Allerdale is inviting town and parish councillors to discuss the council’s policy towards geological disposal of nuclear waste in the borough at a meeting on Thursday 11th July at Cockermouth Town Hall. Allerdale’s Nuclear Policy manager, Richard Griffin, will discuss the latest consultation and how Allerdale is positioning itself for the new search process. Cumbria Trust was very pleased to see a recent change of Allerdale leadership, with Marion Fitzgerald taking over from Alan Smith. During the last process, MRWS, we felt that Alan Smith failed to understand the process and did not act in the interest of Allerdale’s residents, most of whom opposed the burial of nuclear waste in the borough. Allerdale voted in 2013 to continue the search process, but delayed the vote until after Cumbria County Council had vetoed it, so it was a meaningless vote. We would encourage town and parish councillors who are members of Cumbria Trust, or who agree with us that Allerdale should not volunteer itself, to attend this meeting on 11th July and make their views known.
Cumbria Trust 19th June 2019 read more »
SOME PEOPLE worry about robots taking work away from human beings, but there are a few jobs that even these sceptics admit most folk would not want. One is cleaning up radioactive waste, particularly when it is inside a nuclear power station—and especially if the power station in question has suffered a recent accident. Those who do handle radioactive material must first don protective suits that are inherently cumbersome and are further encumbered by the air hoses needed to allow the wearer to breathe. Even then their working hours are strictly limited, in order to avoid prolonged exposure to radiation and because operating in the suits is exhausting. Moreover, some sorts of waste are too hazardous for even the besuited to approach safely. So, send in the robots? Unfortunately that is far from simple, for most robots are not up to the task. This became clear after events in 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, which suffered a series of meltdowns after its safety systems failed following a tsunami. The site at Fukushima has turned into something of a graveyard for those robots dispatched into it to monitor radiation levels and start cleaning things up. Many got stuck, broke down or had their circuits fried by the intense radiation.
Economist 19th June 2019 read more »