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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.�

US Must Be Able To Threaten A Nuclear Holocaust

left In a remarkable speech on nuclear policy delivered at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), US Defense Secretary Robert Gates painted a dire portrait of international affairs and argued that Washington should expand the doctrine of pre-emptive war formulated by the Bush administration to include possible nuclear strikes.

It is widely rumored that,  President Elect Barack Obama will keep Gates as defense secretary. Gates' speech, given in the waning days of the Bush presidency, has the character of a policy declaration of the next US administration.

Cracking under pressure

Scottish CND report on reactor problems on Polaris submarines

Into the lions den

Image

When the secretary of Dunfermline Labour party asked me to participate in a debate on Trident Replacement I gladly accepted. Putting the case in favour of Trident was to be a full time AMICUS official speaking in his personal capacity (Amicus has recently adopted a position of opposition to Trident Replacement). He must be a brave man, I thought. It has proved very difficult to fi nd Labour Party or trade unions fi gures who will publicly argue the case for Trident renewal. Little did I realise that it was me, not my opponent, who was walking into the lion’s den.

Nuclear War Broadcast

Scottish CND have produced a recording of the message which would have been broadcast over radio stations in the event of nuclear war. The transcript was released in 2008 under the Freedom of Information Act. The announcement is read by Crawford Logan. Listen (mp3)

The Ban is coming...on Friday

Friday is the big news day.

The United Nations is convening negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. This new international agreement will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been outlawed, despite the absence of nuclear armed states, over 130 member states are supportive of the treaty being negotiated.

Civil Contingency in Nuclear Weapon Transport to be debated in the Scottish Parliament

In Scotland last year, following a careful examination of the local authorities readiness (or not as the case is) to deal with any emergency arising from the regular convoys that take the Uk's nuclear warheads up and down the country on the back of lorries, campaign group Nukewatch worked with Green MSP Mark Ruskell to compile a meticulous report, Unready Scotland, to expose this gap in the Scottish Government's duty of care.

It has now been taken up by our parliamentary all party group on nuclear disarmament and will be debated in our Scottish Parliament.

They are asking the Scottish Government to examine the risk assessment and public information in place, and to highlight any shortcomings to the UK Government.

A detail perhaps, and a small action, but it could be  a concrete measure that the Scottish Government would be allowed to take. and I hope you might take the opportunity to send messages of encouragement to our First Minister  in the hope that the Scottish Government will agree to take the steps suggested in this parliamentary motion.

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-11539&ResultsPerPage=10

Motion S5M-11539: Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 09/04/2018
Civil Contingency in Nuclear Weapon Transport 

That the Parliament understands that the Ministry of Defence regularly transports nuclear weapons on public roads in convoys that pass through or close to communities in the Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Midlothian, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian local authority areas; believes that there is an inherent risk in transporting high explosives and radioactive material together on public roads; understands that information on what to do in an emergency involving a nuclear reactor is regularly circulated to residents close to the Coulport and Faslane bases but that no equivalent information relating to an incident involving nuclear weapons is available to communities along the regular convoy route; believes that although defence is a reserved matter, it would be for the civil authorities such as police, fire and rescue and local authorities to attempt to respond to any emergency as so-called category 1 responders, and notes the view that these civil authorities must have sufficient assessments and plans in place to respond.

Supported by: John Mason, Bill Kidd, Patrick Harvie, Sandra White, Alison Johnstone, John Finnie, Ross Greer, Richard Lyle, Jenny Gilruth, Bob Doris, Kenneth Gibson, Claudia Beamish, Ruth Maguire, Tom Arthur

Current Status: Achieved Cross Party Support

Support for Czech Activists

Campaigners  delivered a letter to the Czech Embassy in London in support of two activists currently on hunger strike in Prague as part of protests over plans to base a US missile defence system radar in the country.

 

Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar have now gone without food for a week. They are demanding that their government listens to the overwhelming majority of the Czech population who oppose the system, which will put the Czech Republic on the front line in future US wars.

 

Workers overcooked nuclear warhead

leftA US federal spokesman confirmed that Oak Ridge workers overcooked some nuclear warhead components during a drying process to such an extent that the parts could no longer be "used as intended." The incident at the Y-12 National Security Complex was revealed in a report by staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The timing was about a month after the Oak Ridge plant received approval to restart production work on W76 warheads, which had been delayed for more than a year because of technical issues. However, Steven Wyatt of the National Nuclear Security Administration said he could not comment on whether the oven-dried weapon parts were associated with the plant's W76 life-extension program, which is refurbishing old warheads deployed on Trident submarine missiles.

The Safety Board's Report said the components - known as canned subassemblies - were mistakenly dried at a "much higher temperature" than intended. Asked if they were damaged by the process, Wyatt responded  "The parts were not prepared in accordance with the original application and could not be used as intended." Wyatt said the parts were deemed acceptable for an "alternate use" but said they had to be rebuilt. He would not disclose the future use or say if it was a weapons mission

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.