We won't be dumped on
We won’t be dumped on





Radiation Free Lakeland have sent the below to the Development Control Committee members of Cumbria County Council.

We will be staging a Demo outside County Hall, Kendal on Wednesday before the meeting  – 10am – meeting begins at 11am

please join us in saying NO to Nuke Waste in Landfill!

more info:

LETTER TO COUNTY COUNCILLORS- Development Control Committee

Dear Councillor,

Radiation Free Lakeland will be delivering over 150 letters to you at Wednesday’s Development Control meeting (more being sent separately)

The letters urge you, despite the license given by the Environment Agency, not to permit the Spanish operators FCC to deliver High Volume Very Low Level Radioactive wastes to Lillyhall.  This waste would be at the top end of activity for low level radioactive wastes. Lillyhall is already receiving so called “exempt” radioactive wastes and this crazy deregulation is what has led to Sellafield’s ‘mistake’ in dumping three bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level radioactive waste into Lillyhall.

The bags were transported unknowingly by the carrier and handled unknowingly by the landfill workers and dumped above ground where one bag split open. It was pointed out in court that the level of radioactivity was enough to be cancer causing. Sellafield said it was “highly unlikely” to be a danger to the public or the workers. That is unacceptable and the judge in the case agreed and fined Sellafield £700,000 out of the public purse.

Radiation Free Lakeland have consistently opposed and campaigned for the “exempt” deregulation to be overturned. Now as well as “exempt” radioactive waste, the plan is for Lillyhall to receive High Volumes of so called Very Low Level Wastes from for example Chapel Cross. Councillors feel quite rightly that this important issue is being taken out their hands from above by the Environment Agency and the European Union. However, Councillors have a duty to represent their constituents, not government or the European Union and their constituents do not want radioactive wastes to be routinely dumped in landfill.

Radiation Free Lakeland would urge you to have a look at the letters below from the Environment Agency and from DECC. The letters provide answers to Freedom of Information questions and make grim reading for all Cumbrians who are concerned about “release of radioactivity to groundwaters.”

The Environment Agency and DECC assure us that no monitoring is necessary for “exempt” wastes while the high volume wastes will be monitored “from groundwater boreholes on site every 3 months, sample Distington Beck twice a year and, on an annual basis, sample grass/herbage next to the site boundary at specified locations. All samples will be analysed for radioactivity, including total alphas and betas, tritium and gamma spectrometric analysis. The operator is required to report their results to us, including all radionuclides detected by gamma spectrometric analysis”.

So the operators will be doing the sampling!

Meanwhile The Euratom 37 Directive goes on to say that “Although the release of radioactivity in liquid effluent from the site is limited by the conditions placed on the radionuclide inventory in the waste which is received for disposal, suitable trigger levels and an action plan to be implemented in the event of contamination arising from the site will be clearly set out”.


Ed Davey, the responsible Secretary of State’s reply assures campaigners that “The proposal was also subject to Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty which requires Member States to provide the Commission with general data so that they may give an opinion on whether the proposal is likely to have an impact on other Member States. The opinion of the Commission in this case was that it would not. The Commission visited the site in 2013 and reported that they were content with what they saw.”

WE ARE NOT CONTENT WITH WHAT WE SEE which is the dispersal of radioactivity to our environment.

This Committee has the wherewithal to refuse the Spanish owned operator, FCC, an extension to their permit and instead to bring in operators who are not looking to chase lucrative government contracts in the burying of radioactive wastes in our landfill close to villages and towns. Please ensure that Decommissioning of nuclear sites does not mean Dispersal to the environment but the containment of waste on sites where the waste (which includes building rubble, soil etc) has been produced.

Yours Sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland

Decommissioning and Towards a Safer Cumbria

Freedom of Information Answers to Radiation Free Lakeland below and attached

From: “Tim Farron MP” <>

Subject: TF Date: Tue, December 24, 2013 7:32 am To: “‘marianne Birkby'”

Our Ref: Birk004/35/ag 24 December 2013

Dear Marianne

Please find attached the response from the Environment Agency to the letter that I wrote on your behalf with regard to the provision for waste at Lillyhall. With best wishes

Yours sincerely Tim Farron MP

From: NW Correspondence Unit, []

Sent: 20 December 2013 11:34 To:

Subject: RE: Tim Farron – Birk004/35/ag

Dear Mr Farron,

We have looked into the matter you raised with us on behalf of your constituent in your email of 11 December.

Please find the responses to each of your points below. In addition, we would be happy to meet you and your constituent if you feel this would be of use. We would be able to explain more fully how landfills are regulated and monitored.

Please will you provide me with the comprehensive answers to the following questions under the Freedom of Information Act: –

1. Sight of all evidence and records of the monitoring of Lillyhall landfill’s receipt of “exempt” high volume radioactive wastes from 2009 to 2013.

The receipt of radioactive waste which is ‘exempt’ is not specifically monitored at Lillyhall landfill, nor at any other landfill at which it may be received. The definition of ‘exempt’ radioactive waste means that it is exempted from the need for specific permitting but that it must be controlled in accordance with the requirements set out in the legislation. Low volumes of Very Low Level Radioactive Waste (VLLW) is ‘exempt’ from the need for permitting on the basis of its co-disposal with non-radioactive waste at landfill. This exemption also means that the waste is not required to be ‘labelled’ as radioactive waste. As a result operators of landfills, including that of the Lillyhall Landfill, are not required to undertake any specific monitoring of the receipt of low volumes of VLLW and would not be able to distinguish it from any other receipt of waste unless otherwise informed by the waste consignor. High volumes of radioactive waste are not ‘exempted’ given that the same level of mixing with non-radioactive waste cannot be assumed. For that reason sites must be permitted to accept, for disposal, High Volume Very Low Level Radioactive Waste (HV-VLLW). The Lillyhall Landfill has been permitted since April 2011 to accept HV-VLLW for disposal. In accordance with the conditions of the permit, the operator is required to record all receipts of such waste, including date of delivery, its source, the activity of the waste, physical and chemical composition and the quantity. To-date the operator has not received any HV-VLLW for disposal and so no such records exist.

2. Details of the monitoring of Distington Beck and soil samples 2009 – 2013

It has been agreed with the site operator that they did not have to undertake the environmental monitoring of radioactivity as required by the permit until the site had commenced accepting waste under the permit (i.e. the HV-VLLW referred to above). Other, non-radiological monitoring data is available for Distington Beck in accordance with the permit requirements for a conventional landfill site, irrespective of the fact that this might include receipt of ‘exempt’ radioactive waste. This is because the risk of radioactivity in the environment as a result of disposals of ‘exempt’ radioactive waste have been assessed in the development of the legislation to be negligible. Given that we understand your interest is in the disposal and monitoring of radioactive waste we have not provided any data on the results of the non-radiological monitoring but this can be made available should you require it. Once the operator of the Lillyhall Landfill accepts HV-VLLW for disposal, under the conditions of its radioactive substances permit, they will be required to: take samples from groundwater boreholes on site every 3 months, sample Distington Beck twice a year and, on an annual basis, sample grass/herbage next to the site boundary at specified locations. All samples will be analysed for radioactivity, including total alphas and betas, tritium and gamma spectrometric analysis. The operator is required to report their results to us, including all radionuclides detected by gamma spectrometric analysis.

3. Details of the monitoring of the “controlled release of radioactivity to groundwaters” 2009 -2013

As described above, there is no monitoring of the ‘controlled release of radioactivity to groundwaters’ undertaken at the Lillyhall Landfill site at present. The requirement for groundwater monitoring will be triggered by the receipt of HV-VLLW at the site for disposal, in accordance with the requirements of the permit. The following report may be of interest to you. It is the product of an independent review of the proposed arrangements at the site, undertaken as part of vertification activities under the terms of Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty. (Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty requires that each Member State shall establish the facilities necessary to carry out continuous monitoring of the levels of radioactivity in air, water and soil and to ensure compliance with the basic safety standards. Article 35 also gives the European Commission (EC) the right of access to such facilities in order that it may verify their operation and efficiency. The Radiation Protection Unit (ENER D.4) of the EC’s Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER) is responsible for undertaking these verifications.) eport_uk_2011.pdf

Pages 22-25 of the report describe the arrangements the verification team identified for the management and disposal of HV-VLLW at the site. This covers their consideration of the proposals for monitoring, including groundwater monitoring, upon receipt of any radioactive waste for disposal under the terms of the permit. The report concludes that ‘on the assumption that environmental monitoring at the facility will be carried out as described to the verification team, the visit does not give rise to suggestions or recommendations’.

Many thanks,


Jane Phillips Customers and Engagement Team

more info


    1. Many thanks …the more the better! councillors are trying to cop out of responsibility saying its the Environment Agency what done it….yes we know that but councillors have a responsibility to their constituents not to the Environment Agency who are doing the government and European Union bidding in opening up landfill to ever increasing amounts of radioactive waste. it is the council who gives out the contracts/permits to companies and they do not need to employ companies who are going to take govnt contracts to dump radioactive wastes. councillors duty is to their constituents safety.

    1. many thanks for this! the FCC keep a low profile here they are known as Waste Recycling Group. I guess if this gets past the hapless councillors the next wheeze will be to incinerate the ever increasing radioactive wastes at Lillyhall …seems that what FCC do elsewhere …it would be promoted as “energy from waste”

      1. I can’t understand why being a billionaire isn’t enough for that woman! For Bill Gates that’s how he was raised to compete and win at all costs. Also Energy Solutions is still in there aren’t they? They are actually British Nuclear Fuels, I think joined with a US company. Isn’t British Nuclear Fuels the ones who messed Sellafield up so much? The only solace is that the stuff goes everywhere so they are killing themselves off too.

  1. Just received emails back from some councillors saying that they have no control over this and that the Environment Agnecy should be lobbied not them….this is a cop out and I have replied with the following……
    We understand that councillors feel aggrieved that decisions over nuclear dumping are being taken out of their hands but surely councillors have a responsibility not to government or to the European Union but to their constituents. yes campaigners have lobbied the EA and the European Union who are describing Lillyhall as a Nuclear Waste Repository for higher activity low level waste (previously banned from landfill) over the heads of the councillors and the public.

    Councillors surely have some wherewithal to say who the permits are awarded to and to ensure that the permits are not awarded to those companies looking to increase their profits by taking on government contracts to disperse Decommissioned smashed up nuclear plants into landfill. Otherwise Cumbrians are merely reducing reusing and recycling in order to make room for nuclear waste!

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  4. Pingback: A Letter to Cumbria’s Cabinet: Please Dont’ Abdicate Your Responsibility, Reinstate Radiation Monitoring | Radiation Free Lakeland

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