THANKS to the Cumberland News for reporting on this. Previously there has been a media black out for whatever reason – even when Lillyhall got a permit from the Environment Agency, over and above the heads of councillors to dump high volumes of radioactive waste the reporting on the matter was zilch. The reporting was also zilch when in 2014 Cumbria County Council gave Lillyhall landfill an extension to 2029 despite the operators FCC/Energy Solutions admitting to being “unaware’ that Sellafield had abused the new law in order to dump one bag of intermediate and four bags of low level radioactive wastes instead of the newly reclassified “exempt” wastes. Energy Solutions as well as operating the nuclear side of the landfill are also operating Magnox sites and decommissioning.
ARTICLE IN THIS WEEKS CUMBERLAND NEWS
Demands over monitoring waste
by Kelly Pattison
Senior county councillors faced campaigners calling for independent monitoring of radioactive waste.
Radiation Free Lakeland founding members, Marianne Birkby and husband and wife Ron and Anita Stirzaker were demonstrating at the entrance to Cumbria County Council’s car park at its Citadel headquarters in Carlisle. Their efforts were before Mrs Birkby addressed yesterday’s meeting of the county council’s ruling cabinet and delivered 118 letters (actually over 200!) from concerned residents and others who want Cumbria and Lancashire county councils to introduce independent monitoring of waste that heads to landfill sites such as Lillyhall near Workington. They claim more can be done to check that higher levels of waste are not entering the environment accidentally, fearing current controls are not enough.
She said: “There is a real risk to human health on this but there is also an abdication of responsibility for that risk. We want Cumbria and Lancashire county councils to get together an introduce independent radiation monitoring.”
Mrs Birkby told councillors that independent monitoring had been carried out in the past by Barrow Council and in Lancaster by a network of local authorities.
“Because of cuts, radiation monitoring has been left to the industry and Environment Agency both they (the councils) have the equipment if they have an emergency, which seems a bit like after the horse has bolted to me.”
In response councillor David Southward explained that a series of monitoring measures are carried out by the nuclear industry, the Environment Agency and a range of other local, regional. national and international bodies – some as often as every 30 minutes. he also said that preliminary work is being carried out looking at increasing monitoring working around nuclear sites across the UK. He added:
“The stuff people now regard as ‘free release’ (from nuclear sites) is general really low level waste, trace stuff really. It is building debris and soil which we have seen at those tips.”
Mr Southward, the county council’s cabinet member for economic development and property also addd that would provide a more detailed response if further questions from the group were submitted in writing.