Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/193/8104

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2001

Sellafield's lethal gas

BRITISH NUCLEAR Fuels Ltd (BNFL) has been constantly releasing the radioactive gas krypton 85 from its THORP reprocessing facility at Sellafield in Cumbria, since its opening in 1994.

Alistair McConnell

They were ordered to capture rather than release the gas as far back as 1977 by the original enquiry into the then proposed plant. BNFL, however, always openly defied this ruling. They released the gas, a by-product of nuclear fission, by venting it through chimneys.

The National Radiological Protection Board says the level of radioactivity of the gas emissions is sufficient to cause over 100 human cancers per year, including two fatal skin cancers.

Yet BNFL claim that the 50 million cost of capturing and storing the gas is unjustifiable. No doubt West Cumbrians, who also recently found out that over 1,000 depleted uranium shells were fired at Eskmeals, will be reassured to know the value which BNFL and successive governments - Tory and New Labour - place on their lives.

After all, the miserable farce of the Millennium Dome only cost 17 times as much as it would to prevent this criminal environmental calamity.

Amazingly, BNFL prevented Japanese Nuclear Fuels Ltd from fitting equipment to capture krypton 85 to a plant currently under construction in Japan, which will instead release similar levels of krypton 85 into the environment as THORP.

BNFL was desperate to prevent the Japanese from recapturing krypton 85 as this would show up BNFL's own scandalous activity. They believe that they can, literally, get away with murder in West Cumbria because of the area's total economic dependence on Sellafield, which directly employs one in seven of the area's working population.

The area was devastated by the total closure of the steel and coal industries in the early 1980s, and has recently been hit hard again by the closure of the Corus rail-producing plant at Workington.

Closure of Sellafield would be the final nail in the coffin of West Cumbria, but the health and environmental impacts of the plant, and the risk of another serious nuclear accident on the scale of the 1957 Windscale fire or even worse, are totally unacceptable.

Socialists advocate an end to the unsafe and lethal nuclear industry and the retraining of workers at Sellafield and other nuclear plants to use their extensive technical skills to produce socially useful products.

However, capitalism won't close nuclear plants on this basis. It thinks nothing about destroying an area economically or environmentally. A socialist society would be the only society capable of preventing both economic and environmental ruin.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 16 February 2001:

"BOG OFF" BLAIR

STUDENTS FIGHT FEES

Education - Labour's Year Zero

Drugs giants scramble for profits

Sellafield's lethal gas

Scottish Socialists weigh up ambitious plans

Arrests at Faslane's big blockade

Socialist ideas and organisation for the 21st century

Israeli election: A new period of insecurity


 

Home   |   The Socialist 16 February 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Gas:

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

triangleNewham gas workers to strike

triangleBritish Gas workers need rank-and-file leadership

triangleRonan Point disaster 50 years on

Sellafield:

triangleA speaker at the youth climate change protest in Newcastle, 21.6.19, photo by Elaine Brunskill

triangleDetermined nuclear workers' industrial action continues

triangleMitie workers striking against poverty pay

triangleNo to Tory plans for radioactive waste under national parks

Cumbria:

triangleCumbria: Teachers, parents and socialists fight reckless school reopening

triangleCarlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

triangleCarlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

Total:

triangle2017 was the best fighting fund total this century!

triangleNHS SOS round-up

Capitalism:

triangleCWI rally: 80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/8/20

NHS

'First you clap us then you slap us'

5/8/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

5/8/20

Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

5/8/20

Hull

Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook

5/8/20

Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

5/8/20

Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

5/8/20

Caerphilly

GE Aviation workers march to save jobs

5/8/20

Trotsky

80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally

5/8/20

BAME

Fighting to end racism and capitalism

5/8/20

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women

5/8/20

The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule

5/8/20

Unite

Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

5/8/20

BT

Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999