Drigg Flood Alert and More from The Ecologist

Pre 1988 dumping of low and intermediate level nuclear waste at the Drigg site in Cumbria: Photo via EA (2005)

DRIGG FLOOD MAP 30th Dec 2015


Many Thanks to The Ecologist for publishing the Article below.

“Cumbria flooding: Environment Agency issues alert on Drigg nuclear waste site
Marianne Birkby

31st December 2015

Following this month’s intense rainfall in the north of England an Environment Agency alert has highlighted the flood risk to the crumbling nuclear waste dump adjoining Sellafield in Cumbria, writes Marianne Birkby – a dump which remains in use despite its condemnation by the EA in 2005 due to its likely destruction by rising seas. Now it really is time to close the gate on Drigg!

Standing water, sometimes contaminated with low levels of radioactivity, is present in approximately half of the containers at the tops of stacks … Corrosion, sometimes fully penetrating, is present in some container lids at the tops of stacks
It’s no secret that Cumbria in northern England has been repeatedly hit by torrential rain and wind this month.

But there has been little media focus on what this means for nuclear waste buried at Drigg, the UKs ‘Low Level Waste Repository’, located near the Sellafield nuclear site on the Cumbrian coast.

Yesterday the Environment Agency issued a flood alert for the River Irt which runs alongside the Drigg nuclear dump. The Environment Agency’s flood map illustrates the River Irt inundating the Drigg site on the southward side with floodwater also encroaching from the northward side.

This has not actually happened yet – the map (right) illustrates risk, not actual flooding. But it certainly gives cause for concern as Storm Frank ditches further enormous quantities of rainfall on the Cumbrian mountains and fells.

On the same day, 30th December, Cumbrian campaign group Radiation Free Lakeland sent a letter to Cumbria County Council asking for Drigg’s gates to be locked to any more nuclear waste given the dangers from flood waters entering the site, eroding the landfill and contaminating land, river and and sea with radioactive waste.”


Marianne Birkby is spokesperson for Radiation Free Lakeland (RFL). RFL is a voluntary organisation of local activists giving their own time and expertise freely and without payment. Any donations go directly to campaigning for nuclear safety.

Petition: ‘Lock the Gate on Drigg!

Petition: ‘Stop Moorside!’

Action: Please submit any comments on the planning application : Application 4/11/9007 ‘Low Level Waste Repository Site Optimisation and Closure Works’. to Cumbria County Council at: developmentcontrol@cumbria.gov.uk.

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