Reactor Safety

Looking back at the Windscale nuclear disaster, 50 years on

Posted by bex — 10 October 2007 at 12:18pm - Comments

Today is the official end of the government's nuclear "consultation" (more on that coming soon). It's also the 50th anniversary of the world's second biggest nuclear disaster - at Windscale, now known as Sellafield, in West Cumbria.

Jean McSorley, a nuclear consultant, has written about the disaster in today's Guardian. It's powerful stuff, so I'm posting an extract here:


"I opened the gag-port and there it was - a fire at the face of the reactor. I thought: 'Oh dear, now we are in a pickle.'" Those were the words of the late Arthur Wilson, the instrument technician who discovered the Windscale fire on October 10 1957, in No 1 of the twin plutonium piles. It signalled the beginning of the world's second biggest nuclear reactor accident.

Impact of Japan's nuclear accident

Posted by bex — 31 July 2007 at 12:45pm - Comments

Reuters has a new video report on the impacts of earthquake-struck Japan's recent nuclear accident, which means Kawashaki nuclear plant will be closed indefinitely:

Japan's killer earthquake left its biggest nuclear power company facing financial losses, supply questions, and demands for greater safety.

The video's here (there's an advert before the Reuters report starts).

Kashiwazaki nuclear plant - report from the scene

Posted by bex — 24 July 2007 at 6:28pm - Comments

After the conflicting reports about last week's earthquake in Japan, a Greenpeace team of nuclear and radiation experts headed over to Japan to check radiation levels on the ground.

Happily, most places the team checked around the plant didn't show signs of increased radioactivity, but they had a couple of bizarre moments along the way. Their diaries are on our international site.

Sweden closes nuclear plants over safety fears

Posted by bex — 4 August 2006 at 8:00am - Comments
forsmark nuclear power plant in Sweden

forsmark nuclear power plant in Sweden

"It was pure luck there wasn't a meltdown," said a former director of Forsmark nuclear power plant after a serious incident at that plant last week. Now Sweden has shut down four of its 10 nuclear plants after faults were discovered. And a generator failure like Sweden's could easily happen in the UK.

UK nuclear reactors are defective, say government inspectors

Posted by bex — 5 July 2006 at 8:00am - Comments

A huge KAPOW projected onto Torness power station

A nuclear expert has called for nuclear reactors in the UK to be "immediately shut down" after secret documents written by government inspectors reveal they contain structural defects.

The documents - which were passed to Greenpeace days before Tony Blair is expected to give the go-ahead to a new generation of nuclear power stations - show that the government's Nuclear Safety Directorate (NSD) has identified cracks in the cores of up to 14 UK reactors, rendering them at increased risk of a radiological accident.

The future for nuclear power?

Posted by bex — 19 May 2006 at 8:00am - Comments

Friday the 13th

A secret document has revealed that the new breed of nuclear reactor Blair is considering building is highly vulnerable to terrorist attack.

The Electricite de France (EDF) document looks at the vulnerability to terrorist attack of the new European Pressurised Reactors (EPR). These reactors are already under construction in France and Finland and may be built in the UK if Tony Blair has his way.

Fallout: the human cost of nuclear catastrophe

Posted by bex — 5 April 2006 at 8:00am - Comments

Fallout: the human cost of nuclear catastrophe

Chernobyl fallout exhibition - Annya

A photographic exhibition to mark the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster

Nuclear power: boom or bust?

Posted by bex — 7 March 2006 at 9:00am - Comments

A giant KAPOW is projected onto the dome at Sizewell

Over the past fortnight an enormous projection reading "KAPOW!" has materialised on several of the UK's nuclear power stations, highlighting the risk of terrorist attack to nuclear sites.

Greenpeace volunteers drove up to the perimeter fences of Dungeness, Sizewell, Wylfa, Oldbury, Heysham and Torness nuclear power stations and projected the cartoon-style image onto the walls.

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