Perception is Everything

Twenty years ago the Lake District National Park declared that a famous stand of beech trees in the Rusland valley were “dead diseased and dying”  not to mention “ugly” and that in the interests of public safety the trees should be clearfelled. Video from 1997

Many people disagreed and thought the line of 200 year old trees a thing of beauty.

Scientists and tree experts also lent their weight to the long campaign in spite of the local great and good from Cumbria Wildlife Trust to Friends of the Lake District backing up the plan to clearfell.

The Lake District National park’s vision of what is safe and beautiful did not extend to the Rusland beeches 20 years ago. Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder.

An example of beauty being in the eye of the beholder is news that the former head of the LDNPA is lending his weight to the ‘beautifying’ of proposed new nuclear build at the Lakeland village of Beckermet.

The ‘Moorside’  proposal (over an area of three farms  by the river Ehen floodplain) would trash increasingly threatened wildlife, special sites of scientific and historic interest, miles of hedgerow and would double Sellafield’s sprawl visible from many Lakeland peaks.  It would be the biggest new nuclear build in Europe.

Former LDNPA boss Paul Tiplday is one of the “judges” of this unprecedented nuclear greenwash and grooming exercise in the plan to more than double the footprint of Sellafield.   “The Royal Institute of British Architects has launched an open design competition for architectural elements on Cumbria’s £10 billion Moorside nuclear power station The unprecedented contest – described as a world first for the nuclear industry – aims to create a ‘positive lasting legacy’ for the 3.6GW triple-reactor plant. The surprise announcement comes a decade after former RIBA president Jack Pringle condemned government plans for a new wave of nuclear power stations on cost and safety grounds (see AJ 04.05.06). Backed by plant operator NuGen, the RIBA contest seeks ideas for the 200 hectare site’s visitor centre, accommodation block and masterplan. A separate competition – organised by the Landscape Institute (LI) – has also been launched to find ‘creative and sustainable’ proposals for the controversial facility’s surroundings”.

20 years ago the LDNPA sought to protect the safety of Cumbrians from falling branches – and all credit to them for that.   Taking it to the extreme and clearfelling all trees at the side of the road would have been an over reaction to what would always be, even in the awful worst case scenario, a localised threat.

Nuclear new build no matter how it is dressed up would use the same old crappy and dangerous technology next to what is already the most hazardous nuclear site in the world.  The waste from “high burn” new build would be four times as radioactive.

This would not be a localised threat.

As the crow flies the “dead, diseased and dying” Rusland beeches are just 22 miles from the proposed Moorside site which has been described by former US nuclear regulator Arnie Gundersen as “Chernobyl on Steroids”

But it will be ‘beautiful’ and the former Head of the LDNPA will help choose the architectural look.   No one got to look at why former Head of the LDNPA Paul Tiplady was suspended on full pay pending an independent investigation which it seems (??) never concluded.  Mr Tiplady’s wife, a well regarded social historian, interestingly, has a background in “nuclear and defence.

The present head of the LDNPA, Richard Leafe, instead of opposing dangerous new nuclear build in order to protect the public, has,  incredibly offered up the Lake District as a playground for the proposed boom and boost influx of nuclear workers, telling the government that: “We’ll  have to find a way of getting the temporary workers to release some of their adrenaline in the Lake District national park at the weekends”

Maybe Moorside should be something architecturally similar to Gotham… And like Gotham remain as a dystopian fantasy.    The Rusland Beeches are real and beautiful.



400 % Spike in Rare Birth Defects Near Leaking Hanford Nuclear Site

Let’s blame it on the mosquitoes?

Fukushima Emergency


Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : The Hanford Nuclear site in Washington is attracting renewed attention as rare birth defects, including babies born with parts of their brain missing, spike around the facility. An epidemiologist assigned by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims the incidents are not focused near the Hanford site, prompting the question how it can be that the CDC official failed to notice that the Hanford site is located in the center of the cluster.

File image: Ancephalic child.

Incidence 400 percent above normal. The Washington State Health Department is trying to identify the cause of an unusually high number of rare birth defects in south central Washington, around the leaking Hanford nuclear site. In 2013, seven cases of anencephaly, a rare and often fatal birth defect were reported in a remote region of Washington State, clustered around…

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Willie McRae Death, Nuclear Waste Dumping in Scotland, Group Continues to Call for Inquiry

Thanks to Mining Awareness for this …Remember Willie McRae

Mining Awareness +

Area Loch Doon sheep
Loch Doon area sheep
Mullwharchar Loch Doon
Mullwharchar Loch Doon which the late Willie McRae helped save from becoming a nuclear waste dump

In June 2015 over 12,000 signatures were delivered to Scotland’s Lord Advocate calling for the fatal accident inquiry to which Willie McRae is entitled by law.

Willie McRae had successfully worked to stop a nuclear waste dump in Ayrshire, Scotland and “At the time of his death, McRae had been working to counter plans to dump nuclear waste from the Dounreay Nuclear Power Development Establishment into the sea. Due to his house being burgled on repeated occasions prior to his death, he had taken to carrying a copy of the documents relating to his Dounreay work with him at all times. However, they were not found following his death, and the sole other copy which was kept in his office was stolen when it was burgled, no…

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Karoo, South Africa, community unaware of hazards of uranium mining

deafening silence on imminent uranium mining plans … South Africa


text-Please-NotePeople should make their voices heard in the public consultations expected to take place over the course of the year 2016, before mining rights are granted.

To register as Interested and Affected Parties write to Ferret Mining at call 012 753 1284/5.

To stay informed, join the Facebook page Stop Uranium Mining in the Karoo.

dust from miningflag-S.AfricaUranium Mining Threatens the Karoo, Karoo Space, 18 Jan 16  By Dr Stefan Cramer  Images sourced by Dr Stefan Cramer  Just as the threat of fracking seemed to recede in the Karoo, the danger of uranium mining has arisen – and it is even more frightening and more likely than shale gas extraction.

The Karoo has long been known to harbour substantial sedimentary uranium deposits. Now an Australian company with Russian funding is planning to get the radioactive mineral out of the ground on a major scale.

The company…

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UK Nuclear Offshore Pipeline Test Drilling will Churn Up Old Nuclear Waste; Operation will Add More Nuclear Waste to Irish Sea-Ocean: Write to Oppose

NuGen Boreholes in the Irish Sea near Sellafield will churn up and resuspend what is effectively the worlds biggest nuclear dump sitting on the sea bed. Please write, oppose, take a stand.  This is due to start in late February.

Mining Awareness +

NuGeneration Limited (NuGen) wants to build three nuclear reactors (Moorside) near Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria UK. NuGen is a consortium of Japan’s Toshiba and France’s ENGIE (GDF-Suez). Like all nuclear reactors, they will legally discharge lethal radioactive materials into waterways. Although ocean dumping of nuclear waste is supposed to be illegal, offshore pipelines apparently remain a loophole. Radioactive discharges from the offshore pipeline(s) of Moorside would add to the already heavy radioactive burden of the Irish Sea and ultimately the Arctic. Not only Britain, but Ireland, Norway and those concerned with the Arctic should be alarmed. Additionally, cooling water intake pipes trap and kill marine life. Of current concern, borehole surveys for the intake and outfall pipes will disturb over half a century of radioactive sediment from nearby Sellafield’s discharges.
Ye Olde Nuclear Dump Marianne Birkby
Artwork by Marianne Birkby

As explained by Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland:
NuGen plan to drill/blast 40…

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Foreign Corporations Operating UK Radioactive Waste Site “Self-Monitor” Radioactive Air Emissions: Drigg on the Irish Sea

The public relies on the Environment Agency and other regulators to protect health and the environment from the nuclear industry’s radioactive liquid and gaseous emissions. BUT the Environment Agency relies on the nuclear industry providing documentation of their own self monitoring. The nuclear industry is out of control …literally.

Mining Awareness +

French State Owned AREVA, Swedish Studsvik & California URS “Self Monitor” Radioactive Waste Gaseous Emissions in the UK at Drigg Radioactive waste dump, which they operate. Scandal-ridden AREVA would be bankrupt, if it were not a French State owned company, supported by the French taxpayer (and apparently the British and US taxpayer).

Two of the consortium members running the Drigg radioactive waste dump – URS and AREVA- are consortium members at the WIPP nuclear waste dump which has had major problems with emissions of radiation into the air.
WIPP 22 May 2014
WIPP nuclear waste accident led to unplanned gaseous radioactive emissions
Since that time URS was sold to AECOM (finalized Oct. 2014), also of California.

UK Environmental Agency Response to Marianne of Radiation Free Lakeland:
From: CMBLNC Info Requests
Environment Agency
19 January 2016

Dear Marianne

Enquiry regarding Who Monitors Drigg Radioactive Waste Site

Thank you for your enquiry which was received…

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Not just Jeremy Corbyn – senior Tories also think ditching Trident might be a good idea

many people in Barrow also think Making Weapons of Mass Destruction should be scrapped including I suspect those who otherwise support Barrow MP John Woodcock

Pride's Purge

Perhaps the Cameron government should be more careful before labelling Jeremy Corbyn a national security ‘threat’ just for saying Trident should be scrapped.

Because there are several influential people in the Tory Party who think Trident should be scrapped too.

Former Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Portillo agrees with Jeremy Corbyn:

“Our independent nuclear deterrent is not independent and doesn’t constitute a deterrent against anybody that we regard as an enemy. It is a waste of money and it is a diversion of funds that might otherwise be spent on perfectly useful and useable weapons and troops. But some people have not caught up with this reality.”

And Tim Montgomerie – who has been called one of the most influential Tories outside the cabinet – has also floated ditching Trident (from the Times last March):

trident tim

In fact, in 2009 Montgomerie praised the willingness of the Tory Party to discuss the scrapping of Trident as “tough thinking”.

Veteran Tory MP…

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