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Damage to marine life from seismic testing, and from dumping of radioactive waste.

 Concerns raised as the UK starts hunt for undersea nuclear waste disposal
sites. Animal welfare groups and campaigners blast ongoing surveys for
undersea nuclear waste dump. Officials have been warned about the potential
environmental impact of plans to dispose of radioactive nuclear waste
beneath the seabed off the north coast of England.

Yesterday, ELN reported
that the first marine geophysical surveys to determine suitable sites for
nuclear waste disposal started in the Irish sea near Cumbria. Nuclear Waste
Services (NWS), the developer of the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)
said it is “committed to environmental protection at all times”.


Richard Outram, Secretary of the campaign group Nuclear Free Local
Authorities, told ELN: “The Nuclear Free Local Authorities are opposed to
both the seismic testing and its purpose. “Our concerns regarding the
testing regime itself is that it necessitates the prolonged and repeated
sound blasting of the seabed of the Irish Sea every few seconds for a
period of several weeks whilst the ship patrols a search area of some 250
square kilometres and that this activity will be both disruptive and
harmful to marine life, some of which has protected status, both in the
area and for many miles around it.”

Mr Outram added that he was not
convinced that any nuclear waste dump facility, however well engineered,
could provide a ‘forever guarantee’ against a potential leakage
scenario.

Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme Manager Rob Deaville
from the Zoological Society of London said: “Many species of odontocetes
are sensitive to noise disturbance, given their primary sense is acoustic
in nature. “Generating impulsive noise, such as through seismic surveys,
can have a disturbance effect and may cause habitat avoidance and
potentially exclusion from an area. “Depending on how close animals are
to the source of impulsive noise, potential impacts can also include direct
physical effects ranging from temporary or permanent threshold shifts in
hearing to direct blast trauma and also the risk of decompression sickness
like conditions in some species that may ascend too rapidly to startle
responses.

“Finally, the area is a known habitat for many cetacean
species, ranging from coastal harbour porpoises to deeper diving Risso’s
dolphins. So, I would still have a concern about the seismic survey efforts
and our teams are very much on standby, in the event we receive increased
reports of live/dead strandings over this period.”

 Energy Live News 3rd Aug 2022
 https://www.energylivenews.com/2022/08/03/concerns-raised-as-the-uk-surveys-undersea-nuclear-waste-disposal-sites/

August 1, 2022 - Posted by | oceans, UK

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