Albright’s toxic archives #21 Enriching Radioactive dusts- and the truth

Here are two very contrasting stories which tells you all that you need to know about Albright and Wilson the company and the chemical industry at large.

This relates to the decommissioning of the Portishead site near Bristol, where P4 was manufactured in the 1950’s and 1960’s. More about this coming very soon…..

It is alleged that Albright and Wilson began this process after 1972 when phosphorus production finally switched to the Longharbour plant in Newfoundland, that had been an unmitigated disaster due to pollution and plant problems. This had led to both the Oldbury and Portishead plants being restarted and continued for many extra months. Some of the scrap and phosphorus waste from the Portishead site presumably went into their satellite waste dump in Strode Road in Clevedon, but I’m not convinced that it all went there.

The following powder puff piece from the fairy story company magazine “Albright World” – (which was never a “bright” one with them in it) describes a factory visit by some taken in professor with a group of students. He is stated as praising their “environment ‘openness’ ” –WHAT A PILE OF BOLLOCKS! 

Quoted is serial AW spin doctor and former Oldbury Works manager Peter “Dr phosphorus” Bloore , a man who once told me that the material in rattlechain lagoon was “the stuff used in toothpaste”.


GLOWING with praise

Several claims are made within this magazine chemical fabrication, which I believe to be dated around the very early 1990’s, in a post Chernobyl world.

“The controlled” decommissioning … “involves decontamination of phosphorus and radioactive residues by employees and specialist contractors.”

“Dismantling and decontamination of the phosphorus furnaces, Peter explained actually started in 1972 , and most of the buildings have been removed.”

Bloore claims that the site would be restored to the condition it was in before Albright and Wilson started phosphorus production there, and that this would inspire residential development following sampling and monitoring. All a very neat precis and actually a complete pile of doctored PR bollocks.

If we rewind the clock a little earlier, here is what The Sandwell Evening Mail reported on 15th July 1989 “MIDLAND FIRM IS FINED ….FOR ALLOWING RADIOACTIVE DUST TO BLOW AROUND A DOCKSIDE SITE.” 

Albright and Wilson were fined £10,000 for their environmental failures at Portishead.

Albright and Wilson admitted five offences under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Phosphorus production dangerously enriches radioactive nuclides, as the study below shows. 


The issue was that the  material that they were handling was to recover phosphorus from the waste, but which instead they ended up enriching causing radiation danger to those workers and also the general public. This was a failure to adhere to regulations, and a health and safety failure in process.

This was small change for Albright and Wilson, but shows up the lying spin in Albright World for what it was- entirely to dupe their workers and make them believe that they were working for a company that cared about their health- the one that admitted five offences under the very Act designed to protect them! There is also the fact that Albright and Wilson had another site at the Gower Tip in Tividale which stated on application for site licencing that “some radioactive wastes” had been deposited there.

Neither the SL31 licence- Rattlechain or the SL32 licence Gower Tip state that the materials deposited there HAD TO COME FROM OLDBURY. In fact they could have come from anywhere across the country, from any of the Albright and Wilson factories, especially those being decommissioned. Indeed if we are to take Bloores’s statement as truth, then if decommissioning started in 1972, then this would have allowed them at least two years to have dumped some of the worst stuff from Portishead up to Oldbury BEFORE licensing.

But fear not Albright and Wilson. At this point in history they had on board a prominent official in Robin Paul who was a  member of a clandestine organisation known as NIREX.

Nirex standing for Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive, was a body set up to explicitly find ways of dumping radioactive waste in deep well shallow graves. Whatever spin anyone else tries to put on this group , they are talking crap. 

Paul’s membership of this insidious body should come as no surprise when Albright and Wilson’s main problem were with expenditure on wastes and their disastrous waste pollution issues- such as this one at Portishead. Of course Albright and Wilson would be trying to dispose of their issues using this very body , and together with the others in NIREX , their little scheming and vile legacy was thankfully nipped in the bud and vehemently opposed.

Albright and Wilson had a site at Whitehaven very near to a well known nuclear site– both in the vicinity of AW rimmer John Cunningham MP- “industrial policy advisor”. One wonders if NIREX had continued, if this particular site would have made a profitable sell off for AW to dig some deep holes to dump some radioactive shite.

It’s when you start to make these connections that you see just how powerful Albright and Wilson were in lobbying and influencing policy for their financial gain from behind the scenes and out of the public eye. But it is something that the original family members had been doing themselves for many years earlier in the growth of their vile polluting factories.


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