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Photographs of Sellafield nuclear plant prompt fears over radioactive risk

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posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 10:54 AM

Previously unseen pictures of two storage ponds containing hundreds of highly radioactive fuel rods at the Sellafield nuclear plant show cracked concrete, seagulls bathing in the water and weeds growing around derelict machinery. But a spokesman for owners Sellafield Ltd said the 60-year-old ponds will not be cleaned up for decades, despite concern that they are in a dangerous state and could cause a large release of radioactive material if they are allowed to deteriorate further.

“The concrete is in dreadful condition, degraded and fractured, and if the ponds drain, the Magnox fuel will ignite and that would lead to a massive release of radioactive material,” nuclear safety expert John Large told the Ecologist magazine. “I am very disturbed at the run-down condition of the structures and support services. In my opinion there is a significant risk that the system could fail.

Looks like everyone's favourite nuclear dump is at it again.

The track record of Sellafield when it comes to safety is abysmal, I mean c'mon, seagulls bathing in the cooling ponds??

If they do build that underground repository at the existing Sellafield site, the had better do a safety overhaul first or we're all up the proverbial creek.

I know it is a major employer in the area, and we would be pretty screwed economically without it, but at what point is enough enough when it comes to safety?

Fukushima and Chernobyl wouldn't have a patch on that place in worst case scenario, hell, it provided Fuku with its MOX fuel!

+2 more 
posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:07 AM
a reply to: woogleuk

Bad news.

There's no end of incompetence with nuclear power.

Unless thorium reactors are perfected and come online, nuclear power ought to be banned.

4Kw worth of solar panels backed up by a smallish wind turbine for each home should be rolled out, and nuclear power scrapped IMO.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:17 AM
Probably tough to find employees to mow the lawn and trim trees and your not supposed to eat seagulls anyway

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:27 AM
a reply to: mikell

I wouldn't want to get within 50 miles of that place, let alone mow the grass there.

The danger of birds and seagulls being irradiated, is when they die, specially if they die in the sea, they will be eaten by something else, and then that something else will at some point enter the food chain and get back to Humans.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:44 AM
If you want to get a bead on the utter arrogance of the nuclear industry (now being repeated by the hubris of the governmental-medical industry with regards to emerging diseases) read 'We Almost Lost Detroit' here for free:

We Almost Lost Detroit

When first considering placing nuclear reactors near cities (lest much of the power be lost in transmission) they were asked, 'what if there's a radiation leak?' The answer was 'oh no way, we've thought it all through; there's no possibility of leaks, we have fail-safes built in'; when pressed, they answered, 'oh, we'll have a limited evacuation'... 'what about if there's a bigger leak?'... 'we'll evacuate a larger area...'

No one extrapolated out the impossibility of evacuating a city like Detroit, or Chicago, or London, if a large leak occurred. The engineers were unable to think that far out in advance and the power companies pushed for the flawed designs with the reasoning, 'well, everyone wants to use their toasters and light their houses, we must give the consumers what they demand... especially if we can make a profit on it...'

And, it turns out many times over the years, their 'fail-safes' have actually caused greater disasters, since they were acting faster than humans could react to a rapidly changing situation; meanwhile, the lingering problem of 'what to do with the waste' was never answered. Later generations were left to answer that question; 'later generations' would be us, now.

Nuclear power - the people's money is spent on building the systems, then someone else gets the profits while the people's government insures them against disaster, then the people are stuck with the horrifically dangerous remnants, having taken all the chances every day they're in operation. Ain't capitalism grand? OP, where are the shareholders that got rich buying stock in that place? Find them and stick a radioactive seagull down their craws.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:46 AM
I know someone who is part of the decommissioning team, a private company, obviously they cannot say much about it due to secrecy, though I know the project is reported to be long term.

Surprisingly it is still standing in any form and hadn't been properly decommissioned and demolished many years ago.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:52 AM
a reply to: MysterX

There is wind turbines as far as the eye can see round here, there is a ton of them in the middle of the Solway Firth (bit of sea between England and Scotland.

As an island country, I reckon tidal power is where the gold is.

On the subject, Sellafield is not a power station, they tore the towers down a few years ago. It is a reprocessing plant in the stages of decommissioning, they still get most of the countries waste to process though, as well as waste from other countries.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:56 AM
a reply to: signalfire

There has been more leaks at Sellafield over the years than I care to comment on, and then of course there was the Windscale fire in 1957 which caused (not officially of course) a rise in childhood leukaemia cases in surrounding areas.

My father (who helped fit the Magnox reactors) said he was in a gas leak there once, the guys in white boiler suits dragged them for a wire wool shower, didn't sound pleasant.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 11:57 AM
a reply to: theabsolutetruth

A lot of the areas on the site can't be properly decommissioned for many years due to contamination.

I know they have only just managed to get access to some of the older cooling ponds that sat rotting away for years.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:06 PM
a reply to: woogleuk

I agree with you over tidal power which would be free after the initial set up costs, except maintainence to us all would be the sensible way for our country to go. However, the government which milks the power industry for money would never agree to wave technology because most of us would be demanding low cost power as the tides are free. They would loose so much revenue that they couldn't lord it over the world any more and that wouldn't suit our industrialists, politicians and the elite. We are stuck with fracking cos queenie owns all that comes out of the earth and that is why that little bill was attached to some other bill and whizzed slyly through into law. Its so corrupt its unbelievable but until people start thinking and questioning why we should be so exploited, things won't change.

Tidal power should already be working for us but the wealthy don;t want to loose their income from oil - simples and the government controls power which is something we all have to have so its hugely taxable.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:10 PM
Would they let their children bathe in that water? Didn't think so. It's insanely irresponsible allowing those conditions to persist.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:15 PM
a reply to: woogleuk

From the information I have heard it's a mess and is scheduled for 10 years though will probably be longer.

Sometimes the complacency of such things is astounding, but you can bet if some trivial breach of EU policy on some nonsense or other was found they would be on it quick style.

I also doubt it ever saved any money in the long term.

The hazards it created obviously outweigh any financial gain if ever there was any.

Sellafield Ltd is putting in place a new kind of long-term commercial mechanism to secure specialist decommissioning services over a ten-year period. The work could be worth up to £1.5 billion ($2.6 billion).

The work to be covered by the DDP has been split into three lots centred on Sellafield's four legacy pond and silo facilities. The first portion covers the Pile Fuel Storage Pond and the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo, as well as site remediation and decommissioning projects and other areas including waste and effluent disposition. The second lot covers the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond, while the third encompasses the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo. Lot 1 will see multiple contracts awarded while the remaining lots will comprise single partnering organisations with a lead partner.

Sellafield's legacy ponds and silos were built to prepare fuel for reprocessing or storage and date back to the earliest days of the UK's nuclear program: the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo, commissioned in 1952, was the first intermediate level waste storage facility commissioned at the site. Radioactive materials including sludges have accumulated in the facilities since operations ended, and the facilities themselves - now over 50 years old - were not designed with decommissioning in mind and so present many challenges.

In late June, a joint venture of Balfour Beatty and Cavendish Nuclear were awarded a £160 million ($272 million) third-phase contract to construct a new mechanical handling plant, the Silo Maintenance Facility at Sellafield, to support the Magnox Swarf Storage Silos and Pile Fuel Cladding Silo. Earlier this year a joint venture of Areva, Atkins and Mace was selected to supply a facility to encapsulate wastes recovered from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo in a contract worth up to £1.2 billion ($2.0 billion), while a £240 million ($402 million) facility to handle radioactive sludge from the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond is in the final stages of commissioning.

Sellafield Ltd has formally launched the acquisition process for the DDP and begun pre-qualifying for interested contractors, with a view to a tendering process at the end of 2014 and the announcement of the preferred suppliers in mid-2015. The current four-year decommissioning framework agreement was awarded in 2011 to four partners drawn from nuclear and other specialist engineering and service companies will be due to expire in 2015.

edit on 3-11-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:18 PM
a reply to: woogleuk

Whoever is overseeing this should be fired this is deplorable and sad. At least they could put up netting to keep the wildlife out. Complete and utter failure. If crap like this continues the people will become feed up in the very near future. Tepco is another company that is a complete failure and should be barred from doing business.

The industry should see the writing on the wall, change has to come or the industry will fail.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:21 PM
a reply to: woogleuk

Finally we have an answer to UFO`s sightings.

They were just radiated seagulls.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:24 PM
There it is. In plain view. They still don't know what to do with "spent fuel". After all these years storing it in "ponds", waiting for the "storage problems" to be worked out and solutions to be engineered for the most dangerous material on the planet.

The Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the statutory nuclear safety regulator, said: “The legacy ponds at Sellafield are old and as a result, do not meet the high engineering standards that would be required for modern nuclear facilities.

Eventually, It will outwit our puny attempts to contain it.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:25 PM
a reply to: intrptr

Of course they know what to do with it. They know to pass it on to future generations and let them worry about the effects.

Today's problem is tomorrow's disaster.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:31 PM
a reply to: intrptr

The solution they have proposed for all waste in the UK is to bury it, in an underground repository. They are currently looking for a suitable site, which looks like it could be under the existing Sellafield site as a large percentage of the waste is already there. You are talking about an area the size of Carlisle under a national park, where the main water table is located, with countless collapsing mineshafts all around, mini earthquakes and to top it off, they want to frack the area!

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:42 PM
a reply to: woogleuk

Sellafield is a hell hole that could end very badly.
Because of those open air pools,they have special freezers full of seaguls and other birds which drink from the water.They are then shot on site,as they would spread radiation through excrement across the land.
Those barrels of dead seaguls/birds are then classified as low level radioactive waste,and they are running out of space to keep them,never mind the really evil stuff in the ponds.

According to wikipedia,the site would cost £70 billion to fully clean up and decomission.
Nuclear power-not so cost effective after all,like they claimed it would be "too cheap to meter"they said,yeah right.

At least we got the plutonium for our nuclear warheads though...which they didn't tell us was the reason at the time.

All in all a colossol fubar situation of which it seems only us "civilised"humans are capable.

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 12:59 PM
a reply to: woogleuk

Why don't they launch it into the sun like Superman did?

I know it sounds stupid but wouldn't the sun essentially burn it all away?

posted on Nov, 3 2014 @ 01:07 PM

originally posted by: Yeahkeepwatchingme
a reply to: woogleuk

Why don't they launch it into the sun like Superman did?

I know it sounds stupid but wouldn't the sun essentially burn it all away?

Good idea (if you can pick the things up and pack them into a rocket), but what happens when the rocket explodes on or over the Launchpad? Superman didn't have that problem.

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