NO is the Wrong Answer! The Stench of Nuclear Corruption

Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet was looking likely to honour the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the County Council’s councillors and their constituents and say NO to the Nukiller Dump. This would have been an end to the insane plan to dump high level nuclear wastes in a big mine under West Cumbria/Lake District.

Following the meeting in London with Baroness Verma (Secretary of State responsible for geological implementation!) and the three council leaders at which who knows what nasty deals were brokered, the decision has now been kicked into the long grass for three months. No doubt the new marketing consortium, a host of PR firms that the government is setting up will swing into action spending yet more taxpayer £millions on “more than easing the concerns of communities.”

The stench of nuclear corruption rises.

How many times will communities have to say NO?

3 Month Delay

Tricky Nuclear Joke on Beautiful Copeland…..

The Joker by Robin Birkby
The Joker by Robin Birkby

At the meeting last wednesday of Copeland Borough Council the nuclear dump was ‘discussed.’ Questions from the public have to be registered days beforehand in order for pat answers to be be provided. I’d registered early on my own behalf as a wildlife artist but we arrived 5 minutes late and I was initially refused the right to speak by Elaine Woodburn, leader of the Borough Council and Moorcide nuclear plant cheerleader. Luckily the democratic services officer stepped in so I spoke after the newly formed nukiller dump cheerleaders, The Sellafield Workers Campaign.

Here are the questions asked.

Elaine Woodburn agreed with the Sellafield Workers Campaign that people opposing the dump have never shown the slightest interest in the future of Copeland. This is insulting puerile rubbish. One of the public questions was from Gareth Harrison of Seascale, a self employed artist and photographer who has also worked for Sellafield who said “I and many others have a view of our area that extends beyond the nuclear sphere. I ask OUR councillors to consider the bigger picture also. West Cumbria is a unique and beautiful area that does not need or deserve the proposed repository. Please do not assume that we all want this process to be imposed upon us.”

Councillor Woodburn objected to the use of the word “dump” in my question. I replied that, as outlined in the MRWS’s own literature, it is not a case of if but when this ‘repository’ leaks which by definition makes it a dump.

There was a lot of reference to the (dodgy) Ipsos Mori poll showing how willing the community is and to community benefits. The fact that most communities have voted against the dump and therefore the community benefits are meaningless was not referred to.

Three councillors opposed going forward while the rest who spoke were in favour and did a lot of kowtowing to the Sellafield workforce who cheered Councillor John Kane when he said ” I have no control over my Parkinson’s disease but I worked in the nuclear industry and I do have control over the nuclear industry. We have regulators and we trust in them!” The blind faith of some Sellafield workers is breathtaking. Do they not realise that the regulators are merely there to tick the boxes of government policy no matter how dangerous it is, from new laws to “exempt” radioactive waste so it can be dumped in landfill, to increasing the levels at which emissions of antimony and other nasty stuff can be released due to increased reprocessing etc. The regulators are toothless watchdogs. The Environment Agency has said as much to Radiation Free Lakeland when we urged them to take action over the dumping of nuclear waste in landfill “the new laws allow it.” We can be sure if this dump is allowed to go ahead new laws will accommodate the explosion in radiation dose to the public.

The Sellafield Workers Campaign and some councillors referred to their pride in the economic benefits of the nuclear industry and that this decision should be taken by Copeland and others should keep their neb out. The inconvenient truth is that nuclear is not and never has been an authentic wealth generating industry. It is an illusion. All the jobs at Sellafield are paid for by the taxpayer. Private Companies out for the bottom line rather than safety are paid for with government cheques. In all the nuclear largesse of everything from new sports halls to festivals and wining and dining of the Councillors, the fact that the taxpayer is footing the bill seems to get lost. Ultimately we are being bribed and literally poisoned with our own money. Neat trick!

The Sellafield Unions could do with taking a leaf out of the more progressive stance of other unions worldwide who are looking to protect their workforce and the public…

Silloth Protest & MEETING ON 3rd OCT

Yesterday on a sunny day in beautiful Silloth there was a protest. The message from the protest was a loud and clear NO to the government plan for the geological dumping of nuclear waste in Cumbria.

Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely (DECC quango and stooge ‘partners’) have asked communities for their view on the process of moving forward to the next stage. The appetising carrot dangled just out of reach is “community benefits.” Despite the generous offer, Parishes and Towns throughout Cumbria have almost unanimously said NO to going any further along the toxic route to geological dumping. This however is the wrong answer. Nuclear new build obsessed government are now trying the stick approach by sending in the heavies in the form of Sir David King who insists that the answer to climate change is nuclear power and Cumbria will singlehandedly scupper the world’s fight against climate change if we do not accept that the solution is to bury existing and future high level nuclear wastes under Cumbria in a huge mine.

This is ludicrous and immoral.

1. Nuclear “power” is the most profligate user of fossil fuel and freshwater in Cumbria.
2. The acknowledged Radiation Linked Diseases already resulting from the nuclear ‘industry’ would multiply.

“If by any chance you know ANYBODY in the Silloth area who wants to add their voice to the protest, please tell them to come to a public meeting at the Golf Hotel in Silloth on 3rd October At 7 PM which could be our last chance to publicly air our views about what’s happening here. I fear that an awful lot of people still don’t seem to know what is being proposed. A frequent visitor to the town, the young guy in the picture knew absolutely nothing about it until we informed him and he was utterly shocked and was telling the local television stations guys exactly what he thought.”

Arm Twisting of the Cumbrian Stooges

Baroness Vermer has now taken over from Charles Hendry – the heads change… the policy remains

Radiation Free Lakeland has just heard on the grapevine that the 3 leaders of the three Cumbrian Councils have been summoned to a meeting in London with the new Secretary of State, Baroness Verma. The esteemed Baroness is responsible for implementing geological disposal (!) The Council Leaders will be going to get their arms twisted …this underlines the charade of the supposed 3 independent decisions at the same time on the same day….on October 11th. There is nothing free and independent about this whole business, it stinks. If the councils (or more precisely their Cabinet/Executives) hadn’t been stupid enough to volunteer in the first place they wouldn’t be going along to get their arms twisted to sell Cumbria down the toxic river.

Eddie Martin – Leader of Cumbria County Council will be busy before the 11th October as he is also going to Canada at the government/industry’s expense to be wined and dined and shown the “state of the art” nuclear dumps in Canada.

Cumbria County Council: Eddie Martin 01900 819918
Allerdale Borough Council: Alan Smith 01900 827061
Copeland Borough Council: Elaine Woodburn 01946 820861

Wednesday: Copeland Council Meeting – Show Opposition to Nukiller Dump

Wastwater Enslaved
Wastwater Enslaved

Please come along and show visible opposition to the Nukiller Dump. Eskdale/Ennerdale Granite is being eyed up as a geological dumping ground for nuclear wastes.

Copeland Council Meeting this Wednesday 26th Sept at 5pm – the Copeland Centre, Whitehaven

Email (before 10 am on Monday) to register your question – you can speak for 2 minutes to ask a question

Come along show opposition – bring banners – DON’T LET WILD ENNERDALE BECOME A NUCLEAR SACRIFICE ZONE

Image: This geological map showing the northern part of the Ennerdale granite was drawn up by Professor David Smythe. The shaded area is the Ennerdale granite, which reaches the shore of Buttermere and is within a few hundred metres of the southern tip of Crummock Water
Image: This geological map showing the northern part of the Ennerdale granite was drawn up by Professor David Smythe. The shaded area is the Ennerdale granite, which reaches the shore of Buttermere and is within a few hundred metres of the southern tip of Crummock Water

“Grave Disquiet” Quaker Statement

Hell in a Grain of Sand
Hell in a Grain of Sand

Hell in a Grain of Sand – from a Poem by Norman Nicholson

Quaker Statement on Nuclear Waste , September 20th.

On behalf of Swarthmoor SW Cumbria Quakers I am writing regarding grave
disquiet at reports that a recent former Chief Scientific Advisor to the
government as well as Copeland MP Jamie Reid have told the media

‘if Cumbria does not go forward with the search for a site for geological disposal of
nuclear waste, the whole nuclear build programme could be put into

If this is the view of such a senior government advisor and an informed
local MP there can be no clearer indication that the process is a sham.

Quakers and many other Cumbrians are not NIMBYS. If high level nuclear
waste is to be buried it should be in the safest possible ground to
safeguard current and future generations for thousands of years.
If Cumbria is the safest place it should be here.
But eminent independent advice knows that it is not.

Political expediency to minimise controversy in less ‘tame’constituencies
is the reason that Cumbria, once omitted from search due its geology, is now the
only area being considered.

A special meeting of ‘Churches Together in Cumbria’ earlier this year
heard from another former government Chief Scientist that he was told by senior
Government Ministers (then Conservative) to stop the nationwide search for
safe geology to bury the waste because it was ‘too controversial’ and would
‘lead to demonstrations’. There is a convention we do not make decisions that will
create problems for future generations to resolve. This convention is
being ignored in the most transparent and cynical way. It is beyond credulity
and as exemplified by the government advisor’s intervention that in 15 years time
the then possibly near bankrupt government of the day having spent another
£billion will not be able to pay enough subservient scientists to advise them there is a
convenient Cumbrian site that is safe – or safe enough for now.

We should avoid that inevitability by the only decision with any integrity
and that is to ensure this is refused now and the search redirected to UK
areas most likely to be safe for future generations. That Nuclear new-build is
dependent upon such a profoundly flawed policy is indefensible.

Robert Straughton,

Clerk, Swarthmoor SW Cumbria Area Quaker Meeting.

Immoral Nuclear Blackmail

Knight of the Immoral Blackmail
Knights of the Immoral Blackmail

It is clear that the majority of councillors in Cumbria are opposed to going any further along the nukiller dump road the government has carefully mapped out for us. Their opposition is not part of the Government’s preferred narrative (as continual quoting of the mori poll “support” and media blackout on the Communities opposition testifies). The pressure is being ratcheted up on Cumbria to accept the unacceptable. Last week Jamie Reed MP played some mind games by “leaking” the “news” that the Cabinet will say NO – we really really hope beyond hope this is the case. Puzzling though why is Jamie Reed saying this and why hasn’t he and his reliable Cabinet contact not been held to severe account for prejudicing the Cabinets decision?? The reason we are told Cumbria County Councillors are not allowed to vote is that a vote would prejudice the Cabinets decision. So who will hold Jamie Reed accountable for playing mind games (with the Sellafield Unions?) and prejudicing the Cabinets decision?

as the Toxic Coast website says:

“According to the article, Mr. Reed was told by a senior member of the cabinet, but when was the decision made and by whom?
If it has already been decided, why can’t the public be told straightaway, instead of waiting until October 17th for the official version?
Will there be an enquiry into who leaked the decision and the culprit be disciplined?
Will the projects announced for “improving” the area go ahead, or were they part of the softening up process – or bribery as we call it?
If correct, will the decision be final and irrevocable over time and location, or will Copeland and Allerdale do as was suggested by the Leader of Copeland Council and go it alone, thereby over-riding the wishes of the majority of Cumbrians?
Will the failure to dispose of the nuclear waste cause a rethink on future development of the industry, in line with most countries around the globe – including that major promoter of nuclear, France*?
Or is this whole thing merely an exercise in political shenanigans, designed to get people to react to the possibility that nuclear’s days are limited?”

Then there is today’s pronouncement of the Government’s former Chief Scientist – Sir David King’s immoral blackmail: No to N-dump would put nuclear new-build at risk.

Even if as quoted Sir David King truly believes that nuclear power is the answer to climate change that does not excuse the immoral blackmail. Sellafield uses more fossil fuel and fresh water than any other single user in Cumbria, saying yes to the dump would mean Cumbria’s carbon footprint would go off the richter scale while the radioactive footprint would be unprecedented. Sir David is of course right, saying yes to the nuclear dump and new build is the final solution to climate change as Cumbria would be trashed big time, along with the climate.

Sir David King: Nuclear Dump Blackmail
Sir David King: Nuclear Dump Blackmail

A Statement made In the interests of Truth and Integrity in Public Affairs by Cumbrian Quakers: Nuclear Waste

From Bardsea looking towards Heysham Nuclear Power Station
From Bardsea looking towards Heysham Nuclear Power Station

STATEMENT from Swarthmoor SW Cumbria Area Quaker Meeting

The disposal of High Level Nuclear Waste: Cumbrian Firsts.

1. A WORLD FIRST ? This is probably the first time anywhere in the world a site to dispose of the most hazardous wastes known will be sought NOT on the basis of the safest possible geology.
2. A WORLD FIRST ? This is probably the first time anywhere in the world an area with such a large local population (100,000?) will be the focus of search for a permanent hazardous high level nuclear waste repository.
3. A WORLD FIRST ? They intend to locate it near to or within one of the world’s greatest, most visited and – most geologically complex – National Parks.
4. A WORLD FIRST ? This is probably the first time anywhere in the world the health and well-being of future populations may be jeopardised in potentially the most catastrophic way by exposure to high level nuclear waste leakage due to inadequate geological safety parameters.
5. A UK First : The first time local authorities will put the needs of Central Government before the wellbeing of its electors. (The government has painted itself into a political corner on nuclear waste – only Cumbria will consider getting it off the hook even though other places are vastly safer and more suited geologically.)
6. A UK First : The first time any local authority will put the needs of one industry (nuclear) unnecessarily above the interests of all other occupations and wealth creators – food processing, packaging, specialist manufacture, agriculture, tourism. Alternatively, a NO decision will boost all other forms of business giving them confidence that Cumbria is not pressured into wrong decisions by desperate and/or incompetent governments. A win-win situation.
7. A UK First : misinformation with the statement that 500 jobs depend on this decision when more than that can be lost in other occupations and at least that many would be needed to package and organise removal of the waste currently in Cumbria to a safer permanent repository (most probably in the South or East of England). Another win-win.
8. A UK First : The first time the expert advice on which future nuclear waste burial decisions will rest will depend on experts greatly reliant on the largesse of government, its agencies and nuclear industry partners. Up to this point the weight of geological advice has been in the main independent by eminent University experts of long standing and academic tenure who have no vested interest in the decision. Those days are going as cash constrained Universities and Research Institutions are under pressure to endeavour to give their clients what they require.


A Statement made In the interests of Truth and Integrity in Public Affairs, and in the interests of Cumbrian populations now and in the future and in those of its neighbours, potentially far and wide.

Swarthmoor SW Cumbria Area Quaker Meeting, Co-clerks –
Jane Pearson, Robert Straughton

Keswick Reminder Letter: Mind Blowing Nuclear Waste and Monkey Puzzles

Famous Monkey Puzzle at Brockhole

Keswick Reminder 14th September 2012

Dear Editor,

It is mind blowing to think that if nuclear waste had been around in the
Carboniferous Period of 300 million years ago, when the Lake District was covered in
primitive conifers, nuclear waste would still be a clear and present danger now.
Layers of decaying primitive conifers now known as Monkey Puzzle trees produced the
coal that was mined from the west coast of Cumbria.

Imagine if there had been dozens of miles of nuclear wastes buried under the West
Coast and Lake District there would have been no mines, no La’al Ratty, no graphite,
no haematite, no iron, no archaeological digging— all would have been lost to the
nuclear sacrifice zone that is now proposed under and on this land.

Despite the reassuring words in last weeks advertorial, the plan for the geological
dumping of nuclear wastes in Cumbria’s Ennerdale Granite or Mercia Mudstone has
nothihg at all to do with safety for this and future generations. It is a plan,
however, that has everything to do with literally burying the nuclear waste problem
in order to build new and much more dangerous nuclear power plants which will
produce new and much more dangerous nuclear wastes.

The message from last week’s County Council meeting was over- – whelming, as one
councillor said:

“Geology is the ground we stand on; it’s in the food we eat, and in the water we
drink. The International Atomic Energy Authority says avoid complex geology. I urge
the Cabinet to take this advice, and pull out of the MRWS process now.”

Tomorrow is too late for Cumbria unless we say NO today. There is an online petition

Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland