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Nuclear trains at dangerous level crossing


Don't cross now - there's a nuclear train coming

Scottish CND today condemned the transport of highly radioactive nuclear waste  through one of the most dangerous level crossings in Scotland. According to the ABC Railway Guide, the crossing at Stevenston in Ayrshire has a Collective Risk Rating of 3 (Very High).  A busy road crosses the railway track immediately beside Stevenson railway station. 

What if it happened here ?

The US have advised all American citizens who are within 50 miles (80 kms) of the Fukushima nuclear accident to evacuate.  This map illustrates what this would mean if it was applied to any of the nuclear sites in Scotland.  Today there are nuclear power stations at Hunterston and Torness.  All British nuclear weapons and most nuclear-powered submarines are based at Faslane.  There is spent nuclear fuel and an operational military reactor at Dounreay. 

The map doesn't illustrate the other areas which could be affected by an accident on a nuclear submarine at sea, anywhere around Scotland, or an accident during the transport of nuclear weapons across the roads of Southern Scotland.

Statement on Fukushima

Alan Mackinnon, Chair of Scottish CND, issued the following statement on the accident in Japan: 

“Scottish CND expresses its deepest sympathy to the people of northern Japan whose lives and communities have been devastated by the recent earthquake and the resulting tsunami and nuclear accidents. But the explosions and likely core meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant were predictable consequences of relying on nuclear power generation - an inherently unsafe technology - especially in a seismically unstable region. The strategy of building nuclear power stations in coastal areas is common to Japan and Britain and even without an earthquake it makes them highly vulnerable to rising sea levels, coastal flooding and extreme weather events which are a feature of climate change. This accident comes only weeks before the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe. 

Reactor explosion at Fukushima

Fukushima reactor explosionSpeaking about the nuclear accident in Japan, John Ainslie (Coordinator of Scottish CND) said: "The explosion at the Fukushima reactor is a sobering reminder of the risks that we face in Scotland from nuclear power and Trident.  This accident comes only days after the Navy admitted that the reactors on British submarines are 'significantly below benchmarked good practice', and weeks before the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.  We shouldn't wait until there is a explosion here before we make this country nuclear-free". Video of Fukushima reactor explosion.

Nuclear Waste Storage Costs Escalate

leftPlans to store nuclear waste have hit a snag with the need of  another waste repository involving a massive escalation in cost.

Ministers insist they still expect only one high-level geological disposal facility (GDF) will be needed at a possible cost of �12bn but a discussion paper produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) indicates a second cannot be ruled out.

Secret Contract for Sellafield Waste

left A WELSH Labour MP has accused the UK Government of covering up a deal that will land taxpayers with a multi-billion- pound liability in the event of a nuclear accident while a private consortium will reap the profits.

Newport West MP Paul Flynn discovered that details of a contract to privatise the management of waste from the controversial Sellafield nuclear power station in Cumbria should have been placed in the House of Commons library in July. If they had been, MPs would have had 14 days in which to raise questions about the deal.

In fact, the contract was not put into the library until last week, by which time the opportunity to scrutinise it had gone.

Nuclear Consultation "Misleading"

 A public consultation on new nuclear power stations which was run by a company linked to the Prime Minister's personal pollster has been criticised for breaching industry guidelines. Environmentalists and opposition MPs denounced the exercise as "fixed" after the Market Research Standards Board said some material given to focus groups was "inaccurately or misleadingly presented".

Sellafield in Danger of Undermining Regulatory Standards

 

SELLAFIELD�S long-term future hinges on a vital piece of kit which will cost hundreds of millions of pounds � double the original estimate.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will now have to go cap in hand to the Government to ask for the money. The massive piece of equipment, known as Evaporator D, is crucial to future reprocessing, reducing the risks from high hazard radioactive wastes � and safeguarding jobs.

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, which issues Sellafield�s licence to operate, said �Further evaporator capacity at Sellafield is essential for the longer term safe management of highly active liquor.�

UK's "Knackered" Nuclear Power Stations

Britain now has 10 operating nuclear power stations, stretching from Torness on the Firth of Forth to Dungeness on the south Kent coast. Each has two reactors, and Ministers boast that they supply about one-fifth of the power that keeps the lights on.

The reality, as an Independent on Sunday investigation shows is very different. The majority of the power stations are in dire trouble, and their failure is leading to the most acute concern in years that the country may run short of electricity this winter.

Two of the 10 have been idle for almost a year, with both reactors out of action due to corrosion. Another two have had one of their reactors closed down for months. And yet another two are having to run both their reactors at less than three-quarters of their normal power for safety reasons.

And even that is not the end of it. Of the four that are still in good working condition, one is due to shut down permanently in two years' time, a second is partially closed for routine maintenance, and a third is facing safety questions following the discovery of flaws in similar reactors in Japan.

Financial Crisis Will Hit Nuclear Power

Growth in the construction of new nuclear plants worldwide is at risk because of the global financial crisis, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has said. During a visit to Paris, Bodman said the crisis could have an impact on the "nuclear renaissance" that is sweeping the industry as countries around the globe search for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Long-term projects like nuclear plant building "are the ones that are going to be the most difficult to finance," he told reporters. While Bodman said he is hopeful the financial crisis will be resolved, "long term projects are at risk, I would think."

While long-term nuclear projects are at risk, short-term projects such as oil drilling shouldn't be affected, Bodman said, because the industry is less reliant on bank borrowing.