I mentioned the environmental ‘elephant in the room’ Sellafield the other day and how I periodically ‘enriched my days’ by wading through ONR reports on British nuclear facilities.
In the attached video clip issued on Wednesday ONRs Deputy Chief Inspector. Dr Mina Golshan. (aka ‘nuclear woman’) presents a calm, short precise statement on the end of Thorp reprocessing at the ghastly plant on the Cumbria coast.
It should be a cause for celebration but she goes on to outline how the UK is proceeding merrily with its plans to make the Cumbria site the super tip for all waste from the now obsolete British Nuclear Power Stations across the UK.
Sellafield has a legacy problem itself – remember the crumbling concrete pounds – which the UK has been attempting to address for several years.
Its hardly the best location in the world either to site a dump of this kind which in any case can only be an imterim measure as long term storage is needed. Years or argument over this ended with the UK finding no community however great the inducement wanting a nuclear tip in its backyard – default our neck of the woods! So since then all the nuclear waste trains run to the Cumbria coast. The HSE were so casual about these nuclear transports that at one time they allowed the schedules to be published on trainspotters guide – until that is Celtic League alerted the International Atomic Energy Authority to this extraordinary laxity.
The Sellafield site is low lying and some ‘wit’ when it was mooted decided they would locate it with a river (the River Calder) running right through the site.
A severe (rainfall) weather in West Cumbria event some years ago caused the site to be flooded and astonishingly when we queried the HSE we found there was no monitoring of surface water outfalls from the site even though it is the equivalent of a nuclear cesspit.
Anyway ‘nuclear woman’ seems serenely sure that all is well! We will just have to hope the future for our North Irish Sea is as crisp and clean as the ONR Office where Dr Golshan recorded her missive.
Link to the ONR video by Dr Golshan;
Image: (1) Dr Mina Golshan (2) ‘The Sellafield Express’ one train you don’t want to catch!
Assistant General Secretary