EU says Radioactive Effluent from Lillyhall will not affect Member States – What does the MP for Workington say?

Lillyhall Nuclear Waste Disposal Site - If you can read this you are too close
Lillyhall Nuclear Waste Disposal Site – If you can read this you are too close


The powers that be are allowing higher activities and high volumes of radionuclides into the environment, into our landfill, our food and our water.

Democracy does not come into it as this is top down government where the decision has already been made at European level with collusion of the nuclear industry.

Europe’s  Euratom Directive has  Lillyhall in Cumbria earmarked as a radioactive Waste dump ….no Cumbrian vote, no Cumbrian discussion.

Question: What nasty rogue regime would “release radioactivity to
groundwater” near settlements?

Answer: UK government’s Environment
Agency obeying Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty.

This is not a spoof, or a send up. Our government has signed up to the Euratom Treaty which describes in detail a plan to turn Lillyhall landfill site into a Radioactive Waste Repository with a “controlled release of radioactivity to groundwaters.”   Our government has smoothed the way with a change to UK law. High volumes of “low level” radioactive wastes can be
relabelled “exempt” allowing them to be dumped in landfill. Higher activity wastes have already been illegally dumped by Sellafield. The Environment Agency has issued a permit despite the opposition of County and Borough councils.

All that’s left is for local councillors to rubber stamp, which they have done despite the majority of councillors being vehemently against nuclear wastes going to Lillyhall.

This is an abuse of power, of human rights and an abuse of the environment.

What can we do?   We are doing all we can as an unfunded local volunteer group but without national media support or the support of National Non Governmental Organisations there is no momentum to oppose this – which of course is the desired effect.  The out of control nuclear juggernaught rolls on, the more momentum it gains the more uncontrollable and unstoppable it becomes.

On the streets of Cumbria there is disbelief .  Disbelief that this abuse of our democracy and our human right to clean unpolluted water could be happening. Disbelief that there could be such collusion between the nuclear industry, the European Union, The UK government and the regulators.  As Energy Minister the late Tony Benn was in charge of Britain’s nuclear program  he summed the situation up in his time as ” this is the trouble with the nuclear industry, I came not to believe what I was told, and that throws a doubt on more than nuclear power: the question of democracy, if officials can operate as a state within a state. Where is the democratic control of policy?”    We suspect that the nuclear corruption of governance  has gone from bad to a whole lot worse since then.

The following is a letter sent today to Workington’s pro nuclear MP, Sir Tony Cunningham.  


Dear  Sir Tony Cunningham MP,


Lillyhall is a Radioactive Waste Repository (so says the European Commission)


Please find enclosed 100 letters from your constituents and visitors to Workington. The letters were signed on 22nd March, World Water Day, in Workington in a very short time, many more people were keen to sign but we ran out of letters.


The letter says:


Sellafield was fined £700,000 for illegally dumping 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into Lillyhall landfill.   Lillyhall has been given a permit to dump the recently classified “exempt” radioactive waste.  This led to the open gate allowing Sellafield to dump even higher activity wastes than the already dangerous “exempt” waste. 

 According to the European Commission the plan is to have liquid radioactive effluent being routinely released from Lillyhall as long as it does not affect Member States.

 We are asking why was Sellafield prosecuted while the landfill operators FCC are allowed to not only get away scot free but given a green light to continue?  Is it because the government needs privateers such as those running Lillyhall to “dispose” of radioactive wastes?   We want to know why the landfill operators have not been prosecuted and we are urging you as the local MP along with all Cumbrian MPs and Cumbria County Council to ask some tough questions and demand some answers.


Residents from Workington spoke at the recent County Council Meeting in opposition to Lillyhall’s nuclear landfill.  The Cumbria County Council Development Control Chair Alan Clark repeated time and again that the Lillyhall meeting was “not about nuclear” but merely about a time extension to the landfill.


What Councillor Alan Clark should have said is that ‘this meeting is not about nuclear waste because the European Commission has already decided that Lillyhall is a Radioactive Waste Repository above our heads and also above our heads the Environment Agency has already given Lillyhall a permit’.


It is clear that democracy does not come into this top down nuclear decision making. In Europe, Lillyhall is earmarked as a radioactive waste dump in an area previously free of high volumes of nuclear waste (apart from small amounts of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials)  So Lillyhall is earmarked as a nuclear dump with No Cumbrian vote, No Cumbrian discussion. The decision made by the European Commission has been rubber stamped by the UK Environment Agency by granting a permit.


All that’s left is for local councillors to rubber stamp a time extension, which they have done despite the majority of councillors speaking angrily against nuclear waste being dumped in Lillyhall. The Chair Alan Clark was insistent that if they denied a time extension to the landfill (“because this isn’t about nuclear” ) the private operators would appeal against the Council’s decision. This turns justice and democracy on its head. West Cumbrians have been conscientiously reducing, reusing and recycling which, say the company running the landfill, means that there is “spare capacity” of 1.4 million cubic metres.   We would like you to ask this question in Parliament on behalf of your constituents and those towns and villages in Cumbria who would suffer radioactive rubble being trucked passed them on the way to Lillyhall from Sellafield, Chapel Cross etc.


Q: Why weren’t the private operators of Lillyhall Landfill prosecuted for allowing Sellafield to dump 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into the landfill?



Yours sincerely,


Marianne Birkby on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland (address)

cc. Tim Farron MP, John Woodcock MP, Rory Stewart MP, Jamie Reed MP,  John Stevenson MP,  Cumbria County Council Leader Stewart Young, Chair of Development Control Alan Clark



pg 2   Lillyhall Radioactive Waste Repository





European Commission Directorate D – Nuclear Energy





Letter from DECC to Radiation Free Lakeland



A UK Radioactive Waste Dump is Born with Fanfare or Fuss


Sellafield V Crown Court

  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

Criminal Waste Activity : 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.

Powerful Evidence to Pull the Plug on Radioactive Fly Tipping:




Tony Benn




4 thoughts on “EU says Radioactive Effluent from Lillyhall will not affect Member States – What does the MP for Workington say?

  1. Pingback: Sir Tony Cunningham writes to DECC: Why have Lillyhall Landfill operators not been prosecuted? | Radiation Free Lakeland

  2. Pingback: UK -Sir Tony Cunningham writes to DECC: Why have Lillyhall Landfill operators not been prosecuted? « nuclear-news

  3. Pingback: Letter to The Westmorland Family’s Sarah Dunning: Please Cancel Rheged’s Low Level Waste Conference | Radiation Free Lakeland

  4. Pingback: Japan Radioactive Rubble-Old Reactor Parts to be Sent to America and/or Britain? | Mining Awareness +

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