Radiation Free Lakeland met with Tim Farron MP on Sat 21st to deliver 189 letters urging the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP and member of the coalition government to revoke the “exempt” law allowing radioactive wastes into landfill. The campaign group were asking the question: What nasty rogue regime would “release radioactivity to groundwaters” within a short distance of towns and villages?
Tim Farron was “appalled” to learn that the European Commission are describing Lillyhall landfill site Nr Workington as a “VERY LOW LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE REPOSITORY.” This is also news to people living nearby who were keen to sign letters to Tim Farron MP asking that this use of Lillyhall as a dumping ground for decommissioned nuclear sites such as Chapel Cross in Scotland is stopped as a matter of urgency. The UK government has signed up to the Euratom Directive 35 which describes in detail a plan to turn Lillyhall landfill site into a Radioactive Waste Repository with a “controlled release of radioactivity to groundwaters.” A change to UK law has smoothed the way so that High volumes of “low level” radioactive wastes can be relabelled “exempt” allowing them to be dumped in landfill.
The Environment Agency has issued a permit despite the opposition of prominent pronuclear politicians in Cumbria such as Councillor Tim Knowles and MP Jamie Reed who has opposed another proposed radioactive landfill at Keekle Head. County and Borough councils are also opposed to nuclear waste going into landfill. No area is safe from becoming a nuclear waste dump under this deregulation. In 2011 following lobbying from Radiation Free Lakeland, Cumbria County Council and Allerdale Council considered making a legal challenge against the Environment Agency for issuing a permit to the operators of Lillyhall landfill which allows low levels of radioactive waste to be buried. Tim Knowles said: “the waste should be dealt with and disposed of as close as possible to the site where it has arisen.” Since then Sellafield has been caught dumping higher level activity bags of waste, including intermediate waste, at Lillyhall. Marianne Birkby from Radiation Free Lakeland said “New pathways for dumping radioactive waste into the environment should not be opened up, we put our trust in the regulators to protect us but our trust is clearly misplaced as the regulators are bending over backwards to accommodate the nuclear industrys desire to “decommission.” It is becoming clear that “decommissioning” is a reassuring name for “dumping.” We agree with councillor Tim Knowles and MP Jamie Reed that radioactive waste should be kept at the site at which it has been produced.”
To highlight the hypocrisy of the Environment Agency issuing a permit to “release radioactivity to groundwaters” and to remind the Lib Dems of their electoral pledges to safeguard against nuclear developments, Radiation Free Lakeland have taken part in the EA’s ‘Yellow Fish’ campaign and there is now a yellow fish complete with radiation symbol outside Tim Farron’s Kendal Offices.
Tim Farron has promised to look into how this situation of radioactive waste dumping in landfill has been allowed to happen and campaigners hope that he will also urge government to revoke the 2007 “exempt” law. While this law remains it means that LLW and VLLW could be trucked and dumped unmarked into conventional landfill sites releasing radioactivity to groundwaters.
European Commission Technical Report :Lillyhall Very Low Level Radioactive Waste Repository
From Scotland to Cumbria – Radioactive Landfill
Meet the Fockers – private companies taking government contracts to dump nuclear waste
Environment Agency Yellow Fish Campaign
Councils Agains N-Waste at Lillyhall
14th April 2011 The Whitehaven News
Jamie Reed MP expresses opposition to nuclear waste in landfill at Keekle Head
Mr Reed said: “I understand the need for additional disposal facilities but I don’t believe these should be undertaken away from the existing areas – it makes no sense to do so.
Full Letter signed by upwards of 189+ people https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/rogue-regime-sellafield-and-co/