1988 when chemical and radioactive waste was tumble tipped into trenches. Now the waste is compacted into steel shipping containers filled with cement. Incredibly the containers are stacked high. In 2013 the LLW management wrote: “in containers at the tops of stacks, the external capping grout has 
undergone extensive physical degradation and settlement; the lids are not full of grout, and the grout is generally heavily cracked. The state of the capping grout in underlying layers is better; most containers only show sparse cracking and typical settlement in the lid is approximately 15 mm. Standing water, sometimes contaminated with low levels of radioactivity, is present in approximately half of the containers at the tops of stacks. ..In containers at the tops of stacks, organic matter (principally leaf mould) has accumulated beneath many open grout ports, with vegetation growing from some grout ports. ..Corrosion, sometimes fully penetrating, is present in some container lids at the tops of stacks…”

4. FLOODWATER AND SEA INUNDATION: “The Environment Agency has given a formal view that “the potential for disruption of the site is an acceptable risk” By “disruption of the site” they mean inundation by sea and flood. This is a far cry from the Environment Agency’s previous criticism in 2005: “BNFL (Now the NDA) has not yet demonstrated that the wider benefits to the UK from continued LLW disposal on this site outweigh the potential future impacts” We would hope that Cumbria County Council agree with the Environment Agency’s 2005 findings that that the real and present threat of inundation of the Drigg site by flood or by sea is not an acceptable risk to the people of Cumbria or to our international neighbours.

5. THE COLLAPSE in 1985 of the largest black-headed gull breeding colony in Europe on the Drigg dunes has never been satisfactorily explained. The official explanation is that a fox did it!

6. CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA is officially blamed on “population mixing” due to the influx of workers firstly to the 1940 explosives factory (Royal Ordnance Factory) at Drigg and then the ROF at Sellafield. The irony of this incredible argument is that the plan for 3 new nuclear reactors at ‘ Moorside’ a few miles from Drigg (‘Moorside’ is at the village of Beckermet) would involve a boom and bust influx of thousands of workers along with a further tsunami of nuclear wastes and ever more Driggs.

How it will be delivered

By hand to Cumbria County Council

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January 1, 2016 - Posted by | ACTION, UK, wastes

2 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on Radiation Free Lakeland.

    Comment by mariannewildart | January 1, 2016 | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on sinclairgordon2012 and commented:
    CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA is officially blamed on “population mixing” due to the influx of workers firstly to the 1940 explosives factory (Royal Ordnance Factory) at Drigg and then the ROF at Sellafield. The irony of this incredible argument is that the plan for 3 new nuclear reactors at ‘ Moorside’ a few miles from Drigg (‘Moorside’ is at the village of Beckermet) would involve a boom and bust influx of thousands of workers along with a further tsunami of nuclear wastes and ever more Driggs.

    Comment by sinclairgordon2012 | January 1, 2016 | Reply


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