Radioactive waste dumping in the Bristol Channel off Cardiff Coast from UK nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point is being carried out by dredgers similar to this one (and leaving comparable plumes of pollution). Marine Biologist Tim Deere-Jones has shown increasing radiation exposure in Wales, UK.  

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • A jaw-dropping interview with UK Marine Biologist Tim Deere-Jones on the true impact of nuclear industry dredge-and-drop of nuclear 600,000 cubic metres (approx 780,000 tons) of radioactive waste into the Bristol Channel off the coast of Wales.  He works as an independent Marine Pollution Researcher and Consultant with a client list that includes Greenpeace International, Greenpeace UK, Greenpeace Australia, Friends of the Earth, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, many citizens campaign groups, Local & Regional Authorities in UK , Ireland and across northwest coasts of Europe. He makes a point of stating he has NEVER worked for any industrial organization or national government or their agencies. We spoke on Thursday, September 9, 2021. He can be emailed at: [email protected].
Tim Deere-Jones

UK Marine Biologist and Researcher Tim Deere-Jones

LINKS:

In advance of the COP 26 UN Climate Conference, here is material to help you get up to speed on the basic anti-nuclear arguments:

Two videos to help your basic understanding of why nuclear reactors are not clean, green, or a rational part of any climate crisis strategy.

  • If you want a short, to-the-point discussion of Why Nuclear Power is NOT a Climate Solution – take 10 minutes and watch this video, produced by NEIS in Chicago:
  • Dr. Arjun Makhijani explains how the US economy can function totally on renewables without nuclear power or fossil fuels.  Originally posted in 2008!  What will it take for us to learn…?
 

Libbe HaLevy 

00:00:01

Nuclear false assurances, otherwise known as they’re there. Missy, don’t worry your pretty little head about it. We’re the experts we know while the nuclear industry sleight of hand knows how to cook the books on data to disguise the harm they do rarely has there been such bald faced manipulation as in the UK regarding the dumping of radioactive debris from the Hinkley point reactors into the Bristol bay, where it reaches as far as Cardiff in Wales, it takes a genuine expert and Marine pollution researcher and consultant to understand how the nuke stirs, disguise their trickery. And he tells you,

Tim Deere Jones

00:00:45

They only count the spectrometry for 15 hours. If you count your radioactivity samples for a longer period, you get a more accurate result. So we asked our independent laboratory to count our samples for 3.5 days. And that’s, I think another reason why we’ve got relatively high figures at such distances from the nuclear power station outfalls. And I suspect that if we could get samples of our own from close to the nuclear power stations and have them analyzed and counted for 3.5 days, the figures that we would get would be much, much higher than the figures that the official monitoring producers.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:01:37

And there’s lots more. So if you live in England or Wales, don’t believe the nuclear industry, when it tells you that it’s just peachy keen for them to dump 600,000 cubic meters, which is about 780,000 tons of radioactive waste from Hinkley point into the Bristol channel. Because what they’re really doing is heating up that already impossibly dangerous seat that we all share.

Announcer

00:02:08

Claire hot seat. What are those people thinking? Nuclear hot seat. What have those boys been braking clear, hot? See Ms. Sinking our time to act is shrinking, but nuclear Hotsy. It’s the bomb.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:02:38

Welcome to nuclear hot seat, the weekly international news magazine, keeping you up to date on all things nuclear from a different perspective. My name is Leiby Halevi. I am the producer and host as well as a survivor of the nuclear accident at three mile island from just one mile away. So I know what can happen when nuclear so-called experts get it wrong. This week, a jaw dropping interview with UK Marine biologist and researcher, Tim dear Jones, Tim has been getting to the bottom of what’s really happening with the dredging and dumping of radioactive waste from Hinckley points for operating and to under construction nuclear reactors in the UK, into the Bristol channel, which is off the coast of Wales. This saga of nuclear duplicity manipulation and co-opting of politicians and bureaucrats is a breathtaking David and Goliath story that has not ended yet. And while there’s no guarantee that our David is going to win, we do have a chance to join in some massive public pushback, which especially if you’re in the UK, you are invited to join.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:03:50

We will also have nuclear news from around the world. And more honest, nuclear information than was mentioned by any of the 46 candidates who ran and lost against governor Gavin Newsome in the California recall election. All of it coming up in just a few moments today is Tuesday, September 14th, 2021. And here is this week’s nuclear news from a different perspective. This late breaking story, federal officials have cleared the way for construction of a dump in west Texas that could hold highly radioactive. So-called spent nuclear fuel for 40 to 100 years, if not longer, but in full contradiction mode last week, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that purports to prohibit the storage or transportation of high-level nuclear waste such as spent fuel rods through the state. We will explore this more fully on next week show and in New Mexico, a proposal to build a so-called temporary nuclear waste storage site near Carlsbad drew a lawsuit against the nuclear regulatory commission and seeks to block the project.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:04:59

The NRC in return has asked the U S district court for the district of New Mexico to dismiss the state’s lawsuit due to lack of jurisdiction. The state alleges in the suit that the NRC acted illegally in issuing an environmental impact statement for the whole tech project and federal law stipulates a permanent repository be available before an interim storage site could be permitted. And there is none in post Ida Louisiana near new Orleans. The Waterford nuclear power plant is still at only 46% power, no word on why that is except perhaps it’s because there is no grid left in new Orleans. And so there’s no place for them to send any electricity that they do generate in Illinois. The legislature has approved another $694 million in nuclear power, bailout money to the for-profit and very profitable Exelon corporation, safe energy in cities, all over the country, conducted actions and wrote to their members of Congress, urging them to remove an estimated $46 billion in proposed nuclear subsidies from the upcoming reconciliation legislation as Dave craft of the Chicago based nuclear energy information service noted the nuclear hostage crisis continues in Japan.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:06:23

The ministry of health, labor and welfare has recognized the causal relationship between cancer and work at Fukushima Daiichi and has certified pharyngeal cancer throat cancer as a work-related injury for two workers after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, both men worked on the ruins of Fukushima Daiichi, removing debris and measuring radiation levels. One has since passed away. This marks the first time that they’re in jail cancer has been recognized as an occupational injury related to work at the Fukushima Daiichi disaster site. Here’s this week’s featured interview. And as I said before, it’s a jaw dropper. Tim dear Jones is a highly credentialed independent Marine pollution researcher and consultant with priority focus on hydrocarbons Marine radio activity, Marine hazardous waste transports, including radioactive materials and hazards associated with the nuclear submarine deployment. His client list includes Greenpeace international Greenpeace, UK Greenpeace, Australia, friends of the earth, the campaign for nuclear disarmament, as well as many citizens campaign groups, local and regional authorities in the UK Ireland and across the Northwest coast of Europe. He makes a point of stating he has never worked for any industrial organizations or national governments or their agencies. I spoke with Tim dear Jones on Thursday, September 9th, 2021, Tim Deere Jones. Thanks so much for joining us on nuclear hot seat.

Tim Deere Jones

00:08:06

Hi Libby. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:08:10

Let’s start out with a little bit about you so people can understand who they are hearing from. What is your training and background?

Tim Deere Jones

00:08:19

I have lived on boats and at sea for some time, and I have also had a lot of sporting activity with the sea, a lot of sea canoeing and rowing and sailing. And I’m very fond of the Marine environment. In the early eighties, I took myself to university and did a Marine science degree in order to train as a Marine pollution consultant because I was very well aware of the ongoing problems with Marine pollution in and around the UK coast and further a field and particularly problems with oil spills and Marine radioactivity. I studied at Cardiff university, which is on the shores of the Bristol channel, which is the Marine area we’re going to be talking about shortly. And I did my research there. My research dissertation was on the of land transfer of Marine pollutants and all of my Marine pollution trading actually took place on the Bristol channel, which has turned out to be very useful for the campaign that we’re discussing now. And since the 1980s, I’ve worked for a large number of organizations and NGOs never actually done any work for industry, but I’ve worked for local and regional authorities, NGOs like Greenpeace and friends of the earth and WWF, and many citizens groups scattered across UK, Ireland, Europe, and down into Australasia.

Libbe HaLevy 

00:09:49

You made mention of the Bristol coast as being where you’ve been focused. Where is that? What part of the UK is that for example, how far from London and what is its history as regards nuclear waste?

Tim Deere Jones

01:10:04

The Bristol channel is a site of a number of nuclear power stations. And in total, at the moment, there are eight reactors situated around the Bristol channel. You won’t be surprised to hear that it’s not very close to London or Westminster. It’s on the west coast of the UK, and it’s a long narrow title in that between south coast of Wales and the north coast of what we call the Southwest of England, Somerset and Devin share in characteristics. It’s very similar to the bay of Fundy in Canada. It is a long narrow, deep water in that it has the second highest title ranges in the Northern hemisphere after the bay of Fundy. And it is characterized by having quite a high sediment loading, which is very influential on the amount and lifespan of radioactivity, which stays within that particular environmental region.

Libbe HaLevy 

01:11:06

What kind of radiological data is already known about the sediment in this area?

Tim Deere Jones

01:11:15

Well, because we have three nuclear power sites on the Bristol channel and the seven eighth street, the UK government, and as a site operators conduct regular annual monitoring of the radioactivity in the areas close to the nuclear power stations. So we have good indications of what there might be in the areas post to the nuclear power stations. And we know that for instance, the station under particular consideration, the Hinkley point nuclear power station has nuclear sites there each one with two reactors each. So there are four reactors there and the authorities measure about maybe 10 miles, either side, they, they measure the Marine sediments seaweed, some fish species about 10 miles overside of the stations, liquid effluent, radioactive waste, discharge points. So we’ve got an idea of what’s there. Now we, we know and guesstimate and have been loosely told by the monitoring agencies that each of those reactors discharges about 50 different sorts of radioactivity ranging from relatively innocuous materials, gamma remitters through to plutonium, which is an alpha emitter.

Tim Deere Jones

01:12:42

And particularly at Hinkley point, the aid station was used for the manufacturer of plutonium for the UK and us nuclear weapons programs. And we know that those times be late seventies, the mid eighties, there were leaks of, of large policies of plutonium from that Hinckley, a site and the Hinckley ACE. I actually started work in the sixties. So we can usually sum up by saying, well, we’ve had 50 years worth of radioactive discharges from that site containing up to an exceeding 50 different types of radioactive isotope into the sedimentary area, which is known as the Bridgewater bay. And the Bridgewater bay is widely considered by Marine scientists, stupidly, probably the largest sediment sink in the Bristol channel. And as a sediment sink, it’s a place where the sediments themselves are sequestered or kind of locked up and have a longterm lifespan and build up a bit.

Tim Deere Jones

01:13:48

And naturally in association with that particular process, you get a similar sinking and sequestration of radioactive wastes, which build up and become more concentrated. And the historical style, a lot of the historical stuff, which has been discharged actually gets locked into the fairly thick sedimentary deposits within the Bridgewater bay. So what we don’t know is that there are large gaps in between these various nuclear sites on the Bristol channel and seven history coast. And nobody has bothered to monitor into those large gaps. There’s sort of 2030 mile gaps between these sites to find out what the situation is there. So there are quite a lot of unknowns. I mean, we have asked for various studies to be done and those studies have been refused and there hasn’t been any independent academic work to tell us what the situation is and what the people living along the coastline of this Marine area are being exposed to in terms of radioactivity, other than those who are living right next to the nuclear power stations. And then just to complicate the issue, there are flaws with the monitoring work that the authorities and the power station operators actually deploy

Libbe HaLevy 

01:15:05

You. So in other words, there have been 50 years of radioactive releases from these nuclear sites with no knowledge of what’s happening downstream or upstream from them, unless they fall into that 10 mile radius that is tested

Tim Deere Jones

01:15:23

Good summary, well done.

Libbe HaLevy 

01:15:24

What is now being proposed for this site?

Tim Deere Jones

01:15:29

Okay. Back in 2017, I stumbled upon a license application from the operators of the Hinkley C development. Now this is a development where they have they’re now constructing two new PWR reactors next to the four already existing at Hinkley point. So this is called Hinkley C and they want to put in cooling water intakes and liquid radio, active waste, effluent discharge pipelines, drilling a hole. They’ve got a big tunnel drilling machine there. So they’re drilling a hole under the seabed, but when they’ve done that and they’ve got their hold out, as far as she would, as they want, then they’ve got to dredge so that they can put in infrastructure on top, on the surface and through the seabed and into the tunnel. And so to do that, they’ve got to dredge these fines, sediments, and a certain amount of clay. And then they’ve got to get rid of it somewhere or others.

Libbe HaLevy 

01:16:31

My understanding is that radionuclides are heavier than water and eventually settle in the bottom on the sediment. So any upset to the sediment will rerelease the radionuclides into the waterflow to again, be dispersed.

Tim Deere Jones

01:16:48

Yeah, you’re quite right. That is the case. That was our major concern. My major concern in 2017 when I discovered this original proposal and I pointed this out because the sediments to be dredged in this Bridgewater bay area, just off the Hinckley sea site are quite deep as possibly six liters of sediment. There, there will be a lot of radioactivity sequestered into it. And as you say, any dredging activity is likely to start disturbing that sediment. So that’s a local problem in the area where the dredging is taking place. But then the second problem is that they wanted to cart all the dredging material and take it to a different site and dump it into the sea, which is even worse than the dredging, because that too will create a plume. And what’s law does mean then that you are taking material from an area of historical deposition of radioactivity and dropping it into an area which is distant from the deposition of radioactivity.

Tim Deere Jones

01:17:56

Now, in the initial case, they came, they played a slate of hand. Actually they came to Wales. So they were doing this dredging on the English side of the Bristol channel, but they came to Wales and asked the Welsh devolved government to permit dumping into Welsh water. And that occurred at a very interesting time because we had an existing Welsh environment agency, which was in the process of being wound down and reformed into a different body. So there was a hiatus between the winding down of the old Welsh environment agency and the initiation of the new Welsh environment agency. So that meant that the license application from EDF, the French Chinese company who are building the Hinckley C’s site, went direct to the Welsh environment minister of the time. And he just so happened to be an ex employee of the United Kingdom, atomic energy or authority for whom he had worked as head of their PR.

Tim Deere Jones

01:19:06

So not surprisingly, he signed off the license straight away. And when the new well environment agency actually opened up and started work on the 1st of April, April fool’s day in 2013, they were presented with a signed and sealed the license. They had no input into the decision-making process. Their job was then just to manage the license that had been granted. So that’s what happened there. And I mean, at that stage, the nuclear company was asking for permission to dump 300,000 tons of this material into a dump site called the Cardiff grounds, which was situated at sea, just a mile off the sea front of Cardiff city. You would use the capital city of Wales. So I was very concerned about that. The nuclear company did not actually take that license and do any dredging and dumping because as you will be aware, building a nuclear power station always involves massive delays in the construction program.

Tim Deere Jones

02:20:16

So that’s what happened at Hinckley GLISI, but they came back in 2017 and asked for a revision of the license, allowing them to do it again because the original license was granted and closed in 2016. So in 2017, they came back and asked for a variation on the permit, which would then allow them to dredge and dump for two years by then the Welsh environment agency was working properly, but the license had already been granted. So it was just a revision and they couldn’t take the license back. So my campaign that I started was asking for a postponement on any decision on the revision until such time, as we knew for sure how much radioactivity there would be in the mud to be dumped, that we knew what kind of baseline data we had on the south Wales coast. I was there any radioactivity present on the south Wales coast because we had no evidence to tell us anything about that or not.

Tim Deere Jones

02:21:22

And if there was manmade radioactivity on the south Wales coast, what were the implications for doses to the south Wales, coastal population and the sea users, because they were going to be dumping this stuff into what is called a dispersal site. So that’s a site where you can dump the material without creating an island or a hazard to shipping because it, the, the tidal currents, they are quick and it disperses fast. So we also requested that they produce evidence to show where would the material that was dispersed? Where would it be ending up? So that seemed to us to be quite reasonable.

Libbe HaLevy 

02:22:04

And what was the response to this request?

Tim Deere Jones

02:22:07

The response was, you guys don’t know what you’re talking about, go away, no need for any of that stuff. It’s all being sorted out, which is a very crude summary, but it’s all being sorted out the nuclear industry and the Westminster government know what they’re talking about. So, so that’s what we were told initially. So I told a petition to the Welsh government, which has a committee, which looks at petitions and we quickly got 7,000 signatures within a few weeks. And you only needed a thousand signatures to get the petition committee of the Welsh government to pay attention and initiate an inquiry. So they initiated an inquiry. And then we were into a series of evidential sessions, providing written and verbal evidence. At that time, I was pretty much working on my own. So that was a very busy year, 2017 and 2018. And I gave verbal and written evidence, and we had the nuclear company EDF, the Welsh environment agency under the thumb of the Welsh environment minister, who is their boss and an agency of the British government and agency called sea fast, which does all the British government’s Marine radioactivity monitoring for it, but also managed to find itself occupying the position of contractor to the new gear company.

Tim Deere Jones

02:23:35

So that was a nice, a nice little set up. Anyway, we had several sessions of verbal evidence. I submitted large amounts of documents, the referenced documents, and in the end, the petition committee decided that my appeal for a postponement had enough scientific evidence and legs to it. And there was enough doubt and debate about what the other side was saying that the issue should be put before the Welsh assembly, which is a little, our regional devolved government in, in, in Wales for a plenary debate before assembly members and the first minister.

Libbe HaLevy 

02:24:14

And did this debate take place? Yeah.

Tim Deere Jones

02:24:16

Yeah. The, the debate took place ran about mid summer in 2018, after nine months of heavy painting and at the debate, which lasted for about an hour and a half, two hours, knowing assembly elected members were called to speak and age of the nine spoke in favor of what I was asking for. Cause I would bear in mind. I wasn’t asking for the whole thing to be stopped or canceled because I thought it would be more reasonable to ask for a postponement until we had this baseline data. And so they were quite happy to support that it was a very moderate call, really each of the nine spoke in favor of the motion calling through a postponement, but at the end of the debate, the Welsh environment minister of that time, it was actually by now different from the earlier environment minister who’d worked for the nuclear industry, she stood up and said, well, yeah, it was all very interesting debate, but here’s my announcement. And the announcement was that she had already granted the license some weeks before and the nuclear company were readying themselves for dredging and would start dredging and disposing of the mud just off Cardiff within a month. So we lost that in explicable circumstances and felt that we’d had a fast one pulled upon us that there’d been some sort of a scam and, and a slight of hand

Libbe HaLevy 

02:25:43

What happened once they got permission to do that dredging and dumping. Did they go ahead at that time? And if so, has there been any stoppage of that since 2018?

Tim Deere Jones

02:25:58

It was very odd. First of all, they were dredging within a couple of weeks of the end of this debate and the minister’s first public announcement at the debate that the license had been granted. So it was obvious to us that they knew well in advance that they were going to win their case because you can’t just start dredging. You got to hire in dredges, you’ve got to bring them in from, from outside the area, you got to hire the crews, you’ve got to set up all the logistics. So they were in there really quick. So that was the first thing that happened. And then that first year, instead of dredging and dumping 300,000 tons, they dredged and dumped 120,000 tons and then stopped quite why they stopped. We don’t know, but we assume that again, it was to do with delays in the construction process at the development on the Somerset coast.

Tim Deere Jones

02:26:51

And so there was a merciful high agers and we thought, oh, okay, breathing space. What will they do next? And what did they do next? They didn’t do any of the baseline data that I asked. They didn’t do any monitoring and analysis along the south Wales coast or any of that stuff. So we still were in a position where after they had done 120,000 tons of dumping, they didn’t do any follow-up monitoring to see if there was any radioactivity in an environment that they didn’t know whether there was any radioactivity in before they dredged another Welsh campaigning group was formed actually in and around Cardiff. So that took some of the weight off my piece of campaign. And what we did then was to try and look around, or what I did was to try and look around for some way of assessing how you could make a guesstimate about what the impacts of the dredge dumping at the car they’ve dumped site would have been on the south Wales coast.

Tim Deere Jones

02:27:55

And I began to look quite closely at the Hinckley site where the dredging had been taking place. And as I mentioned earlier on every year, there is a regular monitoring program conducted by the pro nuclear government and the nuclear agencies, and also the site operators in the immediate vicinity of the Hickory area. And they’re looking at those official reports of that and monitoring over a three year period when quite a lot of cyber title and into title construction activity had been going on at Hinckley. It was quite easy to see that. I mean, they had been building seawalls, they’d built a jetty. They’d been doing exploratory borehole drilling above the, where the pipelines and the cooling water intakes were going into. So there had been a lot of sediment disturbance going on. And I found that over the three years, when that had been taking place 2016 through to 2018, and that 2018 monitoring might just have caught the dredging that they did that I actually told you about after our Dubai.

Tim Deere Jones

02:29:01

But I found that over that period, concentrations of radioactivity at the shoreline began to increase. And the gamma dose rate at the shoreline actually went up by 215% to representative person. So I tabulated that and reported it and postulated that this 215% increase might have been as a result of the disparate disturbance of the sediment in the Bristol channel because of the construction activity taking place. Now, the one thing that gave me confidence in that postulation was the fact that in the official conducted at the powers around the power station sites, if anything happens within the station, you know, the operation of the station, which causes a rise in the amount of radioactivity discharged from the stations, the monitoring authorities will always report it as an explanation as to why the radioactive concentrations and the doses have gone up. So in this particular case, this work I’m talking about, there was no such reporting.

Tim Deere Jones

03:30:13

So there was no given reason why that dose rate should have gone up by 215%. And therefore I felt fairly confident in saying, well, it’s most likely that that was a result of the dredging activity or the construction activity disturbing sediments in the Bridgewater bay and affecting the local environment. So, but if that was the case, as a result of the disturbance by dredging on the local coast, then if you took that over to the cart, if site where the dumping took place and say, oh, okay, so you drop 120,000 tons of radioactively contaminated sediment into the water, close to the cart. If shoreline, then you might expect to see rising concentrations of radioactivity and you might expect to see rising dose rates. They’re parallel with what happened on the dredge salt.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:31:08

We’ll continue with part two of this week’s featured interview, including even more shocking revelations of nuclear duplicity in just a moment. But first as you hear, pro-nuclear propaganda just keeps coming thick and fast setting up talking points that the casual reader or legislator will catch in headlines and absorb as gospel truth. When it’s really just the opposite. What is there to counter the lies of the nuclear industry, all the money and influence and smug, smarmy talking points that would be nuclear hot seat for more than 10 years. This show has been one of the only places where you can get a one-hour hit of honest nuclear information every week interviews with genuine experts around up of international news, never enough time for all the stories that deserve it. But we do try numnuts of the week, bad puns, sometimes a touch of musical theater. Where else can you find all this in a weekly counterbalance to nuclear industry lies as with all groups that go up against nuclear, we operate on a shoestring budget and are completely dependent upon you, the listeners to keep us going.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:32:21

That’s why if you’ve come to value, nuclear, hot seats work, the time to support us with a donation would be right now, we make it easy for you to do, just go to nuclear, hot seat.com and click on the big red donate button to help us with a donation of any size. You can also set up a recurring donation as little as $5 a month here in the U S that the same as a cup of coffee and a nice tip to a barista. So if you value the nuclear information, you get every week from nuclear hot seat and want to help it continue. Please do what you can now and know that however much you can help. I am deeply grateful that you are listening and that you care. Now, back to this week’s featured interview with Marine biologist and researcher, Tim, dear Jones, he had just revealed that the radiation dose rate for people living on the Cardiff coast of Wales had a 215% increase after the dredge and dump of Hinckley points, radioactive waste with no accident or radiation release at the nuclear reactors in the area reported that would account for such a dramatic increase in the populous is exposure to radioactivity.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:33:31

Were there statistics for that, or was that something that you went and investigated?

Tim Deere Jones

03:33:35

I constructed statistics on that and we didn’t know quite what to do then, because remember we’re small underfunded, citizens, campaigning groups, you have to raise money, you have to get things going, and then you have to do the more yourself. You can’t pay people to do it, and you haven’t. So there we were, and we put that out and that rumbled on through 2019, into early 2020, and in 2020 through to 2021, there was a long silence. The nuclear industry contested my postulations that I’ve just discussed, but the arguments they proposed were pretty feeble really, and didn’t really hold water. And, and I pursued the argument and then they just disengaged, which is a common trick that we see in the UK. If you’ve got something strong in cases of inflammation and data, then they just disengage from it and they don’t discuss it. And they just ignore it, which is easier and better for them than trying to engage in a debate with you and losing the debate.

Tim Deere Jones

03:34:36

So they just, they just shut up and, and Neff me having done that piece of work well towards the end of 2020, there is things began to happen. And one was that it became slowly apparent that things had got very difficult for them in Wales because the other companion group that I mentioned called Geiger bay, which started up in late 2018, early 2019, began to make some good publicity and initiate a court case with one of the leading environmental lawyer groups in the UK. And actually as it happened, that court case never actually took place, but it very nearly deed. And one of the problems was a lack of money of course, for us, but it did scare the Welsh government. Well, it did make the Welsh government think about things. And another thing that happened was that we got a new first minister in Wales who was a bit more anti nuclear than his predecessor.

Tim Deere Jones

03:35:36

And he eventually was bullied by all of us, into calling an expert committee of academics. Some of whom actually came from my old university in Cardiff to discuss these issues. And they eventually issued a quite precautionary report through 2020 saying that there were issues of concern here. They didn’t actually say you must do further work and kind of implied that there were reasonable grounds for requesting further work to be done. As campaigners. We thought that was very helpful and very useful. And we awaited developments to see whether the nuclear company would come back to finish their 300,000 ton dump and drainage. And then early in 2021, having said previously that they had to use the card their site, because it was the only one in the Bristol channel that was big enough and suitable for disposing of these large quantities of radioactive mud. They came back early in 2021 having identified another site on the English side at a place called port his head, very close to Bristol city. And they put in an application to dispose of 600,000 tons. This time of radioactive waste there.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:37:00

What was the result of this new information and this proposal for a new site and where do things stand now?

Tim Deere Jones

03:37:09

When that happened? I have been working long-term with certain citizens campaign groups on the Somerset coast anyway, so we quickly got a coalition together. I wrote up a fairly detailed submission about why port is head and the new dump was a bad idea as well, reiterating the same concerns that I had over the Welsh one. We circulated that as a warning document, if you like to a number of organizations throughout Somerset, including local authorities and the inshore fisheries conservation association on that side of the coast, asking everybody really to ask the English, environmental agent responsible for discussing these licenses, which is the Marine management organization, otherwise known as the MMO asking them to hold off until there was baseline data, how much radioactivity was there on this other coast near the dump site? What was the radioactive dose to local people? What was the radioactivity in the seafoods and the sediments and so on and so on?

Tim Deere Jones

03:38:18

Where would that radioactive mud go after it was dumped at the Newport, he said, site and asking for a complete and utter a full environmental impact assessment on the dump site, which has never been done in either of the dump sites, asking for the Marine management organization to refer the license application to the relevant minister of the Westminster government, who does have the power to call a public inquiry and hold an open, transparent public inquiry at which scientific evidence can be given and heard and discussed and giving a number of other issues, details about the issues like the failings in the official monitoring techniques.

Libbe HaLevy 

03:39:07

And when you submitted that extensive list of requests, if not demands, what was the response you got to it?

Tim Deere Jones

03:39:16

I submitted my very large document, a number of other organizations, as I said, including individuals, campaign groups, local authorities, and fisheries conservation authorities submitted documents containing kind of broadly similar concerns. I’d managed to get the consultation process extended for two weeks. So normally it’s a six week process. So we got it extended for eight weeks. So it finished in the second week of April. The UK government recommends that public consultations on issues like this should be closed, sealed, publicized, and reported within 12 weeks of the closure. Well, you know, 17 weeks down the line, we’d still had nothing. I hadn’t even had an acknowledgement of the fact that I’d submitted these, these documents and a number of the other groups who submitted documents also did not get an acknowledgement. So during that summer, while we were waiting for the Marine management organization to do its deliberations myself, and one of the campaigning groups, we took our own sediment samples.

Tim Deere Jones

04:40:23

We managed to raise some money. We took our own sediment samples from both the wealth site of the Bristol channel and the English side of the Bristol channel, including samples from sites, very relevant and very close to the dump sites. And we sent them away to an independent radiological and analyst laboratory in France, well away from the influence of the British government and asked for analysis to be done. I then wrote to the Marine management organization who were considering this new license application and said to them, we’ve done this now. I formally request that you hold off on your decision making process until we have this information from the radiological analysis. And you can then input that information into your decision-making process. Well, within two days they had publicly announced that they granted the license to EDF to do the dumping. So I think that they were quite happy to hang about delaying and so on and so on.

Tim Deere Jones

04:41:29

But as soon as I said that, I think that triggered them and they thought, right, we were better. We better make the decision and publicize it before these guys come up with their radioactivity data, which might throw a spanner in the works. So that’s what happened. They granted the license within two days of me having sent this letter. And I can tell you that in the intervening process, we had been watching all the docs around the Bristol channel, and we had seen the nuclear companies contracted dredgers ships arriving. And some of them had been in the Bristol channel for well over two or three months. And so again, they were obviously very confident that they were going to get their license because they were paying those boats to sit in the docs, doing nothing until the actual announcement was made. So that’s, that’s where we are Libby. And the dredging has now started as being now, being going to the it’s halfway through August. Okay.

Libbe HaLevy 

04:42:31

Okay. Stop, stop there for a second. Let me catch my breath. That’s just horrific. What if any response has there been from the local populations and do they even know about it? Has there been any media coverage of this

Tim Deere Jones

04:42:47

From the media point of view? We are very disappointed. We have had very poor coverage considering the weight these matters have on both the Marine environment, the Marine wildlife, and the coastal populations, because this is not just, just a sideline here. This is not just an issue of the radioactivity washing around in the water. One of my expertise is this is actually in the Cedar land transfer of Marine pollutants. And I know from studies that I reviewed elsewhere and work that I’ve done myself, that Marine radioactivity can in conditions of breaking shoreline waves, Marine radioactivity can blow a shore and travel at least 10 miles in land. And some of the radio nuclides in question like plutonium and its sister nuclear Amaris, both of which are alpha remitters and very powerful. Should you actually get them inside your system? They can actually be magnified relative to ambient seawater in this process by several hundred times.

Tim Deere Jones

04:43:53

So it’s a potentially quite significant phenomenon. So those are the things that we were worried about. And we tried to publicize this through the media. And basically one of the responses we got was a relatively small amount of print in any story, covering our side of it. And usually about two-thirds more covering the pro nuclear side and ample opportunity for nuclear protagonists and supporters to, to call campaign as liars to say that we were ignorant people who didn’t know what we were talking about, that we were not qualified to speak on these issues and that we were alarmist. So when you know, I spoke about how radioactivity transfers from the seat of the land and can be magnified in the process by several hundred times that was alarmist and scaremongering. But I mean, that, wasn’t my work that was actually work done in the seventies, by the nuclear industry, which showed that.

Tim Deere Jones

04:44:53

So we were very disappointed, really both on the wealth side and on the Somerset side and even more so on a national UK wide basis that we got very little coverage. And the coverage that we did get was, was negative and biased, and often quoted people who were quoted as being independent experts. But when I delved into it, I found that they were all one way or another in hock to the nuclear industry. So we, we, you know, we were deeply disappointed, but the petition, the initial petition that I, I started in 2017, although it was a, a purely Welsh government petition, it did get 7,000 signatures. And on the back of that, two other petitions were launched by large campaigning petition bodies. And in total, in the year of 20 17, 20 18, we got 157,000 signatures, which was pretty good going really considering the whales and north Somerset are not the most populated areas of the UK. So we were quite pleased about that. And on social media, it was very obvious that there was a good understanding amongst and people who were following the story about what was happening, but that, that good understanding and that strong public support was not adequately represented by the mass media.

Libbe HaLevy 

04:46:18

So where do you go from here? What is the next step? What are you attempting to do? Is there anything that can be done

Tim Deere Jones

04:46:29

Now we’re in the situation where we’re having the second dredging and dumping is taking place, the license, which was recently issued this year, this summer by the Marine management organization to the nuclear company, permits them to dredge off the Hinckley site and to Dumbo port is head this summer and next summer that’s in order to get rid of their 600,000 tons, because of course, having only done a partial Drake in 2018 and then left it for two years, the hole that they dredged had naturally enough filled up with sediment because nature abhors a vacuum. And if you dig a hole in a fine sediment area, it will fill up with more sediment. You know, they’ve just made it, made the matter worse by leaving it alone. Anyway. So, so where we are now is that we have had the first four samples of our independent baseline sediment sampling program carried out this summer.

Tim Deere Jones

04:47:34

We’ve had them analyzed. And what they have shown is that in areas distant from the nuclear power plants, we have what are commensurate with the highest concentrations of radioactivity monitored by the official people. So when the official people monitor very close to the nuclear power station, they get double figures, folk backgrounds to the kilogram of cesium, for instance, and then as they stretch it away, the concentrations decline with distance from the station. What we have the first thing to say is that we’ve got four sediment samples, one from Portishead, the dumps, the new dump site, one from Bristol docks, which is just upstream of the new dump site. One from the Welsh side of the Bristol channel at distance from Cardiff and one from very close to Cardiff. Now all of the, for the card, if one has the highest radioactivity levels, and there is no known source of the cesium, 1 37 and Amaris seem to fall one in the immediate card of area.

Tim Deere Jones

04:48:42

So I am therefore postulating that the fact that we have the highest levels is due to the mud dump in 2018, because there’s no other explanation as to why we should have highest levels there at the most distant site, from the nuclear power stations, except for the 120,000 tons of radioactive mode that was dumped there a couple of years ago. So that’s one of the thing. Secondly, we are asked for our material, cause I had constantly been saying, look, the official monitoring is done with what’s called gamma spectrometry. So it only identifies gamma images and it won’t identify alpha emitters or pure beater emitters. So I can’t do anything about that because beta and alpha analysis are very, very expensive and we couldn’t afford it. But the other problem with the official monitoring is that they only count the spectrometry for 15 hours now, right through the whole process of complaining to the authorities and submitting evidence.

Tim Deere Jones

04:49:45

I have pointed out that academics, plenty of academic university papers published in peer reviewed Marine pollution journals that say, if you count your radioactivity samples for a longer period, you get a more accurate result. So we asked our independent laboratory to count our samples for 3.5 days. And that’s, I think another reason why we’ve got relatively high figures at such distances from the nuclear power station outfalls. And I suspect that if we could get samples of our own from close to the nuclear power stations and have them analyzed and counted for 3.5 days, the figures that we we would get would be much, much higher than the figures that the official monitoring producers and the official monitoring is based on the Alara principle, which is as low as reasonably achievable. And when you delve into what does as low as reasonably achievable me, one of the major factors is not entailing access in cost compared to the potential benefits of the nuclear power.

Tim Deere Jones

05:51:07

So of course, pro you hear governments are all saying nuclear power is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful for you. But at the same time, they’re saying, oh, well, if we do 3.5 day counts on all the samples we take and analyze them, it’s going to cost us a note of money and reduce the profitability of our exercise through. Certainly I can tell you over the last 20 years, what the nuclear industry and the regulators in UK have been doing, they’re perpetually on a cost cutting exercise. And so I think we have already discovered two things as a result of our sediment sampling. One is that the methods they’re using are cheapskate and are going to give them results, which are beneficial to them, but are not going to actually be telling the ground zero truth about what’s really happening. And secondly, that there is no other reason for the relatively high figures that we got in the car they’ve sought sediment sampling site, other than the fact that it was just, just next to the dump site, which was used in 2018.

Tim Deere Jones

05:52:08

So that’s where we are at the moment, what we could do. We don’t know we are now exploring legal avenues and trying to see if we could a raise the money to take a legal case, arguing that the nuclear industry companies and the governments should have carried out an environmental impact assessment at the dump sites, which would have answered all our baseline questions, but they say, oh, no, no need to do that because we did an environmental impact assessment. But actually when you dig into that, you find they did an environmental impact assessment for the whole project, the building and the running of the reactor and the long-term gaseous discharge is an aquatic discharge, but they didn’t do anything specifically about the dredging and the dumping. So we’ve been lied to, and that’s our only option at the moment is to see if we can get the nuclear industry and the regulating agencies critiqued by judges and the legal system for not carrying out an environmental impact assessment. And maybe in the long run, actually get a stock on the project until an environmental impact assessment is conducted.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:53:23

Tim. This has been an extensive jaw dropping and mind boggling report. What I’ve only seen the edges of from news reports, which are the source of so much information on nuclear hot seat. And you’re right. It has not been covered in any extensive manner. Certainly not as extensive as you just provided for us. I want to thank you for this. I wish you every success as you and the others move forward to getting some justice and an appropriate environmental impact assessment and keep us informed for now. Thank you for being my guest this week on nuclear Hotsy

Tim Deere Jones

05:54:08

Last year levy, thank you very much and more power to your, your elbow and the work you’re doing too. It’s very valuable. And we’re always interested to see and hear what you produced. Thank you, Libby.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:54:19

That was indomitable Marine biologist and researcher Kim, dear Jones for reporters who wish to interview Tim and those who wish to contact him to help support his work. You can send a message on Facebook or email [email protected] We’ll have the link up on the website. And if there’s some young person in the UK who can help him with his online presence, contact him and offer support because it’s really important that he have better ways to get the word out

Libbe HaLevy 

05:54:59

With the United nations climate change conference or cop 26 coming up in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31st and November 12th. There are a lot of great webinars, articles and videos being posted. We don’t have time for all of them, but some of the basics that will help you out are posted on the website and include an excellent 10 minute video by N E I S on why nukes are not a solution to climate change. The video is so effective. They’ve already gotten requests to translate it into German, Turkish and Hungarian. There’s link to a clear, concise article by Tim Hudson of NIRS on those exact same talking points about why nuclear is not a solution to climate change. And there’s also a 10 minute video by Dr. Arjun Maka, Johnny, on how the us can transition completely to renewables with no loss of power. And the international uranium film festival is offering eight films online for free between now and Sunday, September 19.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:56:03

You can find [email protected], and that will be linked as well. Finally, I’ve gotten a first look at the completely reconfigured and rebuild nuclear hotseat website, and it’s a, wowser more details in the coming weeks. This has been nuclear hot seat for Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 material for this week show has been researched and compiled from nuclear-news.net domain renard.wordpress.com beyond nuclear.com and eis.org, nears.org and IRS the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, or I can.org don’t bank on the bomb.com Arnie Gunderson and fairwinds.org in false climate resolutions.org, NHK that O R D J P news 20 four.com practical mechanics.com and the captured and compromised by the industry. They’re supposed to be regulating nuclear regulatory commission. If you’d like to get nuclear hot seat delivered by email every week, it’s easy. Just go to nuclear hot seat.com, go to the yellow opt-in box in your first name and an email address, click and you’re set up.

Libbe HaLevy 

05:57:18

And if you’ve got a local nuclear issue that I don’t know about, let me know. We’d love to cover it for the show. Be your suggestion, a story lead, a hot tip, or a suggestion of someone to interview, send an email to [email protected] And if you appreciate weekly verifiable news updates about nuclear issues around the world, take a moment to go to nuclear, hot seat.com and look for that big red button, click on it, follow the prompts and anything you can do will help us out. And we’ll really appreciate it. This episode of nuclear hot seat is copyright 2021 Leiby Halevi had hardest street communications, all rights reserved, but various allowed. As long as proper attribution is provided. This is Leiby Halevi of heart history, communications, the heart of the art of communicating, reminding you all things nuclear create radioactive waste, which can cause cancer for more than 240,000 years, which is like forever. So there you go. You’ve just had your nuclear wake-up call. Now don’t go back to sleep because we are all in the nuclear hot seat,

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05:58:30

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