Secret State 15: Why did BBC helicopter footage of flooding fail to show the threatened Cumbrian nuclear installations?

Secret State 1 drew attention to a 2011 report in the Guardian showing how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with multinationals EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse, to try to ensure that the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.

Three years ago DEFRA reported on the nuclear sites which are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion – see Rob Edwards in the Guardian – but politicians are not facing the risks. Today’s Drigg flood alert:

env header nuclear 3 drigg flood notice

Last year, the Guardian reported that in internal Environment Agency document, suggests that it was a mistake to position the Drigg radioactive waste site close to the Cumbrian coast because of the risk of flooding. In 2013 Drigg Railway station was closed due to the flooding and the area was also affected in 2014.

Ian Parker, the Environment Agency’s group manager in Cumbria said, after detailed technical examinations: ‘It’s highly probable the coast will erode and the waste (at Drigg) will be disrupted.’

nuclear marianne kirkbyMarianne Birkby who lives in the area, has been questioning the Environment Agency and the Department of Energy and Climate Change via the Freedom of Information facility about the condition of nuclear installations in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Earlier this month, she reports that the BBC helicopter relaying images of the devastation avoided showing areas in which nuclear installations are located: Sellafield, Drigg, Lillyhall and the proposed new nuclear plant on the river Ehen floodplain, Moorside.

In her blog she asks:” Why the journalistic omission?  Why are there no questions being asked about the breaching of Cumbria’s growing number of uncontainable nuclear installations which already leach “a controlled release of radioactivity” into groundwaters, marine holding tanks and such like?”

Answer: most mainstream media, including the BBC, depend on corporate or political favour for survival and become, to varying degrees, servants of the state.

nuclear Drigg beach main

Drigg Coast (above) is a special marine protected area of conservation – ideal for housing radioactive waste?

Government websites record that it has extensive sand dunes, saltmarsh, intertidal mudflats and sandflats and estuaries. The dune wetlands support other SSSI notified features including an amphibian assemblage with great crested newt, natterjack toad and dragonfly assemblage. They also provide an important environment for reptiles, breeding birds and invertebrates. Its politically-backed corporate neighbour – Drigg radioactive waste disposal site – may be seen below:

nuclear 2 drigg repository

Successive governments have also promoted risky and polluting nuclear and waste disposal industries, encouraging mass medication of the water supply. The current administration has permitted the latest abuse, fracking, and looks on supportively as the corporate drive to use the green belt for unnecessary ‘aspirational’ housing is underway. Approval for GM crops, though constrained by EU legislation, is another item on their agenda.

In 2016, will the public continue to tolerate politically backed corporate pollution – a threat to human and environmental health?

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Posted on December 27, 2015, in Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Environment, Government, Health, Media, Planning, Politics, Secret State, Vested interests and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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