Having received an anonymous letter regarding laundry from Sellafield being outsourced to Lillyhall, RaFL did a fact check. We researched Public Sector Tenders and found that Shortridge Laundry has indeed been awarded a 50,000 to 600,000GBP contract for towels and workwear.
Having checked out that the anonymous letter has truth in it, Tim Farron MP and the Environment Agency were contacted and a blog posted.
Shortridge tell us that they have been washing Sellafield laundry for 4 years on a contingency basis i.e. when the power is insufficient (from Fellside Gas power station) at Sellafield, the washing is outsourced. Highly Active work wear and towels go to Wales and the Non Active laundry of towels and underwear goes to Shortridge at Lillyhall. Shortridge do not have a discharge license or any means of monitoring the laundry once it reaches them, relying wholly on Sellafield to monitor and we know that they always get it right!
Shortridge are understandably angry that we have drawn attention to their contract with Sellafield and asked that the original blog post be taken off immediately. What we feel is deeper than anger, Shortridge is a business looking at the bottom line, they see themselves as “innocent bystanders.” At Lillyhall, a previously non nuclear site, Nuclear Studsvik is now recycling radioactive scrap metal, radioactive waste from Chapel Cross and elsewhere is now going into landfill and Shortridge is now washing nuclear laundry. Government, the regulators and the nuclear ‘industry’ are actively encouraging private business to take government contracts often under the guise of “decommissioning.” The result is new pathways for accidental and routine release of radiation into the wider environment of Cumbria away from Sellafield. Why is there no contingency laundry with its own generators on the Sellafield site? A cynic might suspect that the nuclear industry is deliberately trying to annihilate Cumbria’s reputation as an attractive and healthy tourist destination so that all we are left with is the “huge opportunity” of the worlds largest nuclear dump and new nuclear developments. Barbed wire, security wall and armed guards around the whole of Cumbria? If tourism is most at threat from the nuclear industry’s agenda then it is clear that the nuclear agenda in Cumbria is most at threat from tourism. Baroness Verma’s promised “Brand Protection” is meaningless and has the added benefit for government of being the scapegoat to detract from nuclear if the tourist industry crashes i.e. the “brand protection strategy” has failed.
The only brand protection worth having is to ensure that Sellafield is banned from contracting out pathways (whether thats a mega nuclear dump or nuclear laundry) that allow the accidental or routine release of radioactivity to the wider environment.
(letter and contract withheld – available on request)
Online references to Contract