Do Not Disturb Cumbrian Nuclear Dump

The following letter of objection to NuGen’s 40 (or more) offshore “exploratory” boreholes which would churn up the biggest nuclear dump in the world has been sent to the Marine Management Organisation.  The nuclear industry seemingly has been able to bypass local democracy and cut straight to the chase.  The only chance the public gets to object is now in what the Marine Management Organisation laughingly calls a “public consultation.”  The public however cannot easily find the information or the tools to object.   But here is our strong objection.  Please ask your local representatives if there has been any democratic vote or debate on this and if not why not!  In contrast the wind turbines off Walney were hugely debated by local councillors, one of the concerns being (quite rightly) the churning up of radioactive silts.  *Petition to sign and share.*    Also Please write with your objection before the 12th February quoting MLA/2015/00475 to: 

Dear Marine Management Organisation,

You will be deciding in the next week on an Application from NuGen for 40
offshore boreholes MLA/2015/00475

Radiation Free Lakeland are writing to object strongly to the issuing of
the license to NuGen for 40 offshore boreholes in the vicinity of
Sellafield for the following reasons…

The offshore boreholes would impact negatively on

1. Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ)
2. Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (Directive 2008/56/EC).
3. Water Framework Directive (WFD) (Directive 2000/60/EC);
4. Bathing Waters Directives (BWDs)
5. Shellfish Waters Directive (SFWD)
And would be in breach of the legally binding international OSPAR
convention which enshsrines the “precautionary principle.”

We note that NuGen have not included any mitigation measures with regard
to their borehole activity. The Habitats Regulations make it clear that
no damage to internationally protected wildlife sites will be countenanced
unless there are Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Importance
(IROPI) as described in Article 6(4) of the Habitats Directive

However, even in the case of IROPI, the Habitats Regulations indicate that
any damage or loss of part of an internationally protected site must be
compensated by creation of new habitat of the same type, quality and
extent as that lost to ensure the integrity of the Natura 2000 suite of
sites. In EN-6[7] DECC make it clear that they consider the case for
nuclear power stations comes under IROPI. Loss of or damage to a large
area of the habitats of the Duddon Estuary SPA/Ramsar and part of the
Morecambe Bay SAC along with the Irish Sea Marine Conservation Zones
cannot however be compensated for elsewhere, and if this cannot be done,
the Habitats Directive cannot be complied with.

NuGen reiterate statements throughout their license application such as:
“The survey works are not expected to have an impact to features of
interest within the Drigg Coast SAC. This is disingenuous. To say that
radionuclides are “not expected” to impact on special wildlife sites is
not credible or within the remit of the legally binding international
OSPAR convention which enshrines the “precautionary principle”. Neither
is the statement that: “Any transportation of sediments will be within
background storm levels for the area” as it is now thought that the
increase in radioactive particle finds on Cumbrian beaches in recent years
is due to increased storm surges.

Have NuGen carried out any investigations as to the cumulative effect of:
increased storm surges and resuspension of radioactive particles from
borehole drilling?

It is impossible to mitigate against the resuspension of radionuclides
from the silts of the Irish Sea bed. The Irish Sea has been a dumping
ground for Sellafield’s nuclear wastes and also the now closed Marchon
plant at Whitehaven which is thought to have supplied Sellafield with
thousands of gallons of acids for reprocessing. Sellafield has dumped at
least a quarter of a ton of plutonium into the Irish Sea along with a
cocktail of other radionuclides.

The old Marchon plant has dumped polonium into the Irish Sea and a 2014
report published by the US National Library of Medicine, National
Institutes of Health has said: “Since the cessation of phosphoric acid
production (in 1992) and subsequent closure and decommissioning (2004) of
the Rhodia Consumer Specialties Limited plant in Whitehaven, the
concentration levels of polonium-210 ((210)Po) in local marine materials
have declined towards a level more typical of natural background. However,
enhanced concentrations of (210)Po and lead-210 ((210)Pb), due to this
historic industrial activity (plant discharges and ingrowth of (210)Po
from (210)Pb), have been observed in fish and shellfish samples collected
from this area over the last 20 years.”

What impact would borehole drilling (and the proposed Moorside
infrastructure ) have? Would “historic discharges” of the cocktail of
radionuclides be resuspended?

All the evidence points to the MMO applying the “precautionary principle”
and refusing NuGen a licence to disturb what is in effect the worlds
biggest nuclear dump at the bottom of the Irish Sea.

We would draw the MMO’s attention to the fact that there is a wealth of
evidence that even chronic low level radiation exposure has a detrimental
impact on wildlife …..and humans.

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea

Natura 2000 – The Irish Sea, Morecambe Bay, The Duddon Estuary

Habitats Directive

Polonium from the old Marchon Plant at Whitehaven
History of the Marchon Plant –biggest producer of acid in the world –
essential to Sellafield reprocessing

Environmental effects of chronic low level radioactive contamination

Hot Nature -Sellafield


Below is a letter sent to Stuart Young Leader of Cumbria County Council

Dear Councillor Young,

Has there been any Council debate or democratic vote at all on the 340
onshore and offshore boreholes churning up decades of Sellafields nuclear

Since the 1950s Sellafield has been pumping plutonium and a cocktail of
other radioactive isotopes out of twin sea discharge pipes into the Irish
Sea. Because the radioactive pollution is detectable the pollution can be
traced as it flows into the arc of sea around Britain. In April 1997 the
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia found Sellafield radiation
had reached the Arctic but most of the radioactive sediment ends up on the
sea bed. The Irish Sea bed is basically the worlds biggest nuclear dump.
The one thing you do not do with a nuclear dump on land or sea is disturb
the site and release radionuclides to the biosphere.

But this is exactly what the developers of the proposed Moorside nuclear
plant are doing right now with plans for more.

Radiation Free Lakeland urge Cumbria County Council to write opposing the
offshore disturbance of the biggest nuclear dump in the world.

Please Email the Marine Management Organisation who have to give formal
consent to the offshore borehole drilling:
Quoting MLA/2015/00475 (Deadline 12 Feb.)

When the Walney wind turbines were proposed there was quite rightly debate
and concern by Cumbrian councillors that this would churn up decades of
radioactive sediment from Sellafield. It seems that unlike the wind
industry, the nuclear industry can cut straight to the chase and avoid any
such debate or scrutiny.

NuGen say that borehole drilling by the multi national, Furgo would cause
no more churning up of radioactive sediment than storm surges in the Irish
Sea. This is a false argument as storm surges are thought to have led to
the widely documented increase in hot radioactive particles being washed
up on Cumbrian beaches over the past few years.

Have any environmental surveys have been carried out by NuGen on the
cumulative impact of : increased storm surges and the drilling of 40
boreholes not far from the Sellafield discharge pipes?

We would like to ask if NuGen have exemption from the OSPAR Convention
which says that: By virtue of the precautionary principle, preventive
measures are to be taken when there are reasonable grounds for concern
that human activities may bring about hazards to human health, harm living
resources and marine ecosystems, damage amenities or interfere with other
legitimate uses of the sea, even when there is no conclusive evidence of a
causal relationship

The Environment Agency do not carry out their own sampling, preferring to
leave it to the nuclear industry to essentially self regulate This is
already happening with the 300 onshore boreholes on the green fields
between Sellafield and Beckermet. Decades of radioactive seepage is
planned to be brought to the surface to be pumped into to the river Ehen,
ending up in the Irish Sea.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Freedom of Information Request answer from the Environment Agency
indicates that the nuclear industry is out of control….literally


NuGen the developers of the proposed Moorside nuclear plant are drilling
and blasting around 350 boreholes in an area between Sellafield and the
village of Beckermet. This is happening both onshore and offshore to
investigate the geology for the proposed Moorside nuclear
plant. The 300 onshore boreholes were given the go ahead by
delegated decision from one council official in Copeland. In
other words there was no scrutiny. Radioactive wastes from decades of
Sellafield leakage are now being brought up by these boreholes from deep
underground to be dumped directly into the River Ehen. Incredibly the
nuclear industry is responsible for reporting radioactive contamination to
the Environment agency, in other words the nuclear industry is both
poacher and gamekeeper. There is no truly independent scrutiny.

The offshore investigation is to: inform the design of cooling water
tunnels. NuGen plan to drill/blast 40 boreholes in the seabed off
Sellafield to survey the area in preparation for the proposed enormous
direct cooling system and the outfall and intake pipes for the biggest
nuclear development in Europe
When the Walney Wind Turbines some distance away were being discussed by
Cumbrian Councillors there was concern because of the churning up of
radioactively contaminated silts. The NuGen test boreholes are in an area
directly in the path of decades of nuclear dumping. It seems that NuGen
have the advantage of bypassing Cumbria County Councils planning regime
and are able to cut straight to the chase. The Marine Management
Organisation have to give formal consent.
The application for 40 boreholes is available to view on the public
register of the Marine Management Organisation but despite this being a
public consultation it is not easy to find.
Email: Quoting
MLA/2015/00475 Write to Mark Herbert¨Marine Licensing Case
Officer Her Majestys Government – Marine Management
Organisation Lancaster House¨Hampshire Court¨Newcastle Upon
TyneNE4 7YH Tel: 0300 123 1032 Web: Twitter: @the_MMO Facebook:

The Marine Management Organisations tag line is: Enabling sustainable
growth in our marine area.

More links
Walney Wind Turbines:

Walney Extension Community Fund

Concern over Radioactive Silt being churned up

Fugro Borehole Drilling (300 on the land) Around 40 on the Irish Sea Bed
just off Sellafield.
Learn More at Radiation Free Lakeland:



2 thoughts on “Do Not Disturb Cumbrian Nuclear Dump

  1. Pingback: 7 February 2016 « No2NuclearPower |

  2. Pingback: Radiation Free Lakeland

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