Yesterday should have been the day that the government’s insane plan for dumping high level nuclear waste under Cumbria was stopped. Speaking outside Cumbria County Council’s offices in Carlisle, Council Leader Eddie Martin told protestors that “the reason we are going on is because otherwise the government might force the facility on us”


Isn’t that double the reason to fight this “tooth and nail” as Kent County Council very sensibly did. By willingly keeping the door open to the government plan, the Council leaders are handing Cumbria over as a nuclear sacrifice zone. The only chance Cumbria has of resisting the governments geological disposal agenda is to strongly oppose the plan and insist that Cumbria is assured of essential infrastructure such as schools and hospitals WITHOUT being blackmailed into accepting the unacceptable.

Three opponents of the plan spoke truth to power at the Cabinet meeting:

Anita Stirzaker from the South Lakes who gave evidence at the original Nirex inquiry, yesterday read out a statement on behalf of Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent expert on radioactivity in the environment

In my view, with radiation risks, we are currently at the same situation where we were with cigarette smoking in the 1960s and 1970s. Then, information gradually came out that lung cancer was perhaps associated with smoking, initially with doctors. Then the epidemiology associations became wider and stronger. Finally, despite the massive
efforts of the tobacco industry to refute the studies, the evidence was too robust to ignore.
The main difference today is that the Government, the military nuclear weapons sector and the nuclear power industry are, together, apparently more powerful than the tobacco industry and apparently more able to avoid the preponderance of scientific evidence.

Anita also spoke of the Pangea project in Australia which was sponsored by the British government following Nirex. Areas of high rainfall and mountains should be ruled out.

Jane Roper from Copeland asked:
Can it be claimed that the people of Cumbria have unequivocally come out in favour of hosting a dump
The answer has to be NO for the following reasons:
1. Ipsos MORI Poll: Should West Cumbria take part in the search for a geological disposal facility site?
This poll is grossly misleading. It claims that overall 53% of people are in favour of taking part in a search.
If we look closely at this we discover that a massive 44% of those polled had either never heard of it (19%), or had heard of it, but knew almost nothing about it (25%). Only 4% knew a lot and 16% a fair amount. This makes only 20% who might have known enough to make an informed decision.
2. Informed Consent
If we compare this to the concept of informed consent; we would be outraged if a surgeon asked a patient to sign a consent form, if the patient had either never heard of the operation, or knew very little about it! And, if the surgeon then carried out the operation having obtained the consent, they would be open to a charge of negligence. Are you willing to do the same?
3. Evidence to suggest people in Cumbria are opposed
(a) See handout of Parish/ Town Councils: The vast majority are opposed!
(b)Poll carried out in Carlisle on 25 August by RFL
In 2 hours on a very wet day in August, monitored by Special Branch, 206 people took the time to take part in the poll. The question was:” Do you want a nuclear dump in Cumbria?” This was an unambiguous question designed to bring home to people exactly what they were being asked to consider! Result: 6 yes
200 no
The only public vote to take place in Cumbria reveals that 97% were against the government plan for a nuclear dump under the Silloth or Eskdale area, or any other “most promising” site in West Cumbria’s wonderfully leaky geology.
Why wait another 3 months and waste more tax payers money on this insane plan? Please say NO now.

Irene Sanderson from Eden asked:
My question is concerning the decision about whether to participate in the next stages of the siting process for a repository for higher activity radioactive waste in the county.

Why is the county willing to buy a pig in a poke?
The NDA have not proposed a specific project in a specific location and have only given vague assurances. The only concrete project hitherto (NIREX) was rigorously examined and comprehensively rejected. The government’s response was to retreat, regroup, change NIREX’s name to NDA and abolish the kind of planning procedure that examined such proposals.
You are being offered a pig in a poke. Why would you buy it?
In other words why would you grant prior approval for outline plans and why does the NDA want you to do so?
Do you think that this costly and prolonged consultation process will be repeated when a specific project can be proposed? If not why not?
I want it put on record that it is vital for the county of Cumbria to have a robust safety case for the disposal of highly radioactive waste and for this safety case to be examined and judged and scrutinised by independent experts. A right of refusal is meaningless in the absence of such examination, judgement and scrutiny.
This is not a railway nor an airport. It is a safety issue of utmost importance for the Nation today and for generations to come.

Dr Ian Fairlie’s Presentation to Cabinet
Ian Fairlie Presentation to Cabinet 11th Oct 2012


Poll in Carlisle 97% Oppose



    Hi Marianne, I was born on Walney Island, Barrow in furness, cumbria. all my family live on Walney and one sister lives in Askam. after reading Jamie Reeds article in the Barrow evening mail….I cannot express my anguish and dismay…I have emailed you and I wrote 3 letters to mps before the carlisle meeting on thursday I think i sent you my email to Eddie Martin who did reply. I could not forward his email as it was blocked to send out I can print it but it was mainly polite response saying it was very interesting and he was sending to other colleagues in the department…I spoke to his wife the day before who informed me they had just returned from america, after attending a conference about said project….I been living in London for long time as a art design technology teacher…..while raising my daughter who is president of bandsoc 3 years now studying ma at Liverpol Uni… I am Public Artist/Activist. Please Let Me know what I can do down here….to raise awareness….I could go to Westminster etc..If you have any suggestions Please let me know..I shall be attending the New Putney debates and several other meeting and also frack off meets. I am also in transition town chiswick and could maybe talk about the situation in cumbria and gain more awareness and support down here…I hope to meet up in cumbria to support any protests ongoing.


    1. Dear Dawn,
      THANK YOU so much for your comment and for your letters to Eddie Martin and MPs. Did Eddie Martin’s wife go to the Canada conference as well? The conference was a nuclear industry love in so I believe, I doubt they got to meet the communities who are opposing nuclear dumps in Canada! Eddie Martin has just announced huge cuts to services in West Cumbria – but government is throwing money at ‘more than easing concerns’ about the nuke dump
      If its ok with you I will put your email on the mailing list- YES the more action taken against this the better and I am not a leader, but I am an artist and using that as much as possible to generate momentum against this juggernaught. YES please do talk about this to transition town Chiswick – would you like some beermats sending down to put in the Barley Mow if its still there???
      best x

  2. Pingback: Bearing Gifts to Cumbria – A Nuclear Dump! « Radiation Free Lakeland

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