Reply from Chris Huhne – “IT WILL BE SAFE”

Below is a letter sent today to Tim Farron MP.

Chris Huhne has told Tim Farron to let Radiation Free Lakeland know
that Geological Disposal “will be safe” and that
Cumbrians are not being stitched up – Mmmmm

Dear Tim,

Many thanks for asking questions on Radiation Free Lakeland’s behalf. The
reply from Chris Huhne is rather wide of the mark and we would appreciate
further questions directed to the Climate Change Secretary.

In the light of the 1995-96 Sellafield Inquiry Inspectors’ Report,
paragraph 8.53, which states: “The indications are, in my judgement,
still overwhelmingly that this site is not suitable for the proposed
repository, and that investigations should now be moved to one of the
more promising sites elsewhere”, whether the Secretary of State now
believes the site is now considered to be potentially suitable, and, if
so, will he now provide the evidence which led him to make this

We note that it contradicts the decision made by former Secretary of State
for the Environment John Gummer when he refused planning permission for
Nirex’s proposed Rock Characterisation Facility in 1997.

Chris Huhne has said that these two groups “were established on the basis
of recommendations..”
Does asking the Royal Society etc to nominate people who are ‘on message’
meet the requirements of The Code of Practice for Public Appointments?

Yours sincerely,
Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

For info on Longlands Farm I attach the Nirex inquiry map showing the
larger ‘Site’ rectangle and the PRZ (red outline) within it.

Also the Inspector’s Report can be seen in full here:
The pdf on Prof David Smythe’s website is more accurate (layout etc.)
than the version (from CCC) belatedly posted on the Cumbria MRWS document

Letter from Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne to Tim Farron MP 21st Nov 2011

Desalination Plant – Not enough Freshwater in Cumbria!

There's a hole in DECC's bucket



Michael Harrison from the Environment Agency telephoned Radiation Free Lakeland

this morning to confirm that while the Still Waters Partnership meeting had not mentioned nuclear

impacts on Cumbria’s freshwater resources there have been discussions within the EA, DECC and the nuke industry

about the problem of just where the freshwater will come from for the cooling of nuke wastes and new build.

The ‘solution’ which has been put forward by the industry and others is a desalination plant on the West Coast.

Proposed nuke plants in the south would also require new sources of freshwater.

Cumbria is the wettest place in England and there is not enough freshwater to supply the ferocious needs of

the nuclear industry.  A World Wildlife Fund report has said “Desalinating the sea is an expensive, energy

intensive and greenhouse gas-emitting way to get water.”

Apart from the  massive amounts of energy needed to power a desalination plant and the impacts on marine life,  there is  also the added bonus of the accumulated caesium and plutonium on the shifing seabed silts.   Caesium and plutonium would be dredged  up into a desalination plant to be concentrated into waste salts.  

Another cunning plan!

Why has the wettest place in England not got enough freshwater?

Radiation Free Lakeland protested today outside the Lake District Still
Waters Partnership meeting at the Hydro Hotel, Bowness.

Protestors asked delegates to direct a question to the chair Lord Clark
(who pulled out of the meeting).   Lord Clark  is chair of the Lake
District National Park Partnership and non executive director of

The question is: Where will the freshwater for new nuclear build and
wastes come from?

Millions of gallons of fresh water are already abstracted daily from
Wastwater and other fresh water sources to cool the wastes at Sellafield
(salt water is too corrosive).   Meanwhile United Utilities are striving
to find new freshwater sources for domestic supplies on the West Coast.

A RAFL spokesperson said "the discussions today about protecting the
Lakes’ water resources are all very worthy – but the biggest threat to
Cumbria’s Lakes, rivers and tarns is from the nuclear industry.  The
industry is being accommodated by regulators such as the Environment
Agency who today told Rafl that there have been discussions about having a
desalination plant on the West Coast.  This is lunacy!  There is not
enough fresh water in Cumbria to cool the heels of existing nuclear

More Info:
Radiation Free Lakeland -Leaflet handed out to delegates today:

"Everybody's Water, Everybody's Solution" Lake District Still Waters Partnership 8th Annual Liason Meeting chaired by Lord Clark of Windermere.

Please ask Lord Clark in his dual role as Chair of LDNP Partnership and
non executive director of Sellafield:

Q. Where will the freshwater for new nuclear build and new nuclear wastes come from ?

Millions of gallons of fresh water are already abstracted daily from
Wastwater and other fresh water sources to cool the wastes at Sellafield.
meanwhile United Utilities are striving to find new freshwater sources for
domestic supplies on the West Coast.
“this is the start of a long-term project to re-evaluate the way we
deliver water in this special part of Cumbria so that we maintain
excellent services to our customers while minimising the impact on very
sensitive local habitats. We reviewed a wide range of possible options for
new water supplies in conjunction with the Environment Agency. One good
alternative source is the sandstone aquifer in the Egremont area and
that's what we are tapping into. We may need to look at other potential
sources in future too.  We also want to reduce the area's overall demand
for water”
More information:
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: 15301320 - NDA response - water abstraction etc.
From:    "Enquiries" <>
Date:    Tue, November 15, 2011 11:02 am
To:    Radiation Free Lakeland
Dear Ms Birkby
Please find set out below responses to the queries received from you on
the 24th October:
1. Regarding your question 'What is the salary per year of Sellafield
Ltd's non executive director Lord Clark (including for example attendance
expenses)?'  This information is not held by the NDA and I have been
informed by Sellafield Ltd that this information is not available in the
public domain.

Water Abstraction
The Abstraction licence issued by the Environment Agency to the NDA allows
abstraction of a total of 6,637,307 M3 of water per annum from Wastwater,
but the maximum abstraction in any 24 hour period must not exceed
18,184m3. During FY 2010/11 Sellafield abstracted a total of 5,166,397 m3
of water which represents 78% of the maximum allowed annual water
abstraction. In the same period over 0.6 million m3 of water (10% of the
water abstracted from Wastwater) was treated and used as "domestic water"
on site to support the health, hygiene and welfare needs of the over
10,000 people who work at Sellafield. The Environment Agency have in
addition issued licences for water abstraction from the River Ehen, River
Calder, Beckermet Mine and Boreholes near Calder Bridge and Calder Valley.
During FY 2010/11  Sellafield abstracted a combined total of 320,431 m3 of
water from these sources, this represents less than 6% of the total water
used at Sellafield. The data above excludes abstraction from Wastwater and
Calder Valley Boreholes used solely to maintain compensation freshwater
flow in the rivers Irt and Calder during extended periods of dry weather
for ecological & environmental reasons.

Gas purchases
The volume of gas used by Fellside CHP for 2010 (calendar year 1Jan-31Dec
2010) is 210,646,330 M3 at STP (STP is Standard Temp (15C)& Pressure of
1013.25 mbar).
We wish to point out that this data could not accurately be used in a
carbon footprint calculation. The actual CO2 emission data for 2010 is
421,691 Tonnes CO2, (this value has been independently verified under the
EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS)) and relates to the entire electrical
and steam output from the Fellside CHP power station…..

Future Projections – Water and Gas Useage
Any new build associated with Nuclear Power generation is a matter for the
developer NuGen to develop its own proposals for water demand and
potential sources of suitable water supply.…….
Any additional demand for gas and water use for the new build reactor
adjacent to Sellafield would be a matter for NuGen and not the NDA.”
 – this is a cop out - the NDA are responsible for wastes and are
promoting new build.

page 2 

Freshwater: just how bad is the nuclear industry?

Water is our most critical raw material– more important than oil.

For fresh water there are no alternatives.

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestlé, said in The Economist in
December 2008: "I am convinced that, under present conditions and with the
way water is being managed, we will run out of water long before we run
out of fuel."

In September 2009, The Department of Energy and Climate Change set up a
campaign to persuade the public to cut their water usage. The campaign,
cheerily led by TV presenter Kate Humble, calls on people to cut
consumption by 20 litres per day. The national daily average for water use
is 150 litres.

"Water is a precious resource but we all waste too much of it. Saving
water at home doesn't need to be a big sacrifice - just spending one
minute less in the shower can make a big difference," said Ms Humble.
"Simple changes can really add up to a better environment - meaning more
water for the wildlife and countryside around us as well as saving on
carbon emissions generated in the treatment and transportation of water to
our taps."

True – all true - but at the same time as launching this campaign, DECC is
promoting several new nuclear power plants in the UK on the back of having
‘solved’ the waste problem by ‘geological disposal’ in Cumbria. Nuclear
power is the most resource hungry of all sources of electricity.
• Uranium mining/milling /tailing dams
• Conversion to steam to power the turbines
• Cooling pond water discharged into the sea
• Looking after the waste (long after electricity production ceases)
• ‘geological disposal’  means a large mine 1000m deep x 25km sq – this
would irreversibly alter Cumbria’s water table even before high level
nuclear wastes were emplaced.

Radiation Free Lakeland was formed in November 2008 following Cumbria
County Council’s “expression of interest” in the geological disposal of
nuclear waste. Supporters are people from all walks of life in Cumbria and
further afield whose aims are: a) to ensure the risks from nuclear waste
are minimized and b) that no more nuclear waste is produced – all are
volunteers  (dictionary not DECC definition!)
     015395 63671

Another CONsultation

Prawn Vol au Vent
Prawn Vol au Vent Anyone?

A disturbingly respectful meeting took place on 3rd November in 
Egremont on the "gentle" steps to sell Cumbria down the radioactive 

Over a prawn vol-au-vent (thank you taxpayer!) the Partnership
'facilitators' again tried to persuade Radiation Free Lakeland
to join in this ever so respectful game of "steps towards"
a geological nuclear dump.

The purpose of the meeting was to endorse another CONsultation document.  
The document admits that there is opposition - but then dismisses that 
opposition by giving itself a tick in the box "no significant
criticism."  Really? “No significant Criticism” ? 

What about the significant criticism from:

The Nirex Inspector

Members of the original Committee on Radioactive Waste Management

Dr Helen Wallace- author of the Rock Solid? Scientific review

Dr Rachel Western – former employee of Nirex- researcher for Cumbrian
Friends of the Earth groups

Professor David Smythe – former employee of Nirex

Tim Farron MP

Manipulation of the truth started way back after the failure
of Nirex.  Two panels of experts were handpicked under the MRWS programme
with a remit to write new criteria making unsuitable geology - suitable.
This new criteria rules Longlands Farm and the Eskdale area back in the
frame. Tim Farron MP is asking Parliamentary questions about just how the
members of these two panels were selected because letters from DECC show
it definitely wasn't an open and transparent process - more nod and a wink. 
Disturbingly DECC says there needs to be "credible support" for withdrawal.  
Like the bogus "criteria panels" are DECC now handpicking "withdrawal panels?"  
Withdrawal panels with a remit to ensure impacts on agriculture, tourism,  health and 
the environment are not "credible support for withdrawal." 
Will the weasel words continue to stitch Cumbria tightly up like a radioactive 
kipper or will the Councils withdraw while they still can?