Save the Whale and the Snail: Stop Nuclear Waste Services Blasting the Irish Sea

Save the Whale and the Snail: Stop Nuclear Waste Services Blasting the Irish Sea

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Marianne Birkby started this petition to Nuclear Waste Services and

Seismic testing will begin this summer in the Irish Sea ...

....unless we can stop it.

THE PLAN: A ship in the Irish Sea will fire blasts of sound from air guns every 10 seconds for four weeks or more. This sound penetrates deep under the ocean floor to relay information about the geology.  The sound in the ocean from airguns can travel thousands of miles from the source.

WHY: Nuclear Waste Services (under the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) have been looking at the deep disposal of hot nuclear wastes. Under the Irish Sea is being actively considered. Seismic testing is preparation for: "Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility."  The CEO of West Cumbria Mining (currently focussed on coal) is advising Government on the digging of an enormous vault (or two) of 25km square.  These vaults would be used to "dispose" of nuclear wastes and this seismic survey is the opening salvo in the quest for sub-sea "disposal" of heat generating nuclear wastes.

WHO DECIDED? There has been no public consultation or vote, Nuclear Waste Services, Radioactive Waste Management, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the handful of people on the Mid-Copeland "Community Partnership" (who do not represent the public ) decided to green light the plan over the heads of the public.  Shearwater GeoServices have been contracted to carry out the seismic survey.  Their damaging airgun blasting has been successfully opposed, for example,  off the coast of South Africa "an incredibly beautiful and biodiverse zone and important migration area for sea life."

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? Not only could creatures like whales, dolphins and seals in the Irish Sea be harmed, but everything down to tiny shellfish and even plankton could be impacted. Effects from blasting, can cause  deafness to marine life and impair ability to navigate and find food.   The Irish Sea is a Marine Protected Zone because of its wealth of biodiversity and vulnerable species. 

Please sign and share with your family and friends and let the UK authorities know that that seismic testing of the Irish Sea for a deep nuclear dump is not acceptable. 

Save the Whale and the Snail!

 

(photo credit:   Silvana Palacios)

References:

"Surveys are due to take place off the coast of Mid and South Copeland for around three – four weeks this summer between July and August to deepen understanding about the nature of the deep rocks beyond the coast. This is part of the work required within the siting process for the underground elements of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)." Mid-Copeland Partnership https://midcopeland.workinginpartnership.org.uk/marine-geophysical-surveys-interview-with-the-project-manager/

"Seismic airguns create one of the loudest manmade sounds in the ocean. During seismic surveys, ships pull large arrays of airguns that release loud pressurized blasts of air through the ocean and into the seafloor. Noise from airguns can disturb, injure or kill marine animals from zooplankton, the base of the food web, to large whales. " Oceana

https://oceana.org/seismic-airgun-blasting-overview/

"Minke whales are generally spotted alone or in small feeding groups feasting on schools of fish or krill. They are what is known as a "gulp feeder", meaning they take a huge gulp of fish and push the seawater out through the baleen plates that line their mouths. You can sometimes spot minke whales lunge feeding into a school of fish near the surface." Living Seas North West  https://www.livingseasnw.org.uk/wildlife-explorer/marine/marine-mammals-and-sea-turtles/minke-whale

"investigation initially focuses on the deep geology within the inshore area up to 22km beyond the coast." Mid-Copeland Community Partnership https://midcopeland.workinginpartnership.org.uk/finding-a-suitable-site/

"The findings of the present study add to an expanding body of work indicating that marine invertebrates demonstrate physiological impacts and changes to behavioural/reflex capacity in response to exposure to anthropogenicaquatic noise. Negative impacts from seismic surveys have now been reported following simulated exposure in the lab-oratory, field exposure under controlled experimental conditions, and incidental exposure in the wild. "  Royal Society Publishing  https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspb.2019.1424

The government's strategy to overcome its failure to find a safe nuclear disposal site as follows:

*Wait 15 years, commissioning no substantive new research.
*Remove the right to future planning inquiries.
*Find a 'volunteer community'- i.e. West Cumbria.
*Remove evidence of the planning inquiry where possible.
*Present the inquiry failure as a local technical difficulty at one particular locality (Longlands Farm).
*Ignore the detailed national search carried out by the British Geological Survey in the 1980s.
*Pretend that we don't yet know enough about the area, geologically,  to rule it out.
*Ignore international guidelines and practice on repository safety.
*Wrongly claim that other countries have solved the siting problem by volunteerism, and ignoring the geology.
*Spend £1M per annum on PR in West Cumbria.
*Buy off local councils with bribes ('community benefit packages').

Prof David Smythe http://davidsmythe.org/nuclear/nuclear.htm

Sellafield (Radioactive) Particles Whats the Story? by the Environment Agency https://territories.eu/assets/files/dissemination-presentations/oxford-2019/CS03_Trevor%20Howards_EA%20UK.pdf   

Record number of radioactive particles found on the beaches near Sellafield https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/jul/04/radioactive-particles-beaches-sellafield    The Guardian

"The seabed here ranges from fine sand to mixed and coarse sediment, providing a home for a variety of animals such as anemones, sea urchins, bivalves (animals with paired, hinged shells), starfish, and bryozoans (“moss animals”). The site is especially important for the protection of subtidal coarse sediment habitats and the communities supported by them, particularly in deep water." Wildlife Trusts https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/marine-protected-areas/england/irish-sea

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