Burning Wood is Reckless and Dangerous

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  1. Michael Ryan says:

    I’m very sorry to write that Dr Dick van Steenis died on 7 April 2013. The Times (16 April 2013) had his obituary on page 54.



    He’d been involved in many campaigns concerning health effects of combustion emissions both in the UK and overseas and was a key player in getting three major power stations closed down – two of which had been burning “Orimulsion” (Ince and Richborough) and the third (National Power’s Pembroke power station) wished to.
    It was the proposal to burn orimulsion at Pembroke which started his second career as a toxicologist and those with access to archive material from The Times will find the following in Nick Nuttall’s article of 20 March 1995
    “The Pru sues PowerGen in fuel row – The Prudential”

    “Orimulsion is a bitumen-based fuel from Venezuela that is being imported into Europe as a cheap alternative to coal. PowerGen, which is estimated to be importing 1.3 million tonnes of the fuel annually, is also burning it at the Ince station in Cheshire.

    National Power is trying to win approval to switch its Pembroke station from oil to orimulsion. But the fuel has come under fire from environmentalists, who claim that it is dirty. This month, Dick van Steenis, a retired GP and a member of the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales, raised controversy over the plan by claiming that childhood asthma cases could rise if orimulsion is burnt.

    Dr van Steenis, whose claims have been dismissed by National Power, says that emissions of nitrous oxides, gases linked with breathing difficulties, would increase fivefold. Burning orimulsion can also raise levels of fine particles and emissions of the metals nickel and vanadium, critics say.

    The High Court challenge, in which the Prudential and the farmer are seeking “substantial damages”, could undermine National Power’s plan and the fuel’s long-term future. Prudential is also seeking an injunction to stop the generator burning the fuel.”



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