Cumbria County Council voted unanimously this morning opposing the plan to dump nuclear wastes at Keekle Head. I spoke on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland along with 3 other objectors. There would have been many more objectors speaking had the Council given more than 3 days notice to register to speak – I wonder why the lack of notification when this has been in the offing since 2010! Keeping it low-key because of the implications for the proposed high level geological dump?
I spoke about Kings Cliffe, “this time last year the local community and Council of Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, opposed plans for a nuclear landfill site which would receive nuclear waste of less radioactivity at 200 becquerels than that proposed for Keekle which would be the high end of low level wastes at 500 becquerels, Northamptonshire county councillors had unanimously rejected the plan in March 2010. The Government’s Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles overturned their decision and approved the dump against locals wishes. This was seen as a test case for nuclear waste companies and for the government’s proclaimed localism commitment. Clearly the ONLY long term assurance that landfill sites/old mines will be safe from radioactive contamination is to urge Government to revoke the 2007 law “exempting” nuclear wastes and allowing this stuff into landfill”. Paul Cowling who lives near Keekle Head spoke passionately saying “The area has already been blighted by the open cast mine already there, the company who the government gave the go ahead to compulsory purchase property there and mine was then allowed to declare themselves bankrupt in order to avoid the cost of repairing the land that they damaged. Now to add insult to injury you want to dump nuclear waste there, was this a long term strategy between all the interested parties? We do not want a dump here, go Cumbria has been dumped on enough!” Kevin Bell has just renovated a B&B only 60 seconds walk away from the site which has two water filled lagoons from the coal mine, he said “it is already quite a nature reserve, with hen harriers, sky larks, buzzards to name a few and the site should be improved and enhanced as a nature reserve for visitors and locals to enjoy as a beautiful panoramic rather than our B&B guests looking out on a panoramic of a nuclear waste dump! We are going to be known as the nuclear waste dump of England..” Finally Labour Councillor Cam Ross for Distington and Moresby (in Copeland) spoke opposing the plan : “This area has a lot of landfill and open cast coal mine sites such as Gillgaran which have suffered environmental damage from breaching the water table so water supply has had to be brought in from outside, local people are important…”
The discussion that followed was heartfelt and unanimous in opposing the dispersal of radioactive wastes around Cumbria. Councillor Brenda Grey said it was “wrong to open up new sites and contaminate new ground. All nuclear sites should keep their own waste on site. We should lobby government to have the law changed back so it cannot go into landfill”
This is really really important – unless the “exempt” law is changed and soon, the Government’s Eric Pickles brigade could say “I believe the developers when they say its safe” and just overturn any decision to oppose “exempt” radioactive waste in landfill that local councils and communities make. Nuclear waste is “exempt” while a tyre is not – chiefly because the toxins from a tyre will leach into landfill while nuclear waste…! The nuclear industry is being dangerously deregulated in the same way as the banks – the toxic meltdown will be worse unless….
Keekle Head is the source of the river Keekle and is one of the most important trout and salmon migratory rivers in Cumbria and one of the last strongholds of the endangered Freshwater Pearl Mussel nationally. “The Ehen runs west through the village of Ennerdale Bridge where it is joined by Croasdale Beck (off Banna Fell) and then on to Cleator Moor and Cleator where it is joined by the River Keekle before moving southwards through Egremont and then runs parallel to the Irish Sea which it eventually joins near the Sellafield nuclear site, at the same point as the River Calder”. http://www.westcumbriariverstrust.org/our-rivers-and-lakes/
Radiation Free Lakeland presentation to Development Control CCC
8th May 2012 KEEKLE HEAD & Nuclear Waste
Dispersal into the Environment: clearing the decks to make way for more….
RAdiation Free Lakeland Keekle Head 8th May presentation