My case against Trident in Plymouth, 19/5/15

Originally posted on Theo's Blog:

My case against Trident in Plymouth, 19/5/15

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In July last year, I was arrested for blocking the gate of Devonport Docks, where the Trident nuclear weapons fleet is serviced. This was part of my long-running commitment to raise awareness about the proposed Trident renewal and to challenge it’s legality through peaceful protest. There is due to be a one or two day trial with me and my co-defendant Nikki Clarke at Plymouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday May 19th.

The government’s position is that I was breaking the law, by disrupting “lawful work” on the HMS Vengeance submarine. My position is that it is the government who are breaking an international treaty by upgrading Britain’s nuclear arsenal, and that work on maintaining a nuclear weapons systems is itself unlawful.

At my trial three expert witnesses will testify on international humanitarian law, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the threat that holding nuclear…

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No Nukes really is good news

Has Hinkley Point C finally collapsed under the weight of it’s own bullshit?

http://sayingnotohinkleycround2.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/hinkley-point-c-pr-works-finally.html

Short Clip from today’s citizen shutdown

Here is a weblink to a short clip from this mornings action. The protest is over all protestors went home 0 arrests! ;-)

(http://youtu.be/Is3m8pxCErY)

EDF – we’ll keep coming back until you back off – you’ve had your warning!

Who are they trying to fool?

HPB_block_5 HPB_block_3 HPB_block_2 HPB_block_1HPB_block_4
Campaigners from South-west Against Nuclear, Nuclear Free Bristol & Bristol CND have today shutdown the EDF shutdown at Hinkley Point B in Somerset “We have come here today to carry out a citizen’s shutdown. It is inconceivable that Anglo-French governments think they can get away with extending the life of reactors well past their designed life-time, we have chosen April fools day for our shutdown to highlight the fact that this is no joking matter”
At this moment Hinkley’s reactor 4 is closed for work to extend it’s lifetime – thousands of workers have been brought in at a cost of £40 million to electricity consumers. Green Party M.E.P Molly Scott Cato says “The estimated costs for prolonging the life of ageing nuclear power stations are almost certainly under estimates and will escalate, particularly against a backdrop of falling renewable energy costs. We need to ramp up renewable energy capacity as quickly as possible, not throw more money at keeping these ageing dinosaurs going. To do so will leave an even bigger legacy problem with mounting nuclear waste disposal costs well beyond the next 35 years. In reality we should actually extend the waste disposal costs for the next 1,000+ years to account for the true life costs!”[1]
Said Nuclear Free Bristol campaigner Jane Baker “This is throwing good money after bad on a worn out and dangerous reactor well past its retirement date. Plant Lifetime Extensions are a fool’s game. We say the safest thing is to shut it down.” All UK reactors are ageing and engineers know that machines have the highest risk of failure at the beginning and end of their lifetime [2]
Last year EDF who operate the gas cooled nuclear reactors in the UK moved the safety limits for loss of graphite in the core.” Dorian Lucas, a nuclear specialist at energy consultancy, Inenco, said “Britain has no choice but to gamble with extending the safety limits of the country’s ageing fleet of nuclear power plants to avoid the looming spectre of 1970s-style blackouts” [3] This is despite having been warned back in 2006 by independent Expert John Large of John Large & Assoicates that extending the life of Hinkley B would be “Gambling with Public safety” [4] Professor Steve Thomas of Greenwich University qestioned the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s moving of the safety goal-posts [5]
Concerned citizen Pandora Swan of Southwest Against Nuclear asked “Since when is an uninterrupted electricity supply become more important than public safety? Besides Hinkley B is shutdown now & the lights are still on, a quick transition to energy efficiency and 100% renewables are what is needed for a supply of electricity that doesn’t compromise on public safety”
On February 13th 2015, in Belgium the Nuclear Industry regulators found thousands of cracks in critical components at two of their reactors. Two leading material scientists said that the pervasive and unexpected cracking could be related to corrosion from normal operation, with potential implications for reactors worldwide. [6]
Just in case you think we’re overstating the case – nuclear workers at plants across Sweden Belgium & France have raised concerns about privatisation of the industry & an apparent shift from zero-risk to calculated risks which they feel are unacceptable in the nuclear industry. [7] Many doing dangerous work in the industry are sub-contractors and so have no path of recourse when their health & safety is compromised by EDF.[8] Workers at EDF’s Chinon plant in France were pressured by management not to report defects when inspecting reactors on their outages.[9] These concerns ultimately resulted in EDF workers going on hunger-strike on the ninth day the local community joined them & blockaded the plant for three days. This was claimed to be a consequence of the privatisation of the industry in France. With Areva going bust & EDFs finances looking very shaky, what pressure are EDF putting on their workers at Hinkley during this outage?

Says Rowland Dye of Bristol CND “In the U.S utilities are shutting down plants despite them having received permission to extend their lives”[10] Nuclear accidents are irreversible and uninsurable, causing devastation for generations and, to land air and sea. On average there is a major nuclear accident every 10 or 20 years, Not the rare event the industry likes to claim but that’s ok because the industry are hard at work trying to persuade us that Nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl & Fukushima have no lasting consequences.”

The risks of nuclear power are not necessary when we can produce electricity sustainably. Nuclear power provides less than 15% of the UK’s electricity, and is easily replaceable by renewables.

***********************************ENDS****************************************
For Live Interviews Rowland Dye 07711214168
Notes to Editors
[1] – contact Molly Scott Cato’s media office at media@mollymep.org.uk
[2] – Website dedicated to reliabbility engineering http://www.weibull.com/hotwire/issue21/hottopics21.htm
[3] – Utility Week 28th May 2014 http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/news/eti-seeks-small-scale-nuclear-reactor-proposals/1013232
[4] – John Large quoted in the Nu-clear News http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo63.pdf
[5] – Professor Steve Thomas quoted in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/04/uk-may-need-to-gamble-with-nuclear-safety-to-avoid-blackouts
[6] – Greenpeace International http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/cracks-in-belgian-nuclear-reactors/blog/52139/
[7] – Nothing to Report A Documentary made in France but with English voice over & subtitles pt2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh7kmfi-l7s
[8] – Nothing to Report A Documentary made in France but with English voice over & subtitles pt3

[9] – Nothing to Report A Documentary made in France but with English voice over & subtitles pt4

[10] – Nothing to Report A Documentary made in France but with English voice over & subtitles pt6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3PGv5QTO-k
[11] – NWISE Nuclear Monitor http://www.wiseinternational.org/node/4050

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Today the government Ditched Democracy to Dump Nuclear Waste

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Today was a dark day for democracy as an outrageously small number of MPs (just 33) fought to protect our democratic rights. As the Ayes only numbered 217 ( out of our 650 MPs) The other half of parliament either abstained or were disallowed from voting because of their pecuniary interests in this industry, WTF!!!

This piece of legislation that gained assent today violates our treaty obligations under Aarhus – the right to particpate in environmental decision-making – the NSIP process disallows legitimately held environmental concerns about Nuclear processes & wastes on the basis that our government has waved its magic wand and enusred that there is “no risk” and that it is “100% safe” And that the “independent” ONR will protect us – the reality is that the ONR only exist to protect the interests of the industry they claim to regulate!

Any GDF built by member states under the current political conditions and current technical state of knowledge will ensure because of their hubris, that the facility will violate our (present) human right to a clean & safe environment & food, as well as the rights of future generations to the same thing. These are our “inalienable” human rights – yet there we are being alienated from our rights…

We will publish the list of how MPs voted tomorrow. If your MP was one of the Ayes then please make sure & let them no that they will pay the price at the ballot box. Please see if you can raise awareness in your constituency about how your MP voted on this issue. And stay in touch with us about it.

Check out the No Geo Nuke Dumping community page on Facemuck oops sorry we meant Facebook.

Here is what Radiation Free Lakeland had to say about today’s decision.

Today the government Ditched Democracy to Dump Nuclear Waste.

NEA wants a nuclear future (but isn’t likely to see one)

A salient article from Michael Marriotte of NIRS & Jan Haveerkamp of Greenpeace International

 

NEA wants a nuclear future (but isn’t likely to see one).

In case you are unaware, the seemingly inexorable plan to diminish our democracy forges ahead…

SWAN Admin:

A petition you can sign as well as the direct lobbying we’ve been encouraging!

Originally posted on Cumbria Trust:

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED!!!

38degrees petition

On Wednesday the House of Lords under the Chair of Baroness Verma will be discussing  in Grand Committee in the Moses Room at 3.45pm the plan to push  through legislation that will remove our right, and the right of Cumbria County Council, to object to burying radioactive waste underground.

They hope to do this as soon as practically possible by adding GDFs (Geological Disposal Facilities) to the list of NSIPs (Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects).   An NSIP would force through the what we believe to be the government’s plans to return to Cumbria in the search for a site for a GDF. This would of course deny communities the voice usually afforded to them via public enquiries.

The government hoped the Nuclear waste ‘problem’ was going to be solved by communities coming forward to volunteer to take the waste, now that plan has fallen by…

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#NoNukeDump

Please support us in this campaign to lobby parliament to get the governments draft order to turn Geological Disposal Facilities  into Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects stopped.

Here goes our attempt to make a step by step guide of how to lobby the lords over this draft order – Good luck!
P.S please forward this to anyone and everyone you think might be interested!
#nonukedump

We had this advice from our parliamentary advisor  to pass on to you all about lobbying the lords:

“It can be difficult to engage with Parliament when there is so much important information to get across and limited time and space to do it. Many organisations come up against the same issue, particularly when submitting evidence to Select Committees.”

Lords rarely oppose this kind of legislation (although there have been rare occasions over really controversial issues – so we need to lobby hard!).

So please read the following short guide carefully!

Step 1
Please take the letter that we’ve attached & personalise it so that it is not the same – say something about why you personally are concerned and how it may affect you.

Step 2
choose some lords to lobby

Lobbying tips
this one is good one about lobbying strategy although its from America what it is saying translates about how to choose who to lobby
http://www.ctnonprofits.org/policy/resources/basics

this is an interesting one although it is aimed at 3rd sector still some good advice
http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2013/05/24/lobbying-the-lords-10-tips-for-making-an-impact-in-the-upper-house/

this is a good one written by the Lords on how they like to be lobbied -note how they prefer personally written ones and what he says about how he deals with the mail he receives
http://lordsoftheblog.net/2011/09/16/lobbying-the-lords/

These are some of the lords we think might be worth lobbying – we’re looking up more all the time & will send out some more details as & when we can research them – it will be handy for future lobbying too ;-)
Baroness Tonge (LD) – nothing specific on energy, but has been progressive on other causes, and especially vocal on Palestine.   http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-tonge/200

Baroness Kramer – ‘The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd has awarded a financial grant to the Member to be used for a researcher and other assistance in developing and communicating policy on micro-finance and local banking (w.e.f. 1 September 2013)’.  Been on Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, also Small & Medium Enterprises Committee. http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-kramer/1557

Baroness Afshar – Crime, civil law, justice and rights.  Communities and families.  International affairs.  Women’s rights.  http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-afshar/3847

Lord McConnell Of Glenscorrodale – Lab
female equality racial equality children  progressive mcconnellj@parliament.uk
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-mcconnell-of-glenscorrodale/4168

Baroness Warsi – CON
walked out of gov due to their position on Gaza, has put pressure on G4S to withdraw from Israel, anti-trident, working class northern lass (her words)
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-warsi/3839
Lord Alton of Liverpool- catholic, big on international human rights, but quiet on the nuclear issue…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-alton-of-liverpool/738

Baroness Lister of Burtersett- lab
Professor at Loughborough university, very anti-austerity and antti-bedroom tax, quite young, anti -trident because of fund diversion from poor…

http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-lister-of-burtersett/4234

Lord Wallace of Saltaire-  libdem
academic in dept on international relationsm lib dem whip spokesperson, big on international human rights, quiet on nuclear…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-wallace-of-saltaire/1816

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead- labour,
well worth it  as holyhead is on anglesey so she should be at least a little up on nuclear issues!Human rights, works towards disarmament…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-kinnock-of-holyhead/3895

Lord Hannay of Chiswick- Cross  Bench (CB)
motioned the recent trident debate…
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-hannay-of-chiswick/2167

Baroness Lady Williams of Crosby –  LD (Lib dem)
wrote report with Lord Hannay of Chiswick that drove the trident debate….
http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-williams-of-crosby/740

We’re  just checking out the lords who already sit on All party parliamentary groups on nuclear energy & energy & will circulate these as soon as we’ve finished.

Step 3 send your letters/e-mails! (our letter is at the bottom of this guide)

Step 4 Get tweeting !
We will be attempting to make a twitter storm tomorrow – we are just working out the details about what time to do it & getting some sample tweets together but in the meantime make sure that you are flowwing @NoNukeDumping and @UKHouseofLords and use the hashtags #nonukedump

They can get a lot of mail which can overwhelm them with volume – better to personalise the letter and select one or two to send it to & for the rest of them get their twitter account names & tweet them about the debate encouraging them to attend & object to its passage get them to force it into chamber for a vote as they can’t vote in the Moses room!

please adapt the following letter to make it personal to you:

Please insert your address here

Re: Draft Infrastructure Planning
Radioactive Waste Geological Disposal Facilities Order 2015 – Draft Statutory Instrument
This Draft Statutory Instrument is subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

On Jan 12th 2015 The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) laid this draft Order with an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) before Parliament. The Order will bring certain developments relating to geological disposal facilities (GDFs) for radioactive waste, and the deep borehole investigations necessary to determine the suitability of potential sites, within the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime in the Planning Act 2008.
On Wednesday 25th February 2015 this order is due to be debated in The House of Lords, the debate is due to take place in The Moses Room, at 3.45pm.
We are writing to ask you to attend this debate and to consider voting against the proposed order in it’s current form.
The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee found reason to report this draft Statutory Instrument to the House as a matter of public interest [2].
“on the ground that it gives rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House.”
This order will remove from local planning Authorities, and their respective communities, the final say in the planning process. This will be in clear violation of the rights of the British people as defined under the Aarhus Convention. A disposal facility for Nuclear Waste is an Annex 1 facility under the convention [1].
The traditional public inquiry processes that previous new nuclear facilities have been subject to in the UK was a far more robust process appropriate to a modern democracy.
We believe delegating the decisions regarding the geological disposal of radioactive waste underground to the Secretary of State is un-democratic.
The D.E.C.C has not correctly reported the results of the recent consultation entitled “Review of the Siting Process for a Geological Disposal Facility”. The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee stated
“We would point out that, even by combining the percentage of respondents who “agreed” with that of respondents who “partly agreed”, no more than 49% of respondents agreed or partly agreed, and that this is also a minority of respondents. The EM would have given a more accurate picture of the results of consultation if it had made clear this relatively modest level of support for the proposal, as well as referring to minority disagreement.”
We believe the attempt of a government department (DECC) to mislead parliament over such an important issue is worthy of a government inquiry.
You will also note the relatively small number of respondents to this GDF – Siting Consultation (719) when contrasted with the public response to the Consultation on Proposal for Underground Access for the Extraction of Gas, Oil or Geothermal Energy. That consultation received in total 40,647 responses from individuals and organisations. In contrast, the public have been kept largely unaware of the plans for GDF as the ‘Managing Radioactive Waste Safely’ (MRWS,) process only consulted with the potential host community [3] and even here the consultation process was criticised as being too narrowly drawn. [4]
Abandoning the democratic process completely, by adopting the process for NSIP and excluding locally elected councillors, officers and removing the right for the public to scrutinise & participate will result in the British people having GDFs forced upon them.
The 2013 public consultation into the siting of a GDF document states:
“Any planning application will need to take account of community views where they are relevant – but there is no requirement for community support inherent in the planning process itself.”
Conversely the consultation then goes on to say:
“Through application of this voluntarism and partnership siting we would go further and require a demonstration of community support before development could proceed.”
These two statements are clearly at odds. The current plans to dispose of the waste are being hurried through for the sake of political expediency.

How can community support for such a scheme be demonstrated if the decision is taken out of the hands of the local layers of government and placed into the hands of the Secretary of State?
DECC claims that once it has made a GDF into NSIP that there will still be a voluntarist process with a right of withdrawal. However these two approaches are clearly mutually exclusive – you cannot have a community volunteering for something that is going to be imposed on them.
There have already been two processes to site a GDF in the UK, at considerable expense to the public.
Both processes were corrupted by political pressures [5] & [6].

Cumbrian councils, Allerdale and Copeland, were in favour of the governments more recent (MRWS) scheme, which came with the financial incentive of, “community benefits.” However, the pro-nuclear Cumbrian County Council declined the scheme based on the sound scientific evidence that proved it was unsafe. The agreement of all three tiers of local government is a cornerstone of the principles of a voluntarist approach.
We believe that existing nuclear waste should be stored in a retrievable manner at the surface, or near to the surface, in line with Scotland’s Higher Activity Radioactive Waste Policy 2011. Waste could then be monitored and managed appropriately without risk of exposure to water supplies, and without additional cause for concern for future generations.
We are also concerned about how communities are being defined for the purposes of this exercise especially since UKOOG has defined ‘community’ as perhaps being the sole tenant on any given site, this is clearly an unsatisfactory definition when there are such widespread far-reaching consequences for current generations and future generations.

The only operational facility for Nuclear Waste Management in the world; the ‘Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’ project in Carlsbad New Mexico, only receives ‘low-level’ radioactive wastes. A serious incident occurred on Feb 14th 2014 where radionuclides reached the surface and leaked into the surrounding area. W.I.P.P is still closed over a year later due to the widespread contamination which made it impossible to maintain the facilities. The geological disposal of low level radioactive waste is now causing ceiling collapse & exacerbating a variety of problems. W.I.P.P’s radioactive waste inventory is nowhere near as problematic as the waste inventory that the D.E.C.C is proposing to ‘dispose’ of here in the UK.
The first committee on radioactive waste management CoRWM1 report that endorsed GDFs was heavily caveated and was a recommendation for committed wastes only & not a proposal for wastes arising from New Build where they were very clear that new build wastes would require a separate investigation and recommendations.
It is absolutely not the case that the GDF research that informed CoRWM1’s recommendation dealt with issues arising from high burn up fuel, proposed for the Governments planned new generation of reactors.
There is no guarantee that a geological disposal facility can contain radionuclides long-term.

A scheme as crucial to the health and safety of our entire nation requires the full attention of every layer of community and government, and a high level of public awareness is essential.
The government’s solicitors, Pinsent Mason have recently hosted a “masterclass” on how to get a commercial application to join in decommissioning and waste disposal contracts classed as NSIP [7]. We find this somewhat alarming since the draft order in question has yet to be approved.

We ask the Lords to consider that this addition to the parent Act (2008 Planning Act) being used to designate GDF as NSIP is inappropriate and that there are not sufficient grounds to hand the responsibility of making such a huge decision over to the Secretary of State.

We urge you to consider that the only safe way of tackling the waste is with the best scientists, geologists and engineers were working in collaboration with independent experts and lay communities in a not-for-profit setting. The recent experience of the NMP (Nuclear Management Partnership) private consortium, who lost their contract at Sellafield, clearly demonstrates that profit-making and safety do not mix.

We ask you to intervene to prevent the progress of these plans which we feel sit outside of the law and are not in the best interests of the United Kingdom, it’s people, land and environments and all future generations as well as being a clear breach of the Aarhus convention. The inclusion of GDFs in the list of NSIPs is undemocratic, and unlikely to meet with favourable public opinion.
Yours sincerely,
Ms. Eleanor Bull – Cheshire
Dr. Becky Martin – Wiltshire
Mrs. Louise Somerville Williams – Somerset
Ms. Helz Cuppleditch – Sussex
Marianne Birkby – Cumbria
Nikki Clark – BSc Hons (open) Environmental Studies – Somerset
Founder Members of No Nuke Dumping
And on Behalf of:
Frack Free Somerset
Radiation Free Lakeland
Frack Free Families
SouthWest Against Nuclear
References:

1 – pg 19 http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/pp/documents/cep43e.pdf
2 – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/ldsecleg/102/10203.htm#a1
3 – http://www.westcumbriamrws.org.uk/documents/326-PSE3_Evaluation_Report_November_2012.pdf
4 – https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/non-governmental-organisation-forum#minutes
5 – http://www.davidsmythe.org/nuclear/nirex%202005%20review%20of%201987-91_site_selection.pdf
6 – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/18/nuclear-waste-consultation-sellafield-radioactive
7 – http://www.niauk.org/forthcoming-events?view=niaeventHYPERLINKhttp://www.niauk.org/forthcoming-events?view=niaevent&id=1170″&HYPERLINKhttp://www.niauk.org/forthcoming-events?view=niaevent&id=1170″id=1170

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Nuclear Train Not Fit For Tracks!

Here is a very interesting & damning article from Cumbria about the dangerous state of the rail infrastructure carrying Britains deadliest cargo – Nuclear Waste…

Nuclear Train Not Fit For Tracks!.