Britain has the biggest stockpile of Plutonium in the world, but there are no definite plans for how to get rid of it - and the delays are costing the UK taxpayer billions, according to news reports.
A record number of radioactive particles have been found on beaches near the Sellafield nuclear plant, in North West England. The authorities who run it admit it’s the most radioactive place in Western Europe but insist it’s safe, Russia Today
Sellafield is where all storage of radioactive materials and nuclear reprocessing in the UK takes place. It was once at the heart of plutonium manufacturing for the British atomic weapons program.
Despite the controversy that surrounds the plant, there are plans to build new reactors at Sellafield. The government has approved initial plans to build a fast PRISM reactor on the site. Most locals are against it. They want the UK government to commission a safety study into Sellafield’s effects on the health of the local population.
Janine Allis-Smith has a lot of experience of dealing with the fallout from Sellafield. She is a senior campaigner from Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE) and lives only a few miles from the plant. Her son was diagnosed with Leukaemia and she blames Sellafield.
She told RT, “Kids play on the beaches, they get sand in their clothes.” This sand, she explains, could contain dangerous radioactive particles released from the nuclear complex and “Parents have a right to know the risks”.
Anti-nuclear campaigners are demanding the beaches be closed or at least signs put up warning the public of the potential danger.
Locals also say they are not sufficiently informed about the pollution at the site. Allis-Smith explained that they are fulfilling the legal minimum requirement, so that although information is available, no-one knows about it. The local council has refused to become involved.
A study in the 1980’s found that over ten times the national average of childhood Leukaemia’s occurred near Sellafield. Thirty families tried to take the company who then ran the site to court and lost.
“There has never been a proper investigation into the environmental impact of the plant and there should be.” Allis-Smith said.