Independent Radiation Monitoring In NW – What?

Three Wise Monkeys
Three Wise Monkeys


Radiation Free Lakeland are lobbying for independent radiation monitoring in the North West.  This used to be carried out by Radiation Monitoring in Lancashire – RADMIL – which was disbanded a few years ago due to council cuts.

Multi-national private companies taking on lucrative government contracts to “decommission” nuclear plants are essentially self regulating, such as the landfill at Lillyhall which accepted “non exempt” 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste from Sellafield.  The Environment Agency said they were satisfied that the company running the landfill was “unaware” of Sellafield’s actions.  So no prosecution against the private company was made.  The Environment Agency are the government body policing radioactive releases to the environment. They are being crafted to become  increasingly a watchdog that does not bark, or even look.

Please write to the Chief Scientist at Lancashire County Scientific Services:

and cc to Cumbria County Council’s Nuclear Issues:

Dear Scientific Services/Nuclear Issues


Radioactive releases to the environment used to be independently monitored by the council run Radiation Monitoring in Lancashire, RADMIL. RADMIL was stopped a few years ago due to council cuts. The nuclear industry and government plan to manufacture fuel for new reactors beginning with uranium at Capenhurst, Near Chester and then on to Preston’s Springfields plant with proposed new nuclear build at Moorside in Cumbria  and proposed geological dumping under Cumbria. This means the escalating release of radioactive materials to the River Ribble and Clifton Marsh Landfill in Lancashire and to the Irish Sea, Lillyhall landfill and more in Cumbria.  Fracking would also release radiation to the environment.  Nuclear is ALREADY releasing an accelerating cocktail of the most potent radionuclides to the environment from fuel manufacture, routine emissions from nuclear plants, reprocessing, decommissioning and waste ‘disposal’.

Given this escalation in radioactive emissions we urge you to reinstate regular and frequent independent radiation monitoring in Lancashire and Cumbria

Yours sincerely,




More info:
From: ENV Lancashire County Scientific Services
Date: 31 March 2014 14:44:29 BST
To: ‘marianne Birkby’

Subject: RE: RADMIL

Dear Ms Birkby

The decision to discontinue radiation monitoring was taken about three years ago
by the Lancashire Chief Environmental Health Officers group. This was mainly due to budgetary pressure and the recognition that the background levels of radiation were very well established.

It was also decided that the remaining equipment would be held by Lancashire
County Scientific Services and maintained in good working order in case it might
assist in the recovery phase of an nuclear incident.

As the pressures on budgets have not eased I cannot see RADMIL being reinstated in the foreseeable future.

I hope this answers your question adequately. If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.


Andrew Smith, BSc., PhD., M.Chem.A., C.Sci., C.Chem., M.R.S.C.

Lancashire County Council
County Scientific Services
Pedders Way
Riversway Docklands
Tel: 01772 721660 (Office)

16 thoughts on “Independent Radiation Monitoring In NW – What?

  1. Pingback: Lobbying for independent radiation monitoring in the North West. | Close Capenhurst

  2. The Fairbairns

    Dear Marianne, I have written to the two councils as suggested. But, in the Lancaster Guardian on Friday there was a full page notice about public meetings for people to give their views on the transport of electicity from Moorside. Does this mean that Moorside is going ahead? Are there no petitons, demonstrations, or outcry ? I thought 38 degrees was combining with Radiation F.L ( don’t ask me why this has gone italic) Keep up your good work Barbara Fairbairn


  3. Hi Barbara, it is a cunning plan to try to pylon the pressure for Moorside. There is no outcry from all those bodies like Friends of the Lake District, the National Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, FoE, Greenpeace who should be jumping up and down right NOW and strongly opposing 3 nuclear reactors on virgin land next to Sellafield. Instead the debate is being limited to the pylons to make the nuclear reactors seem like a done deal.. it is nasty psychological manoeuvring to push the nuclear agenda. Even if people are in favour of nuclear the last place a nuclear plant should be is miles from centres of population and right next to the biggest concentration of nuclear waste in Europe. Many thanks for writing. We will be demonstrating outside some of the pylon meetings to make the point that …: stuff the pylons, instead say a big fat NO the biggest nuclear development in Europe.

  4. One of the many surprising things is that whereas many US EPA workers seem to get really fat salaries the EPA Radnet is run by volunteers! The radiation filters are changed by volunteers! There was a recent scandal that an EPA worker took a big salary for years and sat home and no one noticed! I think the US volunteers must be mostly national guard-military. Some military might be qualified to deal with the filters. The more military oriented US states seemed to have the Radnets up consistently and filters changed routinely. Others not. US EPA goal is to have only 80 percent operative. They use that it’s volunteers as an excuse! There are only one or two per state – many nowhere near the nuclear facility. Wyoming has uranium mines but no rad monitor. Some states might have their own. While it would take someone knowing proper handling to change the air filters, they could encourage volunteerism with Geiger Counters. With readings like Sellafield had in the past, anyone could surely do a reading with a Geiger:
    Sellafield pigeons feathers had caesium-137 up to 403,000 bequerels per kilogramme “Birds classed as nuclear waste, Thursday 12 March 1998” I just read that a few years ago Hanford spent 300,000 US dollars chasing down radioactive rabbits – a problem since 1959! Also, honeybees can be used as low level radiation monitors. And, then they wonder WHY honeybees are dying?

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