Category Archives: Geological Dump

Welsh MP says Cumbria should be the Nuclear Sacrifice Zone

People against Wylfa B

People against Wylfa B


The following is a message from colleagues in Wales at People against Wylfa B

A Welsh MP, Albert Owen has been pushing for Cumbria to be the nuclear sacrifice zone.

Please write, phone, tweet, email and let this  MP for Wales, Albert Owen know

that Cumbria is not willing to be the nuclear sacrifice zone . Lets show

solidarity with Wales, the only reason there is a ruthless push for

“geological disposal” here in Cumbria’s complex and leaky geology is to

facilitate insane new nuclear build in Wales and elsewhere.  


“Dear friends in Cumbria,

There is a story in today’s Daily Post, the paper which has the widest

circulation in Anglesey, about the government’s announcement yesterday

regarding bribing communities to accept a geological nuclear waste

repository. Our bright spark of a Labour MP for Ynys Môn, Albert Owen who

is rabidly pro Wylfa B, is quoted in the story saying the dump should be in

Cumbria because you have the necessary “skills set” there and it is his

understanding that the geology is suitable. You can view the story in the

Daily Post online.

Mr Owen’s e-mail is I’m sure quite a number of you

would like to contact Mr.Owen to challenge him on his outlandish assumption

regarding geology.


We in PAWB have strong links with the NFLA and Sean Morris, and the Stop

Hinkley gang. We have been down to two of their rallies in Somerset and

they have been up to one of ours in Llangefni. I think it is about time

that we got to know you in Cumbria better so that we can co-ordinate

campaigning and share ideas.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Best wishes,

Dyan Morgan

Co-ordinator PAWB, Pobl Atal Wylfa/ People against Wylfa B”


more info:

MP Albert Owen was given a free trip by GEHitachi to Japan at the end of June alongside Rhun

ap Iorwerth the Plaid Cymru Assembly member for Ynys Môn. They were over there for 5 days to cement the

relationship with GEHitachi and marvel at the wonders of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor. Even worse than

that was the fact that the Leader and two senior officers from Ynys Môn County

Council and two senior civil servants from the Welsh Government also went on the trip at the expense of the


CoRWM will be holding a public meeting on September 4 here in Ynys Môn. This will be the same sort of

meeting that was held in Workington.  We hope CoRWM will be given a good Welsh welcome and reminded that

a geological dump is unethical and unsafe ANYWHERE!

The first step to genuinely containing nuclear waste is to stop making any more.


BEACON REPACKAGED while Nuclear Waste Spews Out


Brian Cox Tweets "Very Good Day at the Beacon" 30th May 2014

Brian Cox Tweets “Very Good Day at the Beacon” 30th May 2014

Protest at The Beacon 30th May 2014

Looking at the Alternative Sellafield Story outside the Beacon- 30th May 2014

Looking at the Alternative Sellafield Story outside the Beacon- 30th May 2014


When the UK’s favourite celebrity scientist is roped in alongside a Government Minister to open a local museum you know something big is afoot.

The local museum is The Beacon, formerly run by Copeland Council. Copeland, like councils across the country have had their funding cut by central government. You might think that with Copeland being home to Sellafield, this area would be best placed to withstand the worst of the economic downturn. Instead it seems to be the very worst placed.

All essential services have been mercilessly cut.

From public toilets to the closing of The Civic Centre, nothing spared. Whitehaven’s popular Civic Centre was used by everyone from local theatre groups to Government led public meetings such as Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely. The ironically titled Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely Partnership was dissolved following Cumbria County Council’s momentous no vote on January 30th 2013.

Cumbrians thought that was the end of the nuclear dump plan. We thought that government would go back to the drawing board with their cunning plan to dump heat generating nuclear waste under Cumbria’s complex geology. But like Terminator it seems the “implementation of geological disposal” is unstoppable. Government ministers have certainly never tired of telling Cumbrians what a huge “opportunity” it would be. 

When the “huge opportunity” line didn’t seem to be working the carrot was changed to the perceived stick that “ new build will not happen unless we have geological disposal.”  Never mind that Cumbria, the most nuclear compliant community in the UK has said no several times. Never mind the complex geology and the fact that heat-generating wastes have never been successfully contained in a geological dump.ever…anywhere.

What a golden opportunity then to use The Beacon as a platform to repackage The Sellafield Story in order to make nuclear waste loveable. The Beacon is still funded out of the public purse, only now it is receiving government funds filtered through the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.


The Sellafield Story has some excellent photographs, archive footage, factoids and timelines. All this serves to give the impression of being open and transparent about Sellafield’s history.


Visitors are greeted with a big picture of a mushroom cloud to illustrate the industry’s origins as nuclear bomb manufacturer. The text is however careful not to mention that the Ministry of Defence and the operators of Sellafield, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are still wedded. The Nuclear Academy, along with partners the NDA, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), West lakes Renaissance and British Nuclear group officially commenced construction of The Nuclear Academy just up the road from the Beacon on 9th March 2007.


The Nuclear Academy describes itself as a “world class centre of excellence for nuclear skills development” including… defence!

Meanwhile the last generation of “defence” nuclear submarines look likely to be dumped, sorry, “decommissioned” at Sellafield. These factoids are just some of the high level omissions from The Sellafield Story.



Cumbrians are beginning to learn that “decommissioning” means dispersal to the environment. The exhibition has some snazzy computer games. One of these is to test smashing up radioactively contaminated buildings with a bulldozer. Curiously The Sellafield Story does not follow up on where the smashed up rubble will be dumped. Cumbrians were surprised to learn that Sellafield is routinely dumping radioactive rubble in landfill, not just any old landfill but ironically the one right next door to the Nuclear Academy in Lillyhall, Workington.

Sellafield was fined over £700,000 for illegally dumping 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into the landfill instead of newly classified “exempt” waste. The landfill operators got off not only scot free but with a license to dump a further 1 million cubic metres or more of radioactive rubble into the landfill’s spare capacity. 

Not only from Sellafield but also from Scotland’s Chapel Cross and elsewhere. Both European and UK Laws have been changed to accommodate the nuclear industry’s fly tipping.


There is just one column about protest and this rather ungraciously shows Bono smoking a cigarette on the beach at Sellafield in the 1990s during Greenpeace’s Stop Sellafield campaign which aimed to prevent the Thorp reprocessing plant going ahead.  At least Bono had free choice to smoke the cigarette. As a result of reprocessing activity and previous discharges, Cumbrians are exposed and unprotected from radioactive particles washing up onto our beaches with every tide. These particles include cesium, plutonium and americium. Young children and pregnant mothers are, as with all things nuclear at greatest risk of damage to health. Despite the incidence of particle finds increasing dramatically over the last few years, monitoring and retrieval has been cut back.


This is what Sellafield does in spades – it was the original purpose of the plant – to extract the bomb making material called plutonium from spent nuclear fuel. In recent years the rationale was to reuse the plutonium in MOX fuel – this was a catastrophic failure described in an internal government report as “not fit for purpose” after racking up £2bn in debt and polluting the environment.


However, the Sellafield Story spins it: “a chemical operation called reprocessing, is used to separate the 3% of waste products. The 97% that is left is the uranium and plutonium which can be used again”.

Truth is, reprocessing actually increases the volume of nuclear waste by as much as 189 times compared with the original spent fuel. Virtually all the radioactivity ends up as massive and hazardous waste streams spewing out of Sellafield.


As well as the increased waste streams everything involved in the process becomes contaminated with radioactivity. This includes huge quantities of solvents and acids, containers, filters, machinery and even the fabric of the reprocessing buildings. The only reason trains and boats continue to bring spent fuel/nuclear waste to Sellafield is for the insanity of reprocessing.


While Brian Cox’s enthusiasm for the scientific dream of nuclear fusion is understandable, his endorsement of nuclear fission’s “business as usual but more of it” is dodgy.


Who needs fusion or fission anyway when increasingly renewables are outstripping nuclear. 

On opening The Beacon, Professor Cox gushed proudly that the nuclear industry has a “track record second to none!” That we can agree with…



Radiation Free Lakeland went along to the opening of The Beacon with their Alternative Sellafield Story from uranium mining to the plan for geological dumping. RaFL are all volunteers and activists giving their own time and expertise freely. Any donations go directly to campaigning for nuclear safety  ………Stop and Contain.





Professor Brian Cox Taking the Sellafield Lollypop

Prof Brian Cox taking the Sellafield Lollypop!

Prof Brian Cox taking the Sellafield Lollypop!

Prof Brian Taking the Sellafield Lollypop! “

If you understand statistics…you will be very comfortable with nuclear”

If a red hot poker were to be stuck in Prof Cox’s eye, then using the same statistical collective dose method that the nuclear industry uses he should be very comfortable with the heat over the whole of his body.

In real life radioactive isotopes bind to specific organs , caesium to the heart muscle, radioactive iodine to the thyroid, strontium to the bone etc

There are moves to further reduce measurement of  even the flawed ‘collective dose’ as a result of the increased exposure to radioactive fallout.


Brian Cox Pitching Nuclear Woo

Brian Cox Pitching Nuclear Woo in Cumbria

Brian Cox Pitching Nuclear Woo in Cumbria

Pitching Nuclear Woo

Pitching Nuclear Woo


Professor Brian Cox will be opening the Beacon on Friday and pitching nuclear woo The renowned celebrity Prof has said :  “The debate around nuclear waste is skewed and illogical at times. The nuclear waste is here, the problem is here, it isn’t going anywhere so it needs to be resolved now. New build will not impact on the storage solution; it will not contribute to the problem. I see it as an opportunity for a willing community, more than an issue.”. Rather bizarre that he thinks new build would not contribute to the problem, the waste would be even hotter from new build reactors and need an even larger area to store. Maybe that is why the plan for new reactors at Sellafield (Moorcide) would more than double the size of the already obscenely large site.

Given Professor Cox’s enthusiasm for the geological dumping of heat generating nuclear wastes, we wonder whether he will take the opportunity to urge fellow celebrity Beacon opening guest, Baroness Verma, to aggressively promote geological dumping under London Clay?

We will be holding a demonstration from 10am outside the Beacon

Please write to Professor Cox c/o The Beacon by Friday  1pm

The Beacon Museum
West Strand,
CA28 7LY

Tel: 01946 592302

sample letter:

Dear Professor Cox,

Given that Cumbrians have said no repeatedly to the plan for the dumping of high level nuclear wastes within complex geology with unpredictable water flow, will you be urging Baroness Verma to look elsewhere?  Instead of aggressively grooming Cumbria perhaps another area would be keen to be groomed to take up the opportunity?  I understand that the impermeable London Clay is viewed  as a potential ‘home’ for heat generating high level nuclear wastes.

yours sincerely,





30th May Baroness Verma and Brian Cox: Special Guests to Open the New Propaganda Vehicle for Sellafield

Brian Cox Nuclear Luvvie

Brian Cox Nuclear Luvvie

Baroness Verma Nuclear Luvvie

Baroness Verma Nuclear Luvvie


Professor Brian Cox and Baroness Verma will be the “special guests” opening Sellafield’s new propaganda vehicle The Beacon Museum. Radiation Free Lakeland will be at the opening of the Beacon on May 30th with interpretation panels and leaflets to give a flavour of the real “Sellafield Story.” From bomb making then and now, to infanticide and body snatching, human and animal.

We will have latest updates on the use of roe deer as “bio-indicators”  of accumulating radionuclides.

The News and Star reports:

“TV star and renowned scientist Professor Brian Cox is to help reopen a revamped west Cumbrian museum.

Prof Cox will assist Baroness Verma, of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, as she formally opens The Sellafield Story at The Beacon in Whitehaven on May 30.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Whitehaven to visit the museum.

“Science and engineering are vitally important and Whitehaven has a strong association with both through its historic links with the nuclear industry. Inspiration is the first step towards lifelong fascination, and I can’t wait to see just how inspiring the exhibition is.”

The new look Beacon – reopening following a pledge of £1.6 million over five years from Sellafield Ltd – will have one floor dedicated to the Sellafield story”.



Those concerned with nuclear safety will be at The Beacon on 30th May to protest the continued experiments on animals AND humans. The irony of the Beacon’s new tag line “absorbing”
is not lost on Cumbrians. With the plan for geological dumping, increasing radioactive particles on the beaches and plans for three new reactors on a 6km square greenfield and wildlife habitat site adjacent to Sellafield, we feel that we have absorbed enough!

Meet at 10am outside the Beacon – 30th May- bring banners – use your imagination – No Nuclear Dump, No Animal Experiments, Stop and Contain!

Bring Music, Bring Yourselves and RESIST!

Oh pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth that I am meek and gentle with these butchers!   W. Shakespeare

Oh pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth that I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
W. Shakespeare


Facebook Event Here

EU Candidates say YES to overturning the European Commission’s Nuclear Agenda

Nuclear in Europe

Nuclear in Europe


The nuclear agenda in the UK is being driven by the European Commission so Radiation Free Lakeland has written to EU candidates, here are the questions and the replies we have received back, interestingly none back from the Conservatives, Liberals or UKIP.

As a candidate for the EU elections we would be very grateful if you could
answer these 3 questions….

Q1 Will you work to ensure that the Geological Disposal Directive 2011/70 is overturned and that safety is put before finance and expediency?

Jill Perry NW Green Party Euro-Candidate: 

Yes we will work to overturn it. Green Party policy on radioactive waste is as


EN604 The long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste should be in

surface or  near-surface facilities. Facilities should be located as near to the

site where the waste is produced as possible. Developers will need to demonstrate

how the facilities will be monitored and how waste  packages, or waste, could be

retrieved. All long-term waste management options will be subject to robust

regulatory requirements.


Stephen Morris English Democrats NW  Euro Candidate



Helen Bashford – An Independence from Europe NW Euro Candidate

I will do everything in my power to help you stop this nuclear dumping

problem because of the reasons you have stated


Dr. Maria Aretoulaki – Pirate Party/Manchester NW Euro Candidate

One of our core principles is to put citizens’ rights over and above corporate and

lobby interests. So it follows naturally that we would veto any plan, let alone

decision, that generates any risk to public health and the environment, whether or

not it is associated with any other benefits (financial gain or expediency). We are

committed to collecting and analysing all the available data (e.g. from the only

existing geological disposal facility in New Mexico that you mentioned) in order to

decide on what the best, and not just the least bad, strategy or option is. It is

fortunate that EU member states are expected to produce a comprehensive waste

management plan by 2015, as this means that we can still be involved and influence

the consultation and the drafting of the plan.



Q2 Would you agree that Decommissioning should not mean dispersal of radioactive wastes to the environment and will you explore the possibility of a moratorium on the practice of Decommissioning?


Jill Perry NW Green Party Euro Candidate

Yes we oppose the recycling of radioactive waste and the policy of classifying

some wastes as exempt. The idea of a moratorium on decommissioning is new to me, but

I believe that it should be possible to do it better. Therefore I am not in

principle opposed to a moratorium and would consider it.


Stephen Morris English Democrats NW Euro Candidate



Helen Bashford   An Independence from Europe NW Euro Candidate

I agree with your sentiments on this aspect too , decommissioning

seems to be a box the government think they have just conveniently ticked


Dr. Maria Aretoulaki – Pirate Party/Manchester NW Euro Candidate

I too suspect that geological nuclear waste disposal facilities is only a short-term

solution which doesn’t take future (climatic / geological) developments or unknowns

into consideration. I suspect that such solutions are dangerous to both the

environment and public health (e.g. after unpredictable or even unregistered seismic

activity, or through the insidious permeation and contamination of water and land).

We are very much aware that nuclear waste is here and cannot just be wished away, so

a solution is both urgent and indispensable. We are, however, also very much aware

of and can very much sympathise with the concerns of the local people in Cumbria who

have to constantly live with the consequences of bad Government and private company

decisions of the past. So I fully agree that decommissioning should never mean

“dispersal” of radioactive waste to the environment! A moratorium on the practice of

decommissioning is much more challenging, however, as it doesn’t come with a solut

ion as to where the nuclear waste should go once a nuclear power station is closed

down (and we assume we will need to do that occasionally). We are of course prepared

and more than willing to explore all available / known options to identify the

safest and most long-term one, whatever the cost. Waste minimisation options would

be preferred, and of course minimising our dependence on nuclear energy and

depending as much as possible on renewable energies would be ideal in our view.


Q3 Given that in the real world there are no “waste eating” nuclear reactors (only industry PR pie in the sky Integral Fast Reactors ) and no “away” for nuclear waste (apart from dispersal to the environment) will you oppose Moorside?


Jill Perry NW Green Party Euro Candidate

Yes it is Green Party Policy to oppose the building of new nuclear power stations

including Moorside, and it is mentioned in the mini-manifesto.


Stephen Morris  English Democrats Euro Candidate



Helen Bashord An Independence from Europe NW Euro Candidate

Yes I would oppose Moorside if only because as you say there is not enough research & the companies

the goverment seem to be talking to have big

question marks over them.

Hope this helps & if I get elected I will try to do as much as I possibly can.


Dr. Maria Aretoulaki – Pirate Party/Manchester NW Euro Candidate

As I’ve already mentioned above, we are not satisfied with the current – seemingly

only – option of geological waste disposal. At the same time, temporary storage only

procrastinates and postpones the problem to the next decade or more. I was

personally very interested to hear of the -as you say potentially still pie in the

sky- Integral Fast Reactors solution, which if it ever works would be the perfect

golden medium (less waste, less environmental impact, shorter waste life, energy

efficiency and volume); but until then geological disposal and interim storage seem

to be the only option that we have. Regarding the site, I suspect the location is a

bad idea given the proximity to Sellafield as you point out. So even though I can

understand the need for such a site, in the absence of any other solution, I

understand even better your concern about the safety of the local people and the

potential impact on the environment, and the urgent need to give them priority over

the criteria of expediency that you rightly mentioned. So I fully support a reexamination at the

very least of the decision to use the Moorside site for this huge (and sinister)

“experiment”.    I wish I had more concrete counter suggestions to propose to you, something that I

hope anyone can achieve once they get access to all the relevant documents,

consultations and expert evaluations.


The Questions in full 


EU Elections: Don’t Mention the ‘N’ Word?

EU Commission wants to dump heat generating radioactive waste underground


Given that feelings are running very high on both sides of the nuclear argument it is incredible that the plans for decommissioning, geological dumping and nuclear new build have not got top billing in the EU elections.  Not only has nuclear not got top billing but we are lucky if it gets a mention.

Bearing that in mind and the fact that the nuclear agenda in the UK is being driven by the European Commission, Radiation Free Lakeland has written to EU candidates, we will post the answers when we receive them.

As a candidate for the EU elections we would be very grateful if you could
answer these 3 questions….

Geological Disposal
In Europe, the European Commission Directive 2011/70 Euratom states: “Deep
geological disposal represents the safest and most sustainable option as
the end point of the management of high level waste and spent
considered as waste.” This optimistic statement is not backed up by
science or evidence in the real world with the ONLY operational geological
dump leaking like a sieve in New Mexico. Under the Directive Member States
have to submit a comprehensive waste management plan by 2015. It is this
Directive that is seeing Cumbrians frogmarched along “steps towards
geological disposal” despite the geology and the likelihood that technical
problems with deep geological disposal will never ensure safe containment.

Q1 Will you work to ensure that the Geological Disposal Directive 2011/70
is overturned and that safety is put before finance and expediency?

Decommissioning – Dispersal to the Environment‎
The European Commission states that : “Large volumes of material are
produced during decommissioning and the environmental and financial costs
of disposal of this material as waste can be very significant.
Consequently, minimising waste is important in the management of these
projects”. In practice this means that in order to achieve “minimising
waste” the waste is reclassified as “exempt” and “High Volume Very Low
Level” this opens up the floodgates and has led to Sellafield dumping 3
bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste in Lillyhall
landfill. The private operators running the landfill HAVE NOT been
prosecuted. Sellafield has been prosecuted, the fine paid with public
money. As well as dumping radioactive rubble in landfill, decommissioned
metal wastes are melted down into scrap metal and sold onto the open
market in the only ‘metal recycling facility’ (MRF) in Europe, here in

Q2 Would you agree that Decommissioning should not mean dispersal of
radioactive wastes to the environment and will you explore the possibility
of a moratorium on the practice of Decommissioning?

Moorside -New Nuclear Build. This proposal for 3 nuclear reactors on a
vast area over 6km square area of beautiful land is adjacent to the
stockpile of nuclear waste and reprocessing plant at Sellafield. The
companies who designed and built Fukushima, Toshiba and Tepco have taken
no responsibility for that disaster but are in talks with the UK
government to build new reactors here in Cumbria and to “clean up”
Sellafield ( ie dispersal to the environment). The Irish National Trust
are taking the UK government to court over the decision to build new
nuclear plants that would further pollute the Irish Sea. Incredible then
that there should be a plan to build three reactors (burning uranium for
harder and longer with hotter wastes) right next to Europe’s most
dangerous nuclear wastes. Also incredible is the size – this would be
bigger than Sellafield’s sprawling 6km square site. Why? Is that to
shovel some of Sellafield’s “decommissioning” and reprocessing activity
onto fresh land?

Q3 Given that in the real world there are no “waste eating” nuclear
reactors (only industry PR pie in the sky Integral Fast Reactors ) and no
“away” for nuclear waste (apart from dispersal to the environment) will
you oppose Moorside?

We look forward to your reply,

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Geological Disposal
European Commission Directive 2011/70

New Mexico Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Leaking

European leaders are being misled over the safety of underground disposal
of highly dangerous nuclear waste which could poison groundwaters for


Moorside – New Build
The Site Plan