Saturday 11th March, Lydney Docks
A group of Forest residents braved the rain at Lydney harbour last Saturday evening to commemorate Fukushima Day and remember the plight of the displaced victims of one of the worst nuclear accidents the world has seen.
The event was organised by STAND (Severnside Together Against Nuclear Development), a group of concerned Foresters who oppose the building of a proposed large new nuclear power station at Oldbury, just across the river Severn.
Barbara French for STAND told the gathered crowd: “It was exactly 6 years ago today that a tsunami destroyed the nuclear reactors in the Japanese city of Fukushima and started a reactor core meltdown. The company who built the reactors had assured the local population that the reactors were tsunami proof, but this turned out to be untrue.
“300,000 people were initially evacuated in a 30 km (19 miles) radius from around the nuclear plant, and now, 6 years on, 100,000 of them are still unable to return to their homes because the land is too radioactive. The Japanese government have tried to bully the evacuees into returning by threatening to cut their housing subsidies and by arbitrarily, with no scientific evidence, raising the maximum allowed radioactive dose from 1mSv (millisievert) to 20 mSv per year. But understandably they are scared to return. “The latest news from Fukushima is chilling – it would appear the radioactive meltdown, rather than being contained, is actually getting worse, to the point where even radiation-hardened robots are being destroyed within minutes of entering the reactors.
“To put it into perspective, if the same evacuation rules were applied here following a major accident to a nuclear installation on Severnside, the whole of Bristol and the whole of the Forest of Dean would have to be evacuated for years, some of it for ever.
“We believe that to build a huge new nuclear power station at Oldbury, and to store highly radioactive waste at Berkeley, just across the river, on land increasingly in danger from flooding, is sheer folly and will leave a deadly legacy for future generations.”
Also addressing the supporters was Green Party Forest of Dean district councillor Sid Phelps who said: “We are here today primarily to remember the displaced thousands of people still unable to go back to their homes after the dreadful events 6 years ago. But we can also learn lessons from it. Nuclear power, as well as being very dangerous, is very expensive, requiring huge taxpayer subsidies. Renewable sources such as solar, wind and tidal power offer cheap, clean, safe and sustainable electricity while creating thousands of local jobs and boosting the local and national economy".
Cheryl Mayo of STAND then read out a moving letter from some of the displaced Fukushima residents that they had sent to the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who’s government is buying Japanese nuclear reactors.
The letter begins:“Among us, there are those who lost their homes, those who lost their jobs, those who lost their hometowns and friends, those who lost their future, those who lost their joy in life, and those who lost their very lives. All of this was taken by the nuclear accident.”
There then follows a plea for the Indian Government to not buy Japanese reactors and risk the same terrible disaster that happened at Fukushima. The letter ends:
“Nuclear power plants will not bring happiness to your citizens. We who experienced the injury of the nuclear accident, we came to understand this through our own bodies and lives. Mr. Modi, for the Indian people and the future of India, please do not sign the India-Japan Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. We beseech you to make a wise judgment. Fukushima Women Against Nukes”
The group then walked to the harbour lock-gates, carrying lanterns and singing; then threw flowers of remembrance into the water to the sound of Japanese music.
RECORD LEVELS OF LETHAL RADIATION MEASURED IN FUKUSHIMA REACTOR
Justin McCurry in Tokyo writing for the Guardian on 3 February 2017, says that extremely high radiation levels have been recorded inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, almost six years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown.
The facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said atmospheric readings as high as 530 sieverts an hour had been recorded inside the containment vessel of reactor No 2. The extraordinary radiation readings highlight the scale of the task confronting thousands of workers, as pressure builds on Tepco to begin decommissioning the plant – a process that is expected to take about four decades.
See Nuclear News, left, for more.
The full article can be seen here
Neighbouring countries concerned about the risk of a Belgian Nuclear meltdown".
On 10 January 2017 a new emergency plan was presented in a commission in Belgium's Parliament. The evacuation perimeter was conveniently halved to 10km to avoid an evacuation of Belgium's second and third cities in case of a meltdown. The plan has been called totally inadequate.
Courtesy of Nick Meynen of The Ecologist.
See the full story in Nuclear News (left hand column)
Nuclear regulator investigated over “lax attitude to safety".
Whitehall is investigating the nuclear regulator after The Times revealed that several serious accidents had been dismissed as posing no safety risk.
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has come under fire from experts who argue it is too close to the industry to police it rigorously.
The inadvertent discharge of a torpedo at a nuclear submarine docks in Plymouth, a complete power cut at the country’s nuclear weapons base and the contamination of at least 15 workers with radioactive material were among the events it had said were of no concern.
See the full story in Nuclear News (left hand column)
NUCLEAR WASTE SURVEY
9 out of 10 people completely unaware of the presence of dangerous nuclear waste 3 miles from Lydney
We have found that many local people are not aware of the fact that 3 miles from Lydney there is the UK’s largest Intermediate nuclear waste store of its kind.
We conducted a survey of people in Lydney on Friday 18th November to find out what percentage are aware that there is a nuclear waste store on their doorstep: over 90% had no knowledge of the store and most expressed dismay and concern.
The results were not unexpected, given the poor record of the nuclear industry sharing their plans with those of us in the Forest of Dean:
The local press printed our press release in full detailing our findings.
Intermediate Level Waste Store at Berkeley
It is surprising how few people looking directly across the river from Lydney docks realise that the sports hall-like building on the other bank is in fact a new storage facilty for dangerous intermediate level radioactive waste.
Originally it was to be a temporary storage facilty but now it looks like it is here to stay for a long time. Magnox say it is only until underground repositories can be found, but that seems increasingly unlikely to happen; and with Sellafield full, and in a mess regarding safety, there is little doubt that this storage faclity is not going away any time soon.
The original planning permission application was for a Low Level Waste store just for waste from Berkeley. However, it now holds the far more dangerous intermediate level waste and the permit covers waste from Oldbury, Sizewell and Dungeness Nuclear Power Stations as well as Berkeley.
Stroud News and Journal reported on the 18th February 2016:
NUCLEAR waste from other power stations is now being stored in Berkeley despite residents being told that this would never happen.
Members of the Magnox-run power station’s site stakeholder group (SSG) were told that waste from Sizewell A and Dungeness A power stations would be kept at Berkeley via Oldbury.
Magnox began storing the waste using Ductile Cast Iron Containers, but finding concrete to be cheaper, they are now also applying to build a plant to encapsulate the waste in concrete.
The fact is that nuclear waste storage is a problem without a solution, yet the Government seems hell bent on rushing in to a new tranch of Nuclear Power stations without any regard to the problems of safety and cost it is storing up for future generations.
How can they even consider building a new nuclear power station when the horrendous nuclear waste storage problems are still not sorted out?
And see Nuclear news, left, for how the Government was forced to admit that the taxpayer, not the foreign owned nuclear power companies, will pick up the bill for nuclear wste disposal
For earlier main items go to Archives page
Things the nuclear industry won't tell you