Report from the East Anglian Daily Times 17 June 2016:
Link to the original article is here
Traces of radioactive material have been found on a second Suffolk beach by scientists monitoring the area around Sizewell.
Two months ago Environment Agency officials revealed that a small amount of an particularly dangerous “unusual” radioactive isotope had been found at Aldeburgh, and now they have disclosed that very small traces of a different element has also been found at Southwold. In both cases officials have stressed that the discoveries were very small amounts and there are no safety or environmental concerns and no risk to members of the public.
Stuart Parr, from the Environment Agency, told the Sizewell Stakeholder Group (SSG), that Caesium – a metal used in medical applications, industrial gauges, and hydrology which is said to be mildly toxic – had been found at Southwold. He said: “It was a very small amount and could be to do with tide patterns.”
Investigations were taking place to find out the source though Caesium was not an unusual element to find. Mr Parr said operators of Sizewell A were carrying out an investigation into the Strontium-90, produced by nuclear fission, found at Aldeburgh beach, one of five beaches monitored in the area. This includes extra monitoring along the resort’s shoreline. He said:
“We are continuing to engage with the operator in this investigation...The extra sampling proposed is continuing as are the investigations outlined to the SSG last time.The results from the analysis of these additional samples are not yet available. It can take many weeks for Sr-90 to be analysed due to the complexity of the analytical technique, which needs to be done in a laboratory....A sample taken from Aldeburgh beach earlier in 2016 has been sent to two laboratories for comparison....Differences in working practices in different laboratories can cause subtle differences in analytical results which become important when working with such low concentrations of Sr-90 in these samples...Once all the data has been received and analysed a full report will be made by Sizewell A....It is important to note that these results are unusual, the levels of radioactivity detected are extremely low and do not represent a hazard to anyone using the beach.”
- Category: News
TASC News Article for EADT 20-05-2016
Mark Whitby FReng presented an in depth account and analysis of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster at a very well attended meeting at Yoxford Village Hall on Friday 20th May.
The subject matter was chilling: by giving the audience an hour-by-hour, day-by-day account, from the moment the tsunami struck in the Pacific Ocean to the present day, Mark captured the cliff hanger that was the management of the dangerous and destructive forces that were at work. He then emphasised the ongoing magnitude of managing the ensuing situation which still exists up to the present day.
It was clearly illustrated that we owe a debt of gratitude to the Tepco employees who put their own lives in severe danger whilst trying to control the three disabled reactors. The fourth reactor was not working at the time. However, the spent fuel pond became dangerously close to losing the cooling water which kept the spent fuel from overheating. The loss of all cooling water could have caused the fuel to catch fire, resulting in an even more disastrous situation to arise .
There was no need to exaggerate the intense pressure that employees were under, as it was blatantly clear that when the station was without electricity and there was complete darkness throughout the site with no means of communication, the palpable sense of danger was clear for all. Without the workers’ commitment and determination to control the terrifying situation, the whole disaster would have had even greater environmental impact over a much larger area.
It took eight days to reconnect electricity to the site by reconstruction of the power lines.
In the surrounding country over the coming days, thousands of people were evacuated from a 2kms, then 5 and eventually 20 kms radius from the stricken plant to various sites, leaving their homes, their belongings, their animals and their memories. Vast areas are still contaminated with radioactivity and the amount of radioactive waste water that has flowed into the Pacific Ocean is incalculable.
Five years on, people are still living in temporary accommodation. Many are suffering ill health. Over a vast area, cars and properties are left abandoned where they were left, now overgrown with vegetation and decaying when people were evacuated. Schools, playgrounds and equipment are not safe to go back to because of the high levels of radioactive contamination.
There was no need for any exaggeration of the overwhelming sense of despair of those living in the Fukushima area at the time of the Tsunami must have experienced and the fact that the concentration of four Nuclear Power plants in a small area of the coast of Japan had exacerbated the devastation. It left the audience of people living around the Sizewell site with the thought of “What if it had happened here?”
Mark was thanked by Pete Wilkinson Chairman of TASC for his thought provoking presentation.
Joan Girling Sec TASC
- Category: Public Meetings
Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) joins the debate on the review of nuclear emergency planning
TASC - the coalition of anti- and pro-nuclear groups fighting to stop the development of Sizewell C - fed up with the constant delay over the review of the emergency planning issue around Sizewell, today distributed over 4000 flyers throughout Leiston and Saxmundham warning residents of the potential grave danger posed by Sizewell B and the future proposed development of two more reactors at Sizewell C.
The flyer argues that the current review of the 'detailed emergency evacuation zone (DEPZ) is in utter confusion. The possible reduction from 2.4kms to 1km for the pre-distribution of potassium iodate tablets (stable iodine) is insulting to people in the wider East Suffolk area, as is the suggestion that people outside the area “stay indoors and listen to local radio and TV for updates”
It points out that, after the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese authorities imposed an exclusion zone of 20kms and that the USA required its own nationals to observe a self-imposed 80kms no-go area around the stricken plant. The lessons learned exercise in which the UK nuclear industry participated in the wake of the event appears not to have stretched to taking on board the need to prepare people who live far away from the plant as well as those who live close by. In addition, it has been a source of concern to TASC that the new dry spent fuel store under construction at Sizewell B represents a terrorist target and that the consequences of an attack on the store and the resulting radioactive contamination appear not to have been taken into account in the current review process. TASC flyer also informs people that a notional Sizewell C will be three times as powerful as the Fukushima plant, making the potential consequences that much greater.
Pete Wilkinson, Acting Chairman of TASC, said today, 'It is time we took the lid off this debate and told people exactly how the authorities are gambling with their lives, their livelihoods, their jobs, their homes and farmland. According to the authoritative Max Planck Gesellschaft, nuclear accidents of a severe nature are likely to occur once every 10 - 20 years (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120522134942.htm)
yet our authorities seem hell-bent on keeping the evacuation zone at a ridiculously small radius - only 23 individuals would be affected by a 1km radius evacuation zone at Sizewell - so as not to frighten the second homers, tourists and business investments in the area. It is our view that we all have a right to know the truth and that the authorities have a duty to provide unbiased and accurate information to a wide constituency of people. If the proposed 1km evacuation zone is agreed, it will not be with the consent of residents, nor with the agreement of experts outside the industry, because they are excluded from the discussions”
The Government, the nuclear industry, the ONR, the county and district councils may do well to think again about the safety and well being of the residents of Suffolk . We should not ignore the perils of a nuclear accident. Plans will be imposed on us by those who have a vested interest and those who pretend that nuclear accidents can not happen in the UK, despite the evidence to the contrary. We certainly hope it never happens, but not to prepare for it could be catastrophic and by increasing the density of population in East Suffolk may cause even greater difficulty for any evacuation.
The Councillors responsible for Planning at County and District when making decisions which increase the population, need to be aware of the possibility of having to safely evacuate all residents, if they do not they are acting recklessly and irresponsibly and should reconsider their position
For further information contact:
Pete Wilkinson (Chair of TASC) on 01728 660232 mb 07940524831
Joan Girling 01728 830965
- Category: News