“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.

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