Category Archives: Geological Dump

Nuclear Champion or Nuclear Conman?

Imperial College - Professor Robin Grimes

Imperial College – Professor Robin Grimes

Last night Radiation Free Lakeland joined representatives from Lancaster District CND and Lancaster residents in demonstrating outside the Storey Institute in Lancaster. In association with Lancaster Uni, Professor Robin Grimes from Imperial College, a leading “Nuclear Champion,” was giving a talk on “What Nuclear New Build Means to the North West.”

Professor Grimes came to speak to us outside saying “I’ve never had a demonstration outside where I’ve been speaking before.” He should come to the NW more often! There were only a few of us but listening to his cheerleading for the nastiest most vicious industry on earth, there should have been tens of thousands demonstrating outside.

Following our demonstration we went into the lecture. Professor Grimes asked for a show of hands early on to see who was supportive of nuclear. The audience was largely pronuclear . The dissenters at the Nurenburg rallies probably felt pretty much the same deeply horrified emotions as myself and my colleagues were feeling.

Professor Robin Grimes is the advisor to government select committees on all things nuclear. After some brightly coloured graphics on how nuclear reactors work and his enthusiastic cheerleading for the “nuclear renaissance” it is easy to see how attractively the bright shiny nuclear future can be presented to our gullible government ministers. With the right smoke and mirrors and the vacuum left by Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, the soundbyte that nuclear is “safe and low carbon” is all but unchallenged in the mainstream media and corridors of power. Those individual voices of dissent, true and committed as they are, are swatted away like annoying midges.

The most memorable quotes of the night from Professor Grimes were:

“Government needs to learn how to deal with the public”

“We will have the technology to carry out geological disposal, there is no technical barrier”

Nuclear waste is not an ethical issue

“The only barrier to next generation reactors/thorium reactors is cost”

“new build will not increase the footprint of Sellafield as it will be within the fences” (WHAT!!!! see here)

In a previous presentation for Imperial College, Professor Grimes has said that the Sellafield Magnox Sludge Ponds contain corroded Magnox cladding and Radionuclides that are “currently impossible to predict. AT PRESENT THESE WASTED CANNOT BE TREATED”

This is at odds with the hellish optimism we witnessed in Lancaster.  We suspect it is also at odds with what government ministers in Select Committees have heard from Professor Robin Grimes when they agreed to new nuclear build. There was no mention at all from the Professor on the environmental and health devastation that nuclear is known to cause, but which is not admitted by the industry or our colluding government.

Why aren’t the industry’s best scientists working to CONTAIN the wastes instead of working flat out and with public money to make EVER MORE?











Madness Continues…Another Government Committee to “Implement Geological Disposal”


Radiation Free Lakeland are not the only ones asking: Who are RWM?

Following the successful fight against  NIREX in the 90s and against MRWS  in 2013 , the latest incarnation is RWM – Radioactive Waste Management.

We assume that RWM  have done their homework and understand that
there is no safe “Geological Disposal Facility” (GDF) anywhere in the world.

The US Yucca Mountain proposal has just been ruled for about the third time as being too likely to suffer from earthquakes and subsequent meltdown.

The only operational “pilot” GDF in Mexico has recently experienced catastrophic fracturing of the containment vessels, releasing large amounts of lethal radioacitivity into the atmosphere and causing widespread public and worker health problems.

The Sellafield long term waste will remain contaminated
with radiation upwards of  thousands of years and continues to seep into groundwater under Sellafield.  More waste arrives every week at Sellafield for the insanity of reprocessing which adds to the overall volume of waste many times over.

No area of the UK would reach a different conclusion from that of Cumbrian residents provided they are as well informed as to the unacceptable risks such a ‘volunteering community’ would be forcing a snowball of radioactive blight on its residents for thousands of years.

Why is the NDA continuing to waste taxpayers’ money on yet another nuclear
white elephant?

Has it anything to do with keeping the whole nuclear agenda on track?

It is to pretend to the public that there is a solution to the nuclear waste problem?

Is the way being smoothed in order to build dangerous new nuclear plants and make waste that is even hotter than from existing reactors?

When we say “What about the waste”  they say :

“We have a plan all we need is a willing community”

We say   STOP!!  Enough is Enough

Radiation Free Lakeland strongly oppose geological dumping of radioactive waste ANYWHERE and will continue to argue for a halt to the production of  new wastes.  We will argue for the waste to stay on the sites where it has been produced,  for it to be monitored into eternity with retrievable storage

The Office for Nuclear Development have sent the letter below to people who contributed to (or fell for)  the last CONsultation.  Again this new CONsultation does not allow for a clear NO to the geological dumping of heat generating nuclear wastes anywhere.  We will be opposing rather than submitting to this entirely reasonable sounding CON :

From: Office For Nuclear Development <>
Date: Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 5:14 PM
Subject: Geological screening events
Dear stakeholder,

We are writing to you as someone who responded to last year’s consultation
on the geological disposal of radioactive waste.

The White Paper, published following our consultation, made clear that
before inviting communities to come forward and become interested in a new
process to find a site for a radioactive waste geological disposal facility
(GDF), a number of “initial actions” would be undertaken.

One of these initial actions is a new programme of national geological
screening which will be carried out on Government’s behalf by Radioactive
Waste Management Ltd. (RWM). RWM is the Government appointed delivery
body for a GDF.

RWM is now starting this geological screening exercise and will be doing it
in a fully open, transparent and accessible way. As a first step in this
process, RWM is planning a series of public engagement events, open to all,
which will both explain the process and its intended outcomes and, more
importantly, seek relevant inputs from interested parties.

To assist in planning these events, RWM has asked us to contact respondents
to DECC’s consultation as a way of gauging likely interest in such
events. This will enable them to be as useful and accessible as
reasonably possible.

Given your interest in the issues surrounding the disposal of radioactive
waste, expressed through your response to the consultation, RWM would
particularly welcome an indication of your interest in participating in one
of these initial public events.

If you would be interested in participating, please contact RWM directly,
at the email address below, with the following information:

1. Your name

2. Contact email address

3. Organisation you represent (if any)

4. Time of day convenient for you to attend (daytime/evening)

5. Location: London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds,
Newcastle, Other (please specify)

Please send this information to by *Monday 6
October. *

If you have other contacts who you know might be interested to attend, feel
free to forward this message.

You can subscribe to RWM’s email bulletin to be kept up to date on the
latest developments on the geological screening exercise and wider GDF
programme (

Thank you for your continued interest in this important subject.

Kind regards,

*The Office for Nuclear Development *

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


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