Nukiller Waste Flasks – The Unknown Facts.

We know just what nukiller waste flasks look like from the outside, but their interior design is unknown.

We also know very little about how they are tested or maintained.

Thus what we are left with are some very worrying questions.

What we know.

– They are transported through our city centres on a regular basis.

– These waste trains are operated by DRS [ Direct Rail Services ], which is subsidiary company of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

&

– That they carry highly radioactive used fuel rods from the various nukiller reactors to Sellafield.

Testing the Design

Yet we know very little about the construction of these flasks, how often they are subjected to any structural tests, or just how long each flask is in use before it needs to be replaced.

The flasks were designed over 40 years, and I wonder just what potential stress points might show up if they were ever to be subjected to any modern computer modelling tests.

What we need to see.

What needs to kept in mind is that none of the activists I’ve talked to about this issue have ever seen any photographs of technical drawings of the inner parts of these flasks.

The best we ever get to see are illustrations such as this.

Thus while all the illustrations of these flasks show the fuel rods stacked horizontally, they might well be loaded vertically, which would make it faster to load and unload them.

It’s a Steel

When Steel is subjected to Radiation, then some of it becomes radioactive Cobalt 60.

Thus some of these flasks must contain Cobol 60, or at least the Skip in which the fuel rods are placed.

What we don’t know is just how much radioactivity the skips which form the central part of the flask has been subjected to.

This is not something which can be calculated by the length of time the flasks have been in existence, but by the total number of hours the used fuel rods been placed in them.

These are just a few of the questions which we need to ask and keep asking.

Further Reading.

Surrey, John.

The Urban Transportation of Irradiated Fuel.

This book was published in 1984, and contains one of the most useful illustrations of how a waste flask is constructed which I’ve yet to see.

DRS Waste Train Videos.

Introductory Notes.

This is Not a definitive lists of all the of the DRS nukiller waste flask train video clips.

Almost all of them have been taken by Train Spotters.

What they show is just how close these high level radioactive waste flasks pass by train passengers :-

– Especially that of Babies, Toddlers, and younger Children.

In that respect take a special note of the ones taken at Chester and Conway.

My intention in compiling this list is to show: –

– Just how frequent these waste flask movements can be.

&

– How little regard there is to any dangers which come from such a regular movement of high level radioactive waste.

They are listed by location in order that local campaigning groups can use them to illustrate just what is taken through their local train stations.

A full list of all the stations they pass through can be found here.

I have also added  clips which show both the DRS Model Waste Train sets, and some of the Drax Biomass freight trains [ For those who are interested in wider Climate Change issues ].

These are to be found listed at the end of this document.

Please Note. 

This list was completed on February 26th 2017, and so there will be others which can be added to it..

Appledore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bXB_8DROPk

Arnside viaduct

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuCn-fnUgjI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN2TRekTJl0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZTFpOiF2ho

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JSn0rMbkZ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zisgF2yG9J0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJG92Itu6JQ

Ashford International

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHkymtUtVUs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEhYqd0e96o

Ashford and then at Dungeness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kalL8FfN1Pk

Barrow in Furness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQYoercE9dI

Continue reading DRS Waste Train Videos.

Spycops – Looking In Different Directions.

It’s a while since I have written much about the Spycops issue, but that does not mean I’ve stopped working on it.

Just keeping up with the various aspects of the public inquiry, and networking with many of the others who have been effected by this issue is very much of a daily job in itself.

Current Concerns.

Much of what has been going on with the spycop issue has received the publicity it deserves, but there are some aspects of the public inquiry which are starting to cause some new concern.

Such as: –

The direction which the inquiry now seems to be drifting towards.

Whether we will ever get all the spycops cover names.   [ That’s aside from the list of some 1,000 campaign groups and organisations which they infiltrated. ]

&

– How the Met lawyers are now making very unreasonable demands.

Though the worst aspect of the spycop issue, is that it makes less time to work upon other pressing issues.

The Fourth & Next Years Annual DRS Protest

On Saturday July 22nd it was back to Carlisle.

This was for the Fourth protest at a DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] Open Day event.

As ever it was a case of handing out leaflets about the Nukiller waste flasks which DRS haul to Sellafield, and chatting to people about the issue.

Next year the DRS Open Day will be at their Crewe depot.

I’m hoping that we can get a few more activists to join us at the Fifth anniversary event.

So don’t forget to add this to your diary for 2018.

A Little Light Reading.

Never let it be said that what I tend to read is frivolous in nature.

Well that’s what happens when one engages in serious campaigning work.

Yet needs must, as it is alleged they say.

So here are a couple of reports which I’ve been reading of late.

Civil Nuclear Police Authority Annual Report & Accounts 2016/17

That’s the body which runs the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, which describes itself as an Armed Force.

The report was published on July 19th, and makes for some fascinating reading.

Aside from a lot of statistical, financial, and pension payments data – 

It lists the following Key Facts :-

– The CNC has over 1080 Authorised Firearms Officers.

– It operates in 10 nukiller sites within the UK,  but not Capenhurst, Chapelcross, Springfields, or Wylfa.

&

– It has a budget which is over £100 Million.

Here is the line in the report which I like the best: –

‘We are capable of carrying out our duties in a flexible and dynamic way, instilling in ourselves a clear sense of purpose.

If we use force we do so in a manner proportionate to the threat, recognising and upholding the principles enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.’

Thus the next time you are confronted by any armed member of the CNC – you can be assured that they will of read the convention, and will act with all of its provisions in mind – – – or so it is alleged to be that way.

So now you know.

Nukiller particles

This is the other really interesting report which every anti-nukiller -power activist should download and read.

Particles in the Environment   Annual Report for 2015/16 and Forward Programme

This is a report which has been published by sellafield Ltd.

It is the one in which they show the amount of radioactive particles which they have detected along the coast of Cumbria.

Though those are just what they have managed to find in their sampling.

 

DRS Open Day Protest

The next DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] open day event will take place at Carlisle this Saturday July 22nd.

This year activists from the Close Capenhurst Campaign & Radiation Free Lakeland will be joining together to leaflet at the event.

It will be ithe 4th year running that DRS will have been leafleted about the radioactive waste flasks which they transport to Sellafield.

The leafleting session will take place between 10.00. & 15.00hrs outside the Kingmoor Depot, Carlisle.

Thinking About What Follows on.

Warnings.

One of my favourite ways of referring to both Politicians and managers is that they work it out as they go along.

Yet a little brush with reality, or the realisation that what they want to do will get them in to a lot of trouble, might well get them worrying about getting the sack, or loosing a lot of votes for doing so.

Though many a manager or politician are so shielded from the real world, or do not socialise outside of their own class or social milieu, that they no idea about the social, economic, or environmental damage which they might do.

That’s why a lot of political campaigning comes down to showing just what will happen if various policies are enacted.

Thus a lot of anti-nukiller power campaigning comes down to researching about, and warning individuals what might happen if such various whizzo projects comes in to being.

Such a project is the proposed new coal mine plan for Cumbria

That’s why I think that all such proposals should have a check list of environmental problems which come with them as a matter of form.

Much in the same way what packets of chalk should carry a warning that criminal damage charges may result if they are used on pavements or walls.

Giving out the warnings.

Yet all this research and protesting will not be enough without being able to finance all the travel which is involved in this campaigning work, and the protests which go with it.

Or are there enough people who can undertake all the leafleting which needs to be done in order to get the message out to people.

Which comes down to a problem which faces us all the time.

Unlike in Belgium, France, Germany, or the Netherlands,

we just don’t have the thousands, never mind the hundreds of people who will come out to demonstrate.

We tend to think that an event is very well attended if 12 to 20 people turn up to it.

Though the experience of solo leafleting, or maybe as a group of 2, 3, 4, 5, or six activists on a leafleting session or picket is very much the norm.

That’s why we need to develop more co-ordinated local protests or leafleting sessions about the nukiller waste trains which go through the UK.

As a part of this we have established Working Alliance.

Yet we still come down to one major problem, and that is the high cost of getting to so any of the many different nukiller plants which are scattered throughout Cumbria & the NW.

This July there will be another leafleting session at the DRS nukiller waste trains depot in Carlisle, while in October there will be a couple of events to mark 60 years since the Windscale fire in .

That’s aside from all the ongoing work which needs to be done in order to raise public awareness about Capenhurst, Drigg, & Springfields.

Thus this appeal.

If you think this work is worth while, but can not involve yourself it, then please do make a fiscal contribution to either the Close Capenhurst Campaign, or Radiation Free Lakeland.

Treading Time.

There are times when there is a lot going on, and visa versa.

We are now in the middle of a period when there are lots of changes occurring, but very little is really taking place.

To sum it all up.

What we now have is a political and constitutional crisis, which has or is producing a major economic crisis.

All of which is tied up with the uncertainties which come with the threat of Brexit.

Thus the economy is on hold.

It is neither a Bull or Bear Market, but one in which the word is Wait & See.

Yet that does not mean we all need to be treading time, as there are so many issues which need dealing with right now, or within the immediate future.

Next – – –

There are a lot of individuals who think that many issues can be solved by ‘one big push’, or the creation of yet another national campaign or campaigning body.

Not so !

The only way I know we can change things for the better is by long term campaigning, and not constantly focusing upon what is the immediate crisis.

What this means for me is focusing upon a number of related issues, but making sure that I’m up to date on all of the various crisis which are going on at present.

It’s all a form of treading time until the moment is right to take action, but it would be good if there were a few more activists who think in the same way.

The Unworkable Proposed Merger of MOD Plod, The CNC, and BTP

A Unique force.

There is one aspect about the Civil Nuclear Constabulary [ CNC ] which we should always state whenever we write or talk about them.

The CNC refer to themselves as an Armed Force.

They are financed by the nukiller power companies and have very close links with the MOD.

They no longer guard all nukiller instillations such as Capenhurst or Springfields.

They do not guard the nukiller waste trains which pass through our city centres, and neither does the British Transport police [ BTP ] .

Yet the CNC do have powers of arrest, with no public accountability about the way they operate.

An Unworkable Proposal

Yet again the bright idea of merging the CNC, MOD Plod , and the BTP to protect nuclear sites and transport links is being touted by the Tory party.

This is an idea which has been around for a long time, but was ruled out the last time it came up a few years back.

Just consider this:-

– 95% of the BTP funding comes from Britain’s privatised train companies.

– While part of the CNC is funded by the nukiller energy companies,

&

– MOD plod is a part of the MOD.

So just who would land up paying for such a combined force would make for some very interesting negotiations.

That’s aside from just what the various companies might have a say in how such a new body might be controlled.

or

If it might be liable to any form of public accountability.

Never mind their different types of ‘training and operational needs’.

Differences in pay and remuneration.

There are also variations between MOD plod, The CNC, the BTP which would cause a number of other problems should such merger go ahead.

All three of them have very different pay structures, terms of employment, and retirement schemes.

What is really needed

Thus I just can’t see how any such proposed merger might be workable.

Though there is an urgent need to initiate a public outcry about the way the CNC operates, and just how we might better safeguard all the nukiller waste sites way in to the future.

Being Time Rich & Working Ahead To Stay Time Rich

Being and staying Time Rich.

Here is an observation which should be remembered about what happens to everyone who is retired.

First of all one has more time as a result of not going to work.

Yet if one is interested in what’s going on in the world, and engaged in making social change, the the following will hold true: –

‘ I just don’t know how there was time for me to go to work.’

I know this to be so, as it was a case of my switching from a page per week to a day per page diary.

Though here comes a tip to anyone who’s about to retire –

Go food shopping every day as you will be eating really fresh food, and can use the sale bargains on items you use all the time.

You will also get out of the house that way, and get the walking exercise which everyone needs to do.

The Wrong Answer.

The other advantage of retirement is that one can work on projects / plan / work on events way in advance.

Being time rich also means I am able to read a lot of newspapers, and reports which relate to the campaigning work I’m engaged upon.

So when I ask a specific question about some issue or other, then it’s because it really does need to be addressed.

That said, one will constantly hear the following from those who are still at work:- ‘ I’m too busy to do [ or answer ] that right now. ‘

That’s known as the Wrong Answer, as it slows down the work of those of us who are time rich.

This is especially so if it’s a case of asking for the same thing time and time and time again.

It also means that those who keep saying ‘ I’m too busy’ will never get the potential help they need, or ever see the various projects which they are involved in move forward at a faster speed.

Thinking Ahead – Planning Ahead.

The things one learns you get older, is that there are always last moment problems, or changes which need to be made at the very last moment.

Many of these come about because of changing circumstances, last moment emergencies, etc.

Yet a lot of them are the result of not being able to do any medium to long term planning, or thinking about alternative options way in advance of events.

Right now I’m look at and working up events some 3 months to 5 years in to the future.

For example: – What we can all do about marking 60 years since the Windscale fire this October.

So just keep all of this in mind, as it could well work to your advantage.