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To be really concerned that it looks like fracking is going ahead in West Sussex

(98 Posts)
frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 12:16:42

I have been learning more about fracking (due to Cuadrilla proposing to frack just up the road from me). It seems that there are so many risks attached and the impact of fracking is not fully understood yet. The impact of fracking is far greater than being just on one small Sussex village. The whole area will potentially be transformed by numerous wells and drilling pads. The proposed site is close to Ardingly Reservoir - which provides drinking water for thousands of people in the area and is surrounded by streams which feed the River Ouse. There are many reports of fracking contaminating water supplies - rendering tap water undrinkable and harming wildlife and farmland. But it looks like the government thinks it's ok! I need to know that my water will be safe and not full of radioactive waste, heavy metals or methane and I am not convinced that Cuadrilla or the government can say that they 100% sure that it will be yet it looks like they may get the go ahead - surely that can't be right?

Takingbackmonday Thu 13-Jun-13 22:38:34

Ys YABU

Green peace are vested interest and deeply corrupt.

We need shale gas.

Takingbackmonday Thu 13-Jun-13 22:39:52

The green agenda is a complete farce. Every job in the 'green' economy costs 3 in the real economy,

frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:46:19

There does appear to be a very cosy relationship between the Conservative Party and Cuadrilla :
gasdrillinginbalcombe.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/balcombe-mp-appointed-cuadrilla-director-to-government/
Is this info correct? It is just a blog...
Catgirl - I don't know what to say, it seems that they are going to go ahead regardless. I think we are not that far behind you down here. I think opposition is fairly strong, but people are just kind of trusting the processes - if the council say its safe and ok they'll go with it.

frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:49:23

we cross posted catgirl!

frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:50:51

Taking Back: Green Peace have a hidden agenda??

catgirl1976 England Thu 13-Jun-13 22:52:21

Great minds frazzled smile

Binkybix Thu 13-Jun-13 22:55:48

I don't know anything about fracking but if I were trying to find out unbiased info I would not rely on the company doing it or Greenpeace to provide that (at least not as exclusive source of info).

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 22:58:10

I actually think pesticides running off into the water supply is a huge problem frazzled and is tolerated at measurable levels before the water authorities react. Fluoride is probably far more harmful to general health as it is now thought to be associated with thyroid disfunction.

Do you really think that the release of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere would be permitted? Fracking does not necessarily produce radiation, it depends on the area. And estimates of radiation levels produced have been reduced. I assume if you are serious about reducing your exposure to reducing air pollution levels you inhale, you avoid travelling in traffic and live in a barely populated area (where radon gas is not emitted from the local rock or building materials?)

There are existing remains of shale from mining still on the surface in parts of the UK which are densely occupied, but they are not in the south east of England which has largely escaped such processes. Shale extraction is not new in this country, but again has not been a feature of the south east.

Do you think methane release from fracking would go anywhere near reaching the levels of methane gas released by cattle?

frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:03:38

Binkybix - I don't know where the unbiased info is. There's loads of info about how bad fracking is - personal accounts, facebook sites, anything related to the government has a political agenda, anyone related to oil has a financial agenda. The Royal Geological Society? Maybe they are the people who know?

Sallyingforth Thu 13-Jun-13 23:05:50

Frazzled why would they do that

Politics. Being dependent on Russia for our energy means we are reliant on their goodwill. If we upset them they can put up the price or turn the tap. We will be powerless (pun intended).

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 23:15:19

There loads of info about how bad anything is from those sources frazzled.

DrSnowman Thu 13-Jun-13 23:18:09

Well I would not trust Greenpeace to be even handed on oil / gas / radiation. Greenpeace has a vested interest in campaigning against oil / gas and nuclear.

The oil / gas industry does produce radioactive waste it normally has the code name NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material) or sometimes the code name TENORM for NORM which has been concentrated by an act of man.

NORM tends to be a bit more nasty than most of the radioactive waste from a nuclear reactor. NORM tends to include a lot of long lived alpha which can include radium/radon which has very nasty chemistry. The radioactive waste from a nuclear reactor is mostly shortlived beta which is less dangerous to health (alpha is 20 times worse than beta), the alpha activity in used nuclear fuel tends to be mostly plutonium which is far less dangerous than radium. Also the plutonium in used nuclear fuel is in a very non mobile form, the Pu in used fuel or MOX will not pass through soil or dissolve in water.

Both the beta and alpha active isotopes also have an equal likelihood of emitting gamma rays.

I think that people from the nuclear sector (both industry and the government regulators like the NDA) are more trustworthy than the Greenpeace people. Also another trustworthy group are university academics who work with radiation / radioactivity in their professional life.

frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:18:36

LessMiss - this is the type of pollution I'm talking about:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/09/epa-reports-fracking-groundwater-pollution
It doesn't say that the water pollution is caused by fracking, merely that it could be. But they don't know and it's highly political to say that fracking is the cause. More research is needed into the risks of fracking.
And in response to "do I really think it would be permitted?" - I don't think it would be allowed, but it doesn't mean that it couldn't happen by accident.
When and where exactly did they start fracking in this country?
Methane gas seeping into the water table is different to cows farting in a field.
I am not nutty about pollution, but the industrial waste water produced by fracking is an enormous quantity and the contamination levels are high.

frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:18:53

LessMiss - this is the type of pollution I'm talking about:
www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/09/epa-reports-fracking-groundwater-pollution
It doesn't say that the water pollution is caused by fracking, merely that it could be. But they don't know and it's highly political to say that fracking is the cause. More research is needed into the risks of fracking.
And in response to "do I really think it would be permitted?" - I don't think it would be allowed, but it doesn't mean that it couldn't happen by accident.
When and where exactly did they start fracking in this country?
Methane gas seeping into the water table is different to cows farting in a field.
I am not nutty about pollution, but the industrial waste water produced by fracking is an enormous quantity and the contamination levels are high.

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 23:24:12

Frazzled so what types of radiation are "they" talking about? What are the nuclear equations and predicted radioisotope half lives?

I assume you think that fracking in the south east of England is going to cause earthquakes, fire, floods and long term radiation poisoning. Is there any factual evidence to back up these fears, or are they just the normal psychological human reaction of part of the population to new technology, akin to fears that exploring beyond the horizon would at one time lead you to fall off the edge of the world?

I assume you are aware of the existence of the shale industry in the central belt of Scotland and the invention of paraffin by James Young?

DrSnowman Thu 13-Jun-13 23:24:14

Why should methane from a farting cow be any different to methane from a gas field.

It was shown years ago by some German man that molecules from plants/animals are not special when compared with the same substance when it was made from minerals.

DrSnowman Thu 13-Jun-13 23:26:53

The oil / gas wells might release some radium and radon, the radon tends to end up in the propane part of the gas plant.

Radium tends to stay in the water which comes out of the wells.

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 23:30:37

Dr Snowman Why should methane from a farting cow be any different to methane from a gas field

CH4 is Ch4, it remains a saturated alkane whether it comes from a farting cow or from under the ground, with the same boiling points, reactivity and flammability scale.

It is also a very low pollutant vehicle fuel.

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 23:31:43

And indeed radon is released from granite, which is the main building material in certain parts of the country.

frazzled1772 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:37:37

But LessMissAbs - would methane be a tasty healthy addition to the my water?
So radon gas is safe? - even if it comes up the well, spills all over the ground at the well head and gushes into the local stream and then into the river, into the reservoir? Then into the water supply? Really?

LessMissAbs Thu 13-Jun-13 23:41:46

I'm kind of lost for words Frazzled.

Redbindy Thu 13-Jun-13 23:59:16

Luddites are alive and well and living in Sussex.

MorganMummy Fri 14-Jun-13 01:08:40

frazzled,no, I know it's not just your backyard - I was sort of joking cos it's very very close to mine. I am not a fan. But I really don't know enough to evaluate the risk sensibly and see how cross to get, I will have to read up on it before the first earthquake.

frazzled1772 Fri 14-Jun-13 07:59:56

LessMiss and Dr Snow. You obviously have a lot relevant academic knowledge. I am going to look further into the chemicals that are used (by the thousands of gallons, to wash into the wells and also try to find out what comes back out again and how Cuadrilla manage this waste. If you would care to apply your scientific expertise to answer this particular question I would appreciate an educated view on the safety of these fluids. Thank you.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Jun-13 12:04:27

Frazzled I am absolutely not some kind of scientific academic (my field is a type of social science) - this is simply basic science knowledge that I gained at school. Its not my job to educate you about things like gas and air being different or the entire potential chemical reactivity of a range of substances. I don't have the time, but I suggest if you are interested, you do some general reading about the basic chemical elements such as carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and their properties, and then consider the issue of fracking.

My viewpoint remains that the small risk of potential harm can be managed and tested sufficiently so as to be outweighed by the potential benefits, that progress always involves some slight step into the unknown but these days plants and processes are so sophisticated compared to the past, and that fracking is a process that has been around for years.

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