We have received a number of emails from members and non-members alike, expressing views on the recent BBC Four documentary “Inside Sellafield”. The following, some of whom did not want their identities revealed, are just a few:
“Professor Jim’ Al’Khalili’s ‘Inside Sellafield’ programme was a tour de force of pro-nuclear propaganda, writes David Lowry – understating the severity of accidents, concealing the role of the UK’s nuclear power stations in breeding military plutonium, and giving false reassurance over the unsolved problems of high level nuclear waste[…] ” ~ David Lowry, Reasearch Consultant
“The documentary was somewhat misleading in some areas. It rather glossed over the ’57 reactor fire, implying that most of the radiation had been stopped by the Pile filters. I was in infant in my pram in our Seascale garden at the time. One of my school friends had also been out in her pram and was covered in ash from the pile fire, which was belching out nuclear smoke across the environment. A Windscale employee and Seascale resident was monitoring the gardens on our estate that day with a Geiger counter, which was ‘whizzing’ very loudly. The fire was caused by the massive acceleration of the military nuclear programme, forced by the government of the time. This link was perhaps not made clearly enough. Tom Tuohy, who risked his life, alongside colleagues, to put the fire out, said in a previous documentary, that the responsible ministers were ‘..a shower of b——s'[…]” ~ Della Hynes, West Cumbria
I was pleased to see that Jim Al-Khalili chose not to avoid the terrible condition of B30 (dirty thirty), the first generation magnox storage pond[…]
There does appear to be a new sense of urgency to get on top of this problem. It was noticeable that the overhead crane was shown to be moving, which is indeed a step in the right direction[…] I hope this urgency lasts until B30 no longer poses an intolerable risk to us all.
It was interesting to hear Prof Al-Khalili say that while he felt that the waste should be buried, it needs to remain retrievable[…] Perhaps he is unaware that there is a broad scientific consensus that a Geological Disposal Facility should be backfilled and sealed, to ensure that we don’t leave a pathway for gases and fluids to migrate back to the surface. What he was describing appears much closer to near-surface secure interim storage, where the waste remains monitored and retrievable for 1-200 years, while being protected from terrorist attack by being around 30 metres underground[…] so whether or not a GDF is built, secure interim storage is essential. It would also provide a welcome boost for Sellafield and West Cumbria. ~ Name withheld, West Cumbria
[…] A very interesting programme which certainly, although scary in places, revealed information of which I was previously blissfully unaware. ~ Name withheld, Solway Plain