Nuclear and Fracking Campaigners across the UK have joined forces to oppose fossil fuel extraction within the vicinity of the UK’s key nuclear installations, Sellafield in Cumbria and Springfields in Lancashire.
Radiation Free Lakeland has sent a letter to the Health and Safety Executive urging a moratorium. The letter says: “Given the vast uncertainty regarding the classification of nuclear materials at both Sellafield and Springfields at the very least there should be a moratorium on fossil fuel extraction within the vicinity of nuclear installations. We call for a comprehensive inquiry, which includes the worst-case scenarios that could result from induced seismic activity near nuclear installations. The inquiry should be undertaken honestly and transparently and be fully independent of current government policy”.
Currently there is no limit on the proximity of fossil fuel extraction to nuclear installations despite the known risks of induced earthquakes.
SELLAFIELD AND COAL
“The prospect of reopening and extending the Whitehaven Coal Mine with licenses extending to within a few miles of the decrepit and highly dangerous Sellafield nuclear waste complex is ringing alarm bells in North Wales where we experienced a 5.4 Richter scale earthquake in 1984, the largest ever recorded in Britain. Deliberately creating seismic dangers by reopening this mine so close to the deadliest stockpile of nuclear waste at Sellafield is a deliberately wreckless act of environmental vandalism. PAWB supports Radiation Free Lakeland’s call for an immediate moratorium on fossil fuel extraction, either coal or fracking, within the vicinity of the nuclear installations at Heysham, Sellafield and Springfields because of the obvious seismic risks.”
Dylan Morgan on behalf of the anti-nuclear campaign group PAWB, Pobl Atal Wylfa B / People Against Wylfa B http://stop-wylfa.org/wp/
SPRINGFIELDS AND FRACKING
“It beggars belief that a fracking pad is being constructed five miles from the Springfields Nuclear Fabrication plant and their nearby nuclear waste dump at Clifton Marsh landfill. We have already witnessed the effects of induced seismicity in the area from one frack at Preese Hall six years ago. Cuadrilla is planning 40-60 wells on the super pad at Preston New Road and maybe up to 100 other pads throughout the Fylde. The area is heavily faulted making it more susceptible not only to seismicity but also to groundwater contamination from the Clifton Marsh nuclear dump. For Sajid Javid to overrule Lancashire County Council’s decision and allow these two forms of extreme energy to sit side-by-side is madness. The people of Lancashire are unprotected and the public health implications are enormous.
Pam Foster from RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)
Martyn Lowe from Close Capenhurst Campaign says that:
“The danger of something happening at Springfields with any of the Uranium Hexaflouride which is on the site is already very worrying. If there was even a very minor earth tremor as the result of fracking, then it might well increase the odds of something really nasty happening at the site. I very much doubt if Toshiba Westinghouse or the Office for Nuclear Regulation have factored in such a danger in to any of their emergency procedures about what would happen to the plant.”
LIQUEFACTION AT SELLAFIELD AND SPRINGFIELDS?
Radiation Free Lakeland’s letter to the HSE points out that induced seismic activity from fossil fuel extraction would not have “stand alone” consequences in this part of the North West. For example The North West of England has been the only area in the UK ever to have suffered a liquefaction event following a rather minor earthquake near Barrow (now home to Trident) in 1865. The magnitude was probably in the range 2.5–3.5 ML.” pure and applied geophysics November 1998, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 733–745
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RADIATION FREE LAKELAND’s FULL LETTER TO THE HSE
HSE head office
Health and Safety Executive
Bootle 19th April 2017