Can’t Beat it Alone pt12 – Interview with ICI Trade Unionists

Interview with ICI trade unionists about Nirex plans for nuclear waste disposal, Billingham.

0:00 – Interviewer asks Maurice Eddy about the ICI plant. It is based around a now closed anhydride mine, produces ammonia, fertilisers etc and employs 2500 workers, 24 hour shifts

5:00 – While they deal with chemicals may are dangerous, these can generally be seen and smelt, unlike nuclear hazards. Announcement that Nirex was considering the former mine for nuclear waste storage had led to immediate mass meetings and formation of the BAND (Billingham against nuclear dumping) organisation. Pressure from the unions and BAND had led management to reject the proposals

13:00 – Interviewer asks if this is a standard TU issue, Maurice responds that it goes well beyond

17:00 – Sound cuts, silent scenes pointing to different areas of the site

21:00 – Interview continues on other side of site. Why was a former anhydride mine attractive for nuclear storage? Nothing specific about geology, merely a site hidden from view? John Johnston explains how the ICI plant had grown up from the 1930s around the mine which provided its main raw materials and the town of Billingham had grown around the plant. Now Nirex was only interested in the hole left behind

26:45 – Lessons to be learned from the success of the campaign. Maurice notes that organisations like BAND do not have the resources of Nirex and expects Nirex to try again in the future. John sees the government behind Nirex and as responsible for identifying this site.

32:00 – The campaign has politicised a lot of people and raised awareness of the broader role of unions

37:30 – More shots of site, its railway, the old minehead, pointing out the site that Nirex would have used

41:00 – Shots of interviewer re-asking his earlier questions

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