11th March 2014
THANKS TO ALL WHO TURNED OUT FOR OUR FUKUSHIMA DAY EVENT on March 11th
We had a brilliant response, with nearly 100 of you remembering the people of Fukushima.
Below is the press release we sent to all the local papers
”The legacy of nuclear power terrifies me.” said Steve Parry-Hearn at a Fukushima day event organised by STAND (Severnside Together Against Nuclear Development) at Lydney docks.
Reflecting on the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, 3 years ago to the day, he continued, “We think of the people who lost their lives and we think of the children whose legacy is still unknown and that, for me, is not worth the price to be paid.”
Steve Parry-Hearn, the Labour party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for The Forest of Dean, was speaking to a crowd of nearly a hundred people, young and old, who had turned up to remember the plight of the displaced victims of one of the worst nuclear accidents the world has seen.
Molly Scott Cato, prospective member of the European parliament for the Green Party, then told the crowd of her fears that the plans to build a new nuclear power station at Oldbury would not just carry the risk of a catastrophic accident, but would add to the daily emissions of lethal radioactivity that are known to damage health.
She said “This is such a crucial issue, it really is a matter of life and death, because ionising radiation is precisely designed to cause damage to human cells. You only need to be attacked by one atom of radiation for it to start a mutation which can lead to cancer and for that reason it is far too dangerous for us to think that we can control and contain it.”
James Greenwood, representing STAND, read out a message from Jonathan Porritt who said he was very sorry he was unable to be with us today. In the message he said, ”The case for nuclear power is as weak today as it has ever been. But politicians are easily fooled by the industry's hype and lies. Which means that we all have to keep on campaigning, until such time as the threat of future nuclear developments (at Oldbury and elsewhere) has finally been lifted."
James went on to say that he felt very privileged to be a member of STAND as it had a long heritage, having grown out of SCAR (Severnside Campaign Against Radiation) that was active in the 80s. He said that the members of SCAR discovered that the radioactive emissions at the perimeter of Berkeley were the highest of any nuclear power station in the United Kingdom. Low level emissions of ionising radiation are known to cause Leukaemia, especially in children, and it was the discovery of the unusually high numbers of this disease in children in Lydney that led to SCAR’s formation.
He said that he lived on the banks on the river Severn and had witnessed the storm surge that had led to the quay at Lydney being submerged. That was not a particularly high tide he said, but if the 1.5 metre surge had been on top of a very high spring tide the effects could have been disastrous.
Talking about Fukushima, he said there were about 300,000 evacuees there and about 100,000 people have still not returned to their homes. If such an accident were to happen on Severnside, There would be a lot more people displaced, as we have Bristol, Newport, Gloucester, South Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean, all in the evacuation radius. “In Japan whole village communities have been lifted out of their locality and placed in gymnasiums in Tokyo”, he said. “They left behind everything, they left their animals their homes and were placed in"temporary" accommodation. Three years down the line, they are still there.”
He talked about the health problems they are experiencing in Fukushima, not just because of radiation but because of the effects that the stress has caused. Suicide rates have rocketed, as have stress related illnesses. Doctors in Japan say that already there are 700 times more thyroid cancers in the population around Fukushima in just three years than would be expected in the whole of their lifetimes.
He then revealed that 50 km from Fukushima there is a town in which for the last three years the children have not been allowed to spend more than 30 minutes a day outside - a fact that will surely bring a shudder to the hearts of parents, grandparents or great-grandparents of young children everywhere.
The crowd joined in some songs led by Peter Dunford, guitar, Roger Drury, banjo and Chezzie Dunford, accordion. They sang a special version of Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land and Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind.
Messages to be sent to Fukushima
The members of the crowd were asked to write messages of sympathy and support to the displaced victims of Fukushima, which were collected, and after translation, will be sent to the mayor of Fukushima.
Everyone present then walked to the quay side carrying flowers, which they threw into the river as a mark of respect and remembrance.
After the event, Barbara French of STAND said, “The day has been organised to remember the victims of the terrible meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors 3 years ago, which is still ongoing, and to highlight the dangers of expanding nuclear power in our crowded island.
“Horizon/Hitachi are planning to build an enormous new Nuclear power station just across the river from us here. It will dwarf the existing power station, and with its enormous cooling towers will be an eyesore that you will be able to see from Bristol, Stroud, Gloucester and Newport.
“But more importantly, they are planning to build the new reactors on a flood plain that two government reports, one in 2005 and one in 2012, have said is unsuitable, recommending the withdrawal of all nuclear material from the site over the next 50 years.
“Of course we accept that there is a need for new electricity generation, but nuclear is not the way forward. Germany, which, like most countries, abandoned nuclear power after Fukushima, is already generating 25% of its energy from renewable sources, a figure that is rising all the time as they invest in renewable build and research.
“We believe that to build a huge new nuclear power station - and to store highly radioactive waste at Berkeley, 1 mile away across the river, which is another of the Government’s proposals - is sheer folly and will leave a deadly legacy for future generations.
“We do not want any more Fukushima type catastrophes here, or anywhere in the world”, she said.
20th November 2013
Fukushima meltdown is warning to the world, says nuclear plant operator
In a shock article published in major UK newspapers today, Naomi Hirose, president of the company that runs Fukushima, said Britian’s nuclear industry must be 'prepared for the worst'
He said that despite what the nuclear industry and the public wanted to believe, nuclear power was not 100 per cent safe.
2nd December 2013
Sellafield nuclear clean-up bill rises over £70bn
Private consortium accused of spending cash 'like confetti'
Sellafield is regarded as the most dangerous and polluted industrial site in western Europe. It houses 120 tonnes of plutonium, the largest civilian stockpile in the world.
STAND says: This is why the government has been forced into the incredibly dangerous practice of storing all future high level plutonium waste on the sites of nuclear power stations, including the proposed Oldbury plant. But who will look after the stockpiles of lethal waste when the power station operators have packed up and gone home? The UK taxpayer, that's who. But instead of one centralised plant to deal with the waste there will be several, with all the extra cost - and extra danger - that will bring.
Those engaged in the clean-up are still some way from knowing exactly what is in the storage facilities. "Record-keeping in the past was clearly not what it should have been," said a source.
Senior nuclear executives will be asked by Public Accounts Committee to comment on how £6m of bonuses came to be shared out among NMP bosses over three years and why the consortium paid back £100,000 in expenses that had been wrongly claimed.
23rd October 2013
French and Chinese Governments handed huge subsidy to build new Nuclear Power Station in UK
The spectre of a new nuclear power station at Oldbury came a step nearer today as the UK Government announced it has given the go-ahead for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Although the government has always said it will not offer extra subsidies to the nuclear industry, that is just what it has done. It has offered a ridiculously high price for the future production and has made no stipulations about disposal of waste. And all this not to British companies but to to two foreign governments, the French and the Chinese!
The plan now is to store waste on site. This will mean that tons of highly dangerous radioactive waste will be stored on the same site as nuclear power stations. Althought the staions themselves have a life of only 35 years, the waste will remain toxic for thousands of years. Who will look after this? And who will paye for it? The UK taxpayer and energy bill payer, that's who!
There is an excellent article about the crazy economics of nuclear power by Jonathon Prritt and others from Friends of the Earth here
23rd October 2013
Satistician says chances of Fukushima style accident at new Oldbury power station a staggering 200-1
STAND believes the ongoing and seemingly unresolvable emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi plant serves as a stark warning to the UK and any other country thinking of embarking on the lunacy of nuclear power.
Eminent statistician and epedimioligist, John Urquart, has told STAND that the chances of an accident of the severity of Fukushima happening to the proposed Oldbury Nuclear Power Station are a staggering 1 in 200 in its lifetime.
Do you think these are good enough odds, given the utter devastation and loss of life - not to mention the loss of millions of homes - that would ensue? And remember, nuclear acidents are specifically excluded from home insurance policies.
There is a great article from the BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes about the state of Fukushima today, in which he quotes influencial sources in Japan saying that the disaster was avoidable and could happen anywhere. Read it here
20th January 2013
HITACHI/HORIZON HORROR PLAN FOR OLDBURY
Following the pull out of EDF who were originally planning to build a new nuclear power station next to the old Oldbury site, a consortium of Hitachi and Horizon are now putting forward proposals for a new, gigantic, nuclear development there.
The scale of the proposed development dwarfs any nuclear power station ever built in the UK before and will cast a blight over the Severn Estuary.
STAND oppose the building of any new nuclear power stations on grounds of health, safety and cost - but this proposal has caused consternation among local residents on both sides of the river at its sheer scale.
Two new groups have been formed:
Sheperdine Against Nuclear Energy (SANE). Sheperdine is close to Oldbury and the local residents are very concerned at the proposals (see box on right).
And STAND have started their own STAND AGAINST OLDBURY campaign following a very well attended public meeting held in Lydney on 17th January.
The 100 plus concerned people who attended the meeting heard that the new nuclear power station would be built on a flood plain which is below sea level at times of high springs tides and that a report published by the government 7 years ago identified the site as one of the areas most at danger from rising sea levels and storm surges. The report, published by NIREX, advised that a "managed withdrawal" of existing facilities should be undertaken from the site. SO WHY ON EARTH ARE THE GOVERNMENT NOW PROPOSING TO BUILD A NEW, MUCH LARGER, NUCLEAR PLANT THERE?
In the meantime, for more information or to offer your support and help, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
On SANE's web site, they say:
The Government seems to think this site is suitable for this monstrous proposal, yet local councils and politicians agree with us... the site is simply unsuitable... please help us tell the Government this is just plain wrong!
..the massive new nuclear power station [is] 4 times the capacity of the old power station... The new site will have to have 3 or 4 massive cooling towers, each tower taller than and as wide as the existing power station. These are in addtion to the 2 or 3 reactor buildings they will need and a highly toxic waste store. All of this in a high level risk flood zone too
Things the nuclear industry won't tell you