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Nuclear Free Local Authorities oppose Nuclear Waste Authorities’ seismic testing in the Irish Sea

On World Oceans Day (8 June), the Nuclear Free Local Authorities have
joined environmental and anti-nuclear campaigners in opposing proposals to
carry out seismic testing in the Irish Sea as part of plans to develop an
offshore, undersea nuclear waste dump.

A joint letter, whose signatories
include renowned environmentalist Jonathan Porritt, has been sent to the
head of the Marine Management Organisation opposing an exemption to the
requirement to obtain a Marine Licence which has been claimed by Nuclear
Waste Services to enable them to plough ahead with their summer plans to
carry testing in the waters off West Cumbria.

The NWS, an operating
division of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is responsible for
finding a site for a so-called Geological Disposal Facility, either below
ground or beneath the seabed. This nuclear waste dump will be filled with
the toxic radioactive waste that is the legacy of Britain’s seven decades
of the civil nuclear power production; much of it will remain radioactive
for many tens of thousands of years.

Three search areas in Cumbria, falling
within the local authority areas of Allerdale and Copeland and offshore up
to 22kms, are under consideration. Seismic testing will enable NWS to
determine if the geology beneath the bed of the Irish Sea is suitable to
host a repository for the nuclear waste. This involves firing blasts of
sound from air guns below the waves every 10 seconds for four weeks or
longer. This sound penetrates under the ocean floor to help scientists
discover more about the suitability of the geology to store nuclear waste.

Seismic testing can seriously impair the health of marine life, which in
the Irish Sea includes whales, dolphins, porpoises, and seals, but some
scientific reports also suggest that even tiny shellfish and plankton can
be adversely impacted, hazarding the whole marine ecosystem. 


NFLA 8th June 2022
, https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/nuclear-free-local-authorities-oppose-seismic-testing-on-world-oceans-day/

June 11, 2022 - Posted by | oceans, UK

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