“Criminal Activity” of Landfill Operators at Lillyhall

Site given extension despite large protest.  Option to refuse extension to permit not even discussed

Site given extension despite large protest. Option to refuse extension to permit not even discussed
NO Radioactive Landfill - Kendal

This and MORE coming to a landfill near you!

West Cumbrians have conscientiously reduced, reused and recycled their domestic waste which, say the private company FCC, running Lillyhall landfill, means that there is “spare capacity” of 1.4 million cubic metres. Of course the privateers running the landfill  will receive far more lucrative government contracts to dump nuclear waste and clear the decks for new nuclear build, than for dumping domestic waste.

The Lillyhall site originally accepted small amounts of Naturally Occuring Radioactive Materials, then it was licensed over the heads of council and businesses to accept the newly classified “exempt” High Volume Low Level Radioactive wastes.  The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have pointed out that radioactive waste in landfill was previously banned : The July 1995 Radioactive Waste Management White Paper said it has been decided “not to encourage greater use of controlled burial by the nuclear industry” on landfill sites. This was superceded in March 2007 by a new Government White Paper on Low Level Waste Policy which said it “…sees no reason to preclude controlled burial of radioactive waste from nuclear sites from the list of options to be considered”  namely landfill!   Interestingly 2007 was the year in which large amounts of radioactively contaminated rubble and soil was generated by the razing of cooling towers and other buildings at Chapel Cross and Sellafield.

Obviously one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of waste going to landfill is to increase the level below which waste is declared to be not radioactive and therefore can be removed from regulatory control.

This new “exempt” classification led to Sellafield dumping three bags of low-level and one bag of intermediate level radioactive wastes into Lillyhall landfill.  The judge acknowledged that this was potentially cancer causing and dangerous to health.

In 2010 While Sellafield was busy fly tipping bags of low and intermediate level waste into Lillyhall, Radiation Free Lakeland was pointing out to Cumbrian councillors that this “exempt” novel pathway for dispersal of nuclear wastes would lead to “accidental” dumping of even higher activity wastes.

Landfill operators are legally responsible for waste going into their sites ….so why havn’t the criminally negligent operators of Lillyhall been prosecuted?   Perhaps privateer nuclear dumping companies are just too useful to the “decommissioning” agenda of government.  Instead of prosecuting the landfill company the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency concentrated on prosecuting Sellafield.   This is meaningless grandstanding with public money to the tune of £700,000.  Far from being prosecuted for criminal negligence Lillyhall landfill operators have been praised by one or two councilors for running an excellent landfill site – what nonsense is this?  At the recent farcical Development Control meeting of Cumbria County Council in Kendal, the operators, FCC were given an extension to the life of the landfill in order to continue and accelerate the dumping radioactive materials until 2029.  The Chair of the meeting Councillor Alan Clark even went so far as to say “the operators want a decision today”  despite the fact that most of the councillors spoke against nuclear waste in landfill and wanted more time to discuss.  Following the Chair pointing out that if they refused the extension the company would take the Council to court, the councillors then confusedly voted for an amendment.  This  amendment was to “limit” the waste to the status quo of High Volume Very Low Level.  This flawed and unfit decision puts the greed of private companies and the wish list of government agendas before the health and well being of the Cumbrian public .  The Environment Agency could next week reclassify High Volume Very Low Level and call it something else which includes Low Level and Intermediate.  Makes no odds anyway what it’s called because the operators are the ones doing the monitoring.  Imagine how many people would pass their degrees with flying colours if they marked their own papers!

The judge found that there had been a custom in the company Sellafield Ltd which was “too lax and complacent.”  Indeed!   But what about the Landfill operators?  Not only have they walked away scot free but they have a license to fill our landfill with radioactive wastes.  The public sector pays while the criminally negligent profiteers leave the people of Cumbria with a constant stream of lorries carrying bin bags full of radioactive rubble to dump in landfill and irreversibly pollute our groundwaters.  This is obscene.

Even by the rules of this nasty “exempt” deregulation, Sellafield and the private landfill operators have acted with criminal negligence.  Radiation Free Lakeland will be lobbying councillors, MPs and others to prosecute FCC for criminal negligence and ask if not then WHY THE HELL NOT!


Radioactive Waste in a Landfill near You?   http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/world/2010/04/448818.html

Nuclear Free Local Authorities – DECC Consultation:  http://www.nuclearpolicy.info/docs/radwaste/Radioactive_Waste_Briefing_26_EA_RS_exemptions.pdf

Sellafield V Crown Court     http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/r-v-network-rail-and-sellafield-ltd.pdf

  1. i)  The failure was not isolated but systemic.
  2. ii)  It potentially exposed those who handled waste off-site and the public to unnecessary risk.
  3. iii)  It was not a first offence. A prohibition notice had been served on 28 June 2008, one year before installation of the new monitors, by the Department of Transport for breach of Regulation 5 of the 2009 Regulations. Sellafield Ltd had been fined twice for incidents involving the emission of radioactive material in 2005 and 2007 – £500,000 and £75,000 respectively.

Fomento de Contrucciones y Contratas     http://www.fccenvironment.co.uk/new-disposal-site-for-very-low-level-radioactive-waste-gets-the-go-ahead.html    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fomento_de_Construcciones_y_Contratas

Criminal Waste Activity : Although illegal waste sites are a primary focus for the Environment Agency (EA), criminal waste activity is also taking place at sites that hold environmental permits and have the correct physical and operational controls, but are disposing of waste incorrectly to reduce costs. The nature of crimes stemming from certified waste sites is complex, often occurs without the knowledge of the waste site operator or owner, and has a direct financial impact upon legitimate businesses operating within the sector. As a result, this type of crime is more difficult to regulate and the behaviour and impact of these practices is largely unknown. Without closely monitoring third-party practices, landfill site owners open themselves up to large fines and even closures as a result of illegal waste disposal occurring on their site.http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/2013/08/security-advice-for-landfill-owners-who-pay-the-price-for-criminal-activity.html

Powerful Evidence to Pull the Plug on Radioactive Fly Tipping: https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/tim-farron-mp-powerful-evidence-to-pull-the-plug-on-radioactive-fly-tipping/

8 thoughts on ““Criminal Activity” of Landfill Operators at Lillyhall

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