I\’m not competent to judge the method that this would be Green MEP has used to do his calculations. But I\’d just point to two things:
1) However, this value of 330Bq/kg is for high-uranium granite areas like Dartmoor and Aberdeen, so this statement is highly misleading. 330Bq/kg is far too high for normal soils (Eisenbud and Gesell 1997, NCRP94 1981). Data is available for background Uranium in the UK from the Environment Agency 2007 report (Beresford et al 2007), as the authors must have known. The range of Uranium activity given in that report for the area is 1.6 to 2mg/kg or about 18-24Bq/kg. The map of Uranium levels from Beresford et al 2007 is reproduced in Fig 2. High levels above 100Bq/kg are only indicated in the granite areas. We conclude (conservatively) that the levels of Uranium (below 0.4 m depth) in the EDF survey site are up to 40Bq/kg greater than expected.
That is, that if the contamination by enriched uranium is exactly as he\’s calculated it to be, the power station has made one corner of Somerset as much as 10% more like another corner of Somerset: radiation levels at Hinkley Point have risen by 10% (ish) of the natural radiation levels on Dartmoor.
Decide for yourself how big a problem this is.
2) an increase of 40Bq/kg over the background natural uranium represents about 10 tonnes of uranium which must have been added from the historic releases
Again, if his calculations are correct, 10 tonnes of uranium has been deposited on the site.
A 1,000 MW coal-burning power plant could have an uncontrolled release of as much as 5.2 metric tons per year of uranium (containing 82 pounds (37 kg) of uranium-235) and 12.8 metric tons per year of thorium.
We\’d have to play around a little with the numbers (note, he does not say 10 tonnes U235, he says 10 tonnes enriched uranium, and we don\’t know what the level of enrichment with U 235 is) but it\’s not immediately apparent that those releases from a nuclear power plant are higher than those from a coal fired one. for do note, those coal figures are annual ones and Hinkley B has been running for 34 years now.
It\’s true that there shouldn\’t be such emissions. And it may be true (as I say, I don\’t know) that our Green friend has shown that there are emissions which there shouldn\’t be.
But by his own calculations, we can see that even if he is right, it\’s not actually important, the level of contamination. Even if we reject hormesis and so on, he\’s shown that the danger is around 10% of the danger of moving 30 miles to Dartmoor.