Fire Earth

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Posts Tagged ‘Irish Sea’

Elevated Radioactivity Prompts Partial Shutdown of UK’s Sellafield NPP

Posted by feww on January 31, 2014

Sellafield nuclear processing plant detects “elevated levels of radioactivity”

Operators of the 68-year-old Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant said on Friday they had detected elevated levels of radioactivity at the site and ordered all non-essential workers to stay at home.

Sellafield, located in Cumbria, about 450km NW of London,  is the largest nuclear site in Europe and employs more than 10,000 people.

The plant is currently being decommissioned at an estimated cost of about $115 billion (£70bn). The cost will be born by the British taxpayers.

A level III (out of seven) incident on the International Nuclear Event Scale occurred at Sellafield’s Thorp plant in April 2005, when radioactive material escaped from a toxic waste storage area.

Sellafield Nuclear Processing Plant.  Elevated levels of radioactivity triggered an alarm prompting partial shutdown. Source: Sellafield Ltd. Image may be subject to copyright.

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EU Cod Stocks Facing Collapse

Posted by feww on October 31, 2013

Cod and whiting in the West of Scotland risk  collapse: EU Fisheries Commission

The European Commission has proposed a continued ban in 2014 on landings of cod and whiting off Scotland’s Atlantic coast in an attempt to avert a collapse.

“Cod stocks in the Irish Sea and the Kattegat continue to be in a dire state…  Sole in the Irish Sea is at extremely low levels. Advice for haddock in the Celtic Sea demands a considerable TAC cut … Cod and whiting in the West of Scotland, subject to extremely high rates of discarding, are at a risk of collapse.” EU Fisheries Commission reported.

Cod stocks off most parts of Britain, Ireland and in the Bay of Biscay are also in a dire state, which means quotas should be reduced by up to 30 percent, according to the Greek EU fisheries commissioner.

Cod - Gadus morhua
Cod – gadus morhua. The British fish and chips industry is heavily dependent on cod, the country’s most consumed fish. International disputes over the prized species has so far led to two rounds of naval clashes between Britain and Iceland in the 1950s and 1970s.

“For stocks where data is not good enough to properly estimate their size, the Commission proposal reflects the advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to adapt the TAC up or down by a maximum of 20%. Following a Council decision last year on precautionary reductions, TACS are proposed at the same level as in 2013 for 21 of these stocks,” said the Commission.


  • Total allowable catches (TACs) are catch limits that are set for most significant commercial fish stocks. TACs are proposed by the EU Commission on the basis of scientific advice on the state of the stocks concerned and decided on by the Council of Fisheries Ministers.
  • TACs are set annually for most stocks and every two years for deep sea species.
  • The TACs are shared between EU countries under a system known as ‘relative stability’ which keeps national quotas stable in relation to each other.

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Irish Sea earthquakes send tremors across British Isles

Posted by feww on August 26, 2013

Earthquakes felt both in Ireland and the UK

Two earthquakes struck in the Irish Sea early Sunday, said the British Geological Survey.

The strongest shock measured 3.3 on the Richter scale at a depth of about 5km some 25km off the coast of Blackpool at 10.58am (BST), and was reportedly felt by people on the British mainland.

An earlier quake measuring about 2.4 magnitude at a depth of 3km occurred about 4 hours earlier.


“The Irish National Seismic Network , which monitors seismic activity, has said that today’s earthquakes were ‘most likely the result of glacial rebound, the process whereby stresses built up the weight of glaciers from the last Ice Age are slowly released,'” said a report.

“It was not as strong as the Irish Sea earthquake on May 29th this year. The epicenter of the quake, which registered at magnitude 3.8, was 15km away from the town of Abersoch in Gwynedd, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.”

A magnitude 4.0 quake struck the Iceland Region (62.90°N, 25.18°W) on Sunday at 07:00 UTC.

Local geologists would be advised to investigate connection between those quakes.

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