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All at Sea: Energy Security Bill reveals UK government preference to dump waste offshore

 https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/all-at-sea-energy-security-bill-reveals-government-preference-to-dump-waste-offshore/ 20 July 22, The Government has published a factsheet in support of the new Energy Security Bill which has confirmed the long-held suspicion of Britain’s Nuclear Free Local Authorities that the nuclear industry intends to dump its deadly legacy of radioactive waste out at sea.

Tucked away in this page-turner is a reference that could be missed on page seven revealing that with refence to the government stated ambition to Prepare for our nuclear future and clean up the past’, that ‘The Bill will also facilitate the safe, and cost-effective clean-up of the UK’s nuclear sites, ensuring the UK is a responsible nuclear state by clarifying that a geological disposal facility located deep below the seabed will be licensed.’[1]

That the intention is to dump the waste at a location out at sea has helpfully been made plain in the latest infomercial published by the Theddlethorpe GDF Community Partnership

20th July 2022

All at Sea: Energy Security Bill reveals government preference to dump waste offshore

The Government has published a factsheet in support of the new Energy Security Bill which has confirmed the long-held suspicion of Britain’s Nuclear Free Local Authorities that the nuclear industry intends to dump its deadly legacy of radioactive waste out at sea.

Tucked away in this page-turner is a reference that could be missed on page seven revealing that with refence to the government stated ambition to Prepare for our nuclear future and clean up the past’, that ‘The Bill will also facilitate the safe, and cost-effective clean-up of the UK’s nuclear sites, ensuring the UK is a responsible nuclear state by clarifying that a geological disposal facility located deep below the seabed will be licensed.’[1]

That the intention is to dump the waste at a location out at sea has helpfully been made plain in the latest infomercial published by the Theddlethorpe GDF Community Partnership

gdf diagram

This latest plan to jeopardise the marine environment is par for the course for successive British Governments which, without a care for the ecology of British waters, have previously chosen to recklessly dump deadly munitions and poison gas into our oceans.

In November 2020, the NFLA published a horrifying report commissioned from marine pollution expert, Tim Deere-Jones, which revealed that evidence was mounting that around two million tons of unused wartime munitions were dumped in, or around, the Beaufort’s Dyke in the Irish Sea in the interwar and post-war years, up until at least the mid-1970’s.[2]

Alongside conventional explosives, this deadly legacy included at least 14,000 tons of phosgene gas and a cocktail of other nasties such as ‘canisters of chemical warfare agents including sarin, tabun, mustard gas, cyanide, … and the biological warfare agent anthrax’.

The New Scientist has reported instances of munitions washing up on Scottish beaches and the British Geological Survey confirmed that explosions generated by degrading munitions are a relatively frequent occurrence and that at least one of those explosions was observed to have generated an explosive force equivalent to approximately 5.5 tonnes of TNT.

The report also revealed that radioactive waste has previously been dumped into the Irish Sea, in the Beaufort’s Dyke, in the Firth of Tay and off the island of Arran, including radium-coated aircraft dials, laboratory waste, luminous paint and waste encased in concrete within metal drums.

Responding to the latest revelation, Councillor David Blackburn, Chair of the NFLA Steering Committee, said:


“Clearly then the Energy Security Bill demonstrates that once again the British Government’s plan is to dump its deadly legacy of high-level radioactive waste offshore whatever the long-term detriment to the marine environment and regardless of local and international opposition, and the Theddlethorpe Community Partnership diagram makes this intention writ large.

“The NFLA has far from convinced that however well engineered a nuclear waste dump, or Geological Disposal Facility as the nuclear industry likes to call it, is that the structure of such a facility will not become compromised over the 100,000 years it is required to hold waste whilst it remains radioactive. We fear that in future centuries we shall see radioactive waste poisoning our oceans and beaches.


“This is an especial issue of concern in West Cumbria, where three of the possible four current sites for the dump are under consideration; for here for generations Sellafield has been leaking its toxics into the Irish Sea.

“The NFLA will continue to oppose a GDF, especially one at sea. Our policy is to see radioactive waste properly monitored and managed in a near surface facility, rather than dumped out of sight, out of mind and forgotten about!”

For more information, please contact NFLA Secretary Richard Outram by email on richard.outram@manchester.gov.uk or mobile 07583097793

July 19, 2022 - Posted by | oceans, UK, wastes

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