The Irish Princess: St Bega and Sellafield Reprocessing..

Look me in the eyes..Remember Chernobyl:Stop SellafieldSt BegaSt Bees radioactive particlesYesterday Radiation Free Lakeland and 3 Weeks to Save the Lakes marked the anniversary of Chernobyl at St Bees. St Bees was named after the Irish princess who landed on the beautiful West Cumbrian coast about 900AD.

What is the betting that St Bega would join the 1.3 million households in Ireland in calling for an end to the illegal and immoral radioactive poisoning of the Irish Sea from reprocessing at Sellafield?

We handed out leaflets and spoke to people who supported the demonstration including those directly affected by Sellafield negligence – and we spoke to those who deny that radioactive particles pose any hazard including a local parish councillor.

Radioactive Particles have been found on this beach

Here are a selection of photographs from yesterday…

More actions from around the world to mark Chernobyl day

Poster – Radioactive Particles have been found on this beach

Radioactive Particles have been found on this beach

A4 Poster Radioactive Particles have been found on this beach

downloadable poster to display on your Cumbrian beach from Morecambe Bay to the Solway!

Tomorrow Radiation Free Lakeland and 3 Weeks to Save the Lakes will be at St Bees to show solidarity with those remembering Chernobyl and to oppose the continuing radioactive poisoning of our coast from Sellafield’s “reprocessing” i.e. dumping radioactive waste at sea.

Stop Dumping Radioactive Waste in Cumbrian Seas

“Beachcomber” Cumbrian artist Kevin Carr teams up with film maker Michael Cumming – brilliant and very moving. ( over 20 years ago the Arts Council felt able to fund powerful art projects critical of the nuclear industry – fat chance of a film like this receiving govnt sponsorship in this era of nuclear cheerleading!)

3 Weeks to Save the Lakes and Radiation Free Lakeland will be at St Bees on 27th April at 11 am to place visual reminders of the 41 radioactive particles found on the beach at St Bees last year. This number does not of course cover the unfound/airborne radioactive particles!

3 Weeks to Save the Lakes and Radiation Free Lakeland are calling on the government to stop their illegal activity of dumping radioactive waste at sea.

On 27th April Cumbrian groups will join with others worldwide who are taking actions to mark the anniversary of the on-going Chernobyl catastrophe. The catastrophes of Chernobyl and Fukushima are on-going, meanwhile here in Cumbria radioactive particles continue to accumulate.

Discharges of radioactive waste into the Irish Sea from nuclear fuel reprocessing at Sellafield in Cumbria are increasing because of an insane “crash programme” of reprocessing planned by the government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). This is a likely cause of the record number of radioactive particles found on Cumbrian beaches in 2010-12.
In an activity that would not be out of place in a science fiction novel, workers spend hours beach combing for radioactive particles. They use specialist equipment to pick up radioactive particles from selected Cumbrian beaches.

In 2011 the Sellafield site itself raised concerns. The Beach Combers undergo routine tests and in 2011 “workers had provided urine samples in which 241Am was measured above reporting levels”. 241 Americium is a man-made metal a product of reprocessing and nuclear weapons detonations. People may be exposed to both alpha and gamma radiation by breathing in americium-contaminated dust, or drinking contaminated water. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency “Living near a weapons testing or production facility may increase your chance of exposure to americium-241”. It can stay in the body for decades increasing the risk of developing cancer.

Rather oddly the Health Protection Agency has reassured the Sellafield sites that the risks to the public are lower than the risks to the beach monitors “It should be noted that the probability that a beach worker would come into proximity with a radioactive object is quite different to the equivalent probability for a member of the public. The beach workers are using highly specialised and sensitive equipment to find and retrieve radioactive objects, so the probability that they would come into close proximity with such an object over an extended period of work on the beaches is high”.
There is a huge flaw in this argument as monitoring is stopped over summer and bank holidays in order not to frighten people using the beaches. Also members of the public are not solely made up of healthy, suited and booted men. Members of the public include young children and pregnant mothers, they include the elderly and those with already compromised immune sytems. Members of the public are not suited and booted, they are not undergoing routine testing for inhalation of a large cocktail of Sellafield’s dumped radioactive particles of which americium is only one.

Cumbrian seas and coastlines are suffering a double whammy of illegal radioactive waste dumping from Sellafield’s continued reprocessing and also from the Ministry of Defence’s continued dumping of depleted uranium shells into the Solway Firth. In the past 30 years, over 6,700 shells have been fired from the range, containing nearly 30 tonnes of depleted uranium. They pierce canvas targets on the cliffs, and then plunge in the sea. In both cases the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority at Sellafield and the MOD on the Solway are in breach of an international ban on the dumping of radioactive waste at sea.

The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, known as the OSPAR convention, agreed by 15 governments, including the UK, said “it was illegal to dump waste into the sea.”

Radiation Free Lakeland and 3 Weeks to Save the Lakes are calling on the government to stop their illegal activity of dumping radioactive waste at sea.

Please join us.
note: be aware that the presence of radioactive particles mean a real and present danger especially for children and those with already compromised immune systems. This is the advice from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on radioactive particles found at Dalgety Bay
Radioactive Particles on Beaches

Dirty Old Man of Europe – Sellafield Reprocessing

Leaked document on reprocessing “in as yet to be constructed Windscale facilities” 1976


Letter from HPA to Sellafield on contaminated workers

MOD dumping DU in the Solway

Event on Facebook

3 Weeks to Save the Lakes

Support for Killington Wind Farm

"Just Look at those Eyesores!
“Just Look at those Eyesores!

Three turbines are proposed alongside the busy M6 at Killington – Radiation Free Lakeland have supported many renewable projects in the past and we are supporting this – our letter and more info on how to send your own letter of support below…

Dear Mr Jackson,

Killington Wind Farm – SL/2012/0845

Radiation Free Lakeland fully support the Killington Wind Farm planning application. The argument that “windfarms will not replace gas or nuclear” rather misses the point. Nuclear is top trump polluter in Cumbria using more fossil fuel than any other single user in Cumbria. The taxpayer pays for over £30M of gas alone every year for Sellafield’s use. In other words the same amount of gas as could have been used by literally hundreds of thousands of homes is going to cool the nuclear wastes (necessary), with most of the gas going to reprocess spent fuel (unnecessary and dangerously contributing to the plutonium stockpile).

As a voluntary group opposed to nuclear we have made sure our electricity provider is non-nuclear Good Energy. Increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of the impact of nuclear as top trump when it comes to harm to the environment and health especially here in the Morecambe Bay area where we already have the double whammy of Sellafield and Heysham and the insane plan for new build. Ironically the pylons from proposed new nuclear are being disingenuously promoted by movers and shakers as the worst impact – when visual impact is the very least of the nuclear detriment.

Radiation Free Lakeland members have given our support to other renewable energy projects in Cumbria including Lambrigg, Armistead and the falsely demonised, wasted opportunity of Whinash.

We sincerely hope that common sense will prevail for the above and for the following reasons:
• Killington will provide electricity for approx. 8,100 homes
• The wind farm is next to the M6
• There is already a precedent for wind energy in this area and people are accustomed to seeing wind energy as a positive part of the landscape.
• It is outside both the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park
• It is well away from built up areas

There are many more reasons to support this application and we really hope you will.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland


Energy minister misses the point…

Sellafield’s Fellside £30M gas

Radiation Free Lakeland support for Armistead

Good Energy


Letters of support
can be e-mailed to the Case Officer, Barry Jackson, at or you can write to him at
Barry Jackson,
Development Management Group
Community, Investment and Development
South Lakeland House
Lowther Street
Cumbria LA9 4DL

Make sure you include the application reference SL/2012/0845 as well as your full name and address.

In your letter you may wish to cover the following topics:
• The need for onshore wind farms to reduce carbon emissions and to provide a secure and affordable source of energy.
• Why you think the Killington Wind Farm is in a good location e.g. by a motorway, away from houses, outside protected area
• Your views on the visual impact of turbines on the landscape

More information about the project can be downloaded from the webpage at:

Please copy your e-mail to your local ward councillors as well as to the members of the planning committee and the local MP whose e-mail addresses are copied below:

Demonstrators oppose nuclear power stations

Article in today’s Westmorland Gazette…

Morecambe Bay Demo - Westmorland Gazette 4th April 2013

ANTI-NUCLEAR protestors demonstrated outside Victoria Hall in Grange-over-Sands where the Morecambe Bay Partnership was holding its AGM. The campaigners want the partnership which co-ordinates action to improve the environment and quality of life around the Bay to oppose new nuclear power stations at Heysham and Sellafield…

Westmorland Gazette

EDF’s Begging Bowl

EDF's Begging Bowl
EDF’s Begging Bowl

A letter to HM Treasury – Resist EDF’s Obscene Begging Bowl

Thu, April 4, 2013 4:43 pm

Dear HM Treasury,

Radiation Free Lakeland would like to add our support to your entirely logical refusal to capitulate to EDF’s demands over the nuclear electricity strike price. You will be aware that the nuclear industry is already the single largest user of fossil fuel in Cumbria with the treasury paying out over £30M+ yearly for gas to cool existing wastes and continue with reprocessing contracts (which should and could be broken in order to halt the growing plutonium stockpile).

We agree whole heartedly with those who attended this Tuesday’s rally outside the Treasury and repeat:

Hold The Hard Line, Treasury.

We stand here today in solidarity with the hard-pressed Treasury and its
hard line in the negotiations with E.D.F. over subsidies and the strike price
for nuclear-powered electricity. Only the level-headed realism of the
Treasury stands between us and the 40 year abyss of paying double for our
electricity, paying straight to the French government.
E.D.F., who are 85% owned by the French government, are leaning on
the english body politic to get a strike price of £100 per MWh, fixed in
place for 40 years, guaranteeing them a return of 10% on their investment.
Mmm, wouldn’t everyone love a return of 10%, fixed, for 40 years. This
£100 is twice the current wholesale price of electricity, and assumes the
British government will pay for the decommissioning of the reactors, the
handling of waste, and the insurance of the risk. Even this ‘double price’ is
unlikely to be enough, as the EPR proposed is a retread of a shoddy design
from the 70’s whose price has shot from 3.3 billion euros to 8.5 billion at
the one they are building in Flamanville, France and from 3.7 billion to 8
billion in Finland, promised 2009 and now hoped for in 2016.
They want £100 per MWh, when on-shore wind is already, today, £80
MWh, and off-shore wind maybe £140 yet falling, (to be £100 MWh by
2020, according to DECCs Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force) as
nuclear’s cost is surely rising. Then E.D.F. would like the government to
pay any construction cost overrun, so its a win-win for them, leaving waste
that we must pay for guarding for thousands of years, and 60 years living
with another plant which, if it has a bad day, destroys a third of your
country. More expensive and more dangerous; only the brave little
Treasury stands in the way of this massive error.
A mere 198 years after Wellington’s squares held off the French assault at
Waterloo, why does this government propose to hand over hard-earned
 British cash to the French state? We stand behind the Treasury’s thin hard
 line in its fight to see off this madness.
Japan has installed 1.1 Gw of solar in the last year, (EDF’s planned
reactors are 1.6 Gw each), China has installed 4 Gw of nuclear and yet 19
Gw of wind in the last two years. Germany has 32.3 Gw of solar installed,
 increased by 7.6 Gw in 2012. Shows what can be done.
So we stand behind our Treasury, in this fight for fiscal sanity. And we
demand that its hard line be held, and that the rampaging French state, in
its guise as EDF, be resisted!!

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Kick Nuclear