Guardian Watch: Insults fly in post-Brexit hysteria

Maybe things aren’t quite what they seem on the twitter sphere. The Guardian is abusing half the population as old, thick and Europe hating. Meanwhile, Ironically, the result of the Guardian’s environment writer, George Monbiot’s nuclear cheerleading has been to line up the ducks for the biggest threat to Europe’s safety. Here in Cumbria untested, untried nuclear reactors are now, with no small thanks to George, being promoted as a done deal. They are due to go online before Hinkley. Where? On the beautiful flood plain of the river Ehen, slap bang next to the biggest pile of plutonium in the world at Sellafield. The Guardian’s foremost environment writer is trusted by so many ….and has done so much damage to the safety of Europe. On a personal note I voted Leave for the same reasons as Bob Crow and Tony Benn ….both of whom were opposed to nuclear. No matter what way people voted whether like me, they are “old and stupid” or hip and young, if we want to prove that we love our Fellow Europeans then campaigning to Stop Moorside “the biggest nuclear development in Europe” Is a very good start.


by Kit


The world is still reeling from the referendum results – there is uncertainty in the air, real uncertainty, a rare creature in the modern era of controlled media consensus and carefully directed narrative. Again and again the thoughts are echoed: nobody expected this to happen. David Cameron was positive his side had won. Oliver Imhof wrote an article threatening to leave “Brexit Britain”, comfortable in the knowledge that “at no point did I think it could really happen.” You get the impression even Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage never expected to win.

Nobody expected this to happen – Least of all The Guardian…and the reactions? They have been hysterical, in every sense of the word.

The sheer volume of opinion is evidence of an institutional panic. Polly Toynbee’s reaction, always the paragon of understatement:

Catastrophe. Britain has broken apart. An uprising of resentment by the left-behind has torn…

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The EUs Nuclear Treaty: EURATOM

The first treaty of the EU was EURATOM.  The following is from the excellent Nuclear Heritage website.  Will withdrawal from the EU allow withdrawal from EURATOM ?


“EURATOM is an European treaty, particular element of the foundation of the European Union. Unrecognized even by most anti-nuclear campaigners, it is a main obstacle for a consistent nuclear phase-out in Europe – in spite of phase-out decisions made by several national parliaments. Thus, campaigns have been installed since a few years – on the on hand addressing politicians and governments to act, on the other one to educate anti-nuclear organizers and activists about the relevance of this treaty.
This page aims on providing a basis for the interested public gathering information in English on the EURATOM treaty – basic knowledge, history, campaigns and examples for the impact of this intergovernmental contract on anti-nuclear efforts.

Unchanged since 1957 – even despite Chernobyl and Fukushima – those characters on paper that make up the EURATOM Treaty are much more powerful and influential than many are aware of, even within the antinuclear movement. Through tremendous privileges for nuclear industry and research laid down in the Treaty itself and in secondary EU legislation (binding regulations, guidelines, recommendations), EURATOM is the fertile ground on which new nuclear installations and, subsequently, ever more uranium mining, radioactive waste and weapons material proliferation grow. Ultimately, this means increased risks on the one hand, and more work, never-ending work for citizens.
Thus, it is a double anachronism: in substance, and with regard to how public opinion has evolved. The EURATOM Treaty keeps spawning EU secondary legislation, and continues to be highly effective in favour of the nuclear industry. EURATOM’s supreme goal, “the development of a powerful nuclear industry” (Preamble), is by no means so obsolete for part of the European “elites” as it seems in nuclear-free or phase-out countries: to them, it is nuclear energy – not renewables – that shall lead Europe into a fossil-free era! New fission reactors, esp. fast breeders (“Generation-4” reactors; government decision already taken in France for a prototype named “Astrid”), and nuclear fusion (ITER reactor in the making at Cadarache, F) are to pave the way into Europe’s energy future. Both development lines are supported with billions through the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community.
Moreover, these reactor developments may be determined by military interest – a most likely background motive for clinging to nuclear power no matter what it costs. This two-fold civil-military objective has been stated explicitly by French admiral Pierre Lacoste, former German general army inspector Klaus-Dieter Naumann, prominent European politicians like François Mitterrand and former EU Commission president Jacques Delors, and others.[1]
Clinging so brazenly to the EURATOM bastion goes hand in hand with the undemocratic nature of the Atomic Community: in EURATOM matters, even today, the European Parlia-ment has no decisional powers, e.g. in the financing of nuclear power plants through cheap EURATOM loan billions (in Western Europe first, and in CEE countries since the 1990s).
All of this leads to massive distortion of competition on the back of renewables.
In spite of the nuclear phase-out, hundreds of millions of euros[2] are paid by Germany to the EURATOM research programme, on the back of there own energy transition (“Energiewende”), and of energy transition in Europe as a whole. With the phase-out decision, German EURATOM membership and payments for the Treaty’s nuclear power promotion purposes have definitely become absurd.

Three options for action: abolition, revision, withdrawal

In its draft final report, German Chancellor Merkel’s “Ethics Commission” for the post-Fukushima phase-out has recommended Germany’s withdrawal from EURATOM membership as “the better solution”.[3] Termination of the EURATOM Treaty lies in the power of each member state. Three expertises from German and Austrian universities[4] confirm that withdrawal from EURATOM is juridically feasible without affecting overall EU membership. The Lisbon Treaty, too, is positive and explicit on treaty termination. Useful elements of the EURATOM Treaty can be shifted to other parts of the EU treaty system.
The other two options, EURATOM Treaty abolition or revision, require agreement by all other member states. Therefore, they are utterly unrealistic: The German Bundestag (the Regions’ Chamber of Parliament) advocated a very concrete EURATOM reform proposed by the Saarland Region as early as 1989, in the wake of Chernobyl. And so did five EU member states in the EU Constitutional Process in 2005.[5] No revision conference has ever taken place, though. Nuclear countries may be brought more easily to agree to revision, however, if Germany decides to set that unprecedented, exemplary act: i.e. announce its withdrawal from EURATOM! And it was just this what the Bundestag in 2003 asked the Federal Government to do.


The complaint filed by German municipal and regional utilities against the billions of tax-free provisions for nuclear waste disposal made by the German “Big Four” nuclear power companies was rejected by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2006 with reference to the EURATOM Treaty.
Lately (October 2014), the British government and the European Commission (EC) have referred to the EURATOM Treaty in order to justify the approval of big subsidies for the planned nuclear power station HINKLEY POINT C. Probably because they know full well that the 1957 nuclear-euphoric preamble and introductory articles of the EURATOM Treaty provide the only chance for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to reject the forthcoming Austrian complaint against these subsidies, while EU competition rules would entail legal victory for Austria.


The Austrian antinuclear movement has a long tradition of EURATOM criticism. In 2015 Salzburg Plattform gegen Atomgefahren (PLAGE) elaborated an “EURATOM Manifesto for Germany”, as a tool to crystallize basic knowledge of the Treaty’s juridical and political momentum, and a common “EURATOM consciousness”, within the German anti-nuclear and renewables movement for a start. So far, such knowledge and consciousness are quite limited. This is a condition for reaching out to the broader public later on.
Manifesto for the termination of Germany’s EURATOM membership (2015)
Austria Out Of EURATOM Tour (2009) German
Leave Euratom Campaign (2007): EURATOM: Countries free to step out + Let’s get Austria out of EURATOM! German


EURATOM Manifesto campaign German
Raus aus EURATOM German

↑ “Will Europe, on ist way to unification, be able to overcome its fears and superstitions and to progress toward full mastery of nuclear power? In its military form, it is doubtlessly bound to keep its indispensable role for years (…). In its industrial form, it warrants unlimited energy – the supreme condition for development and prosperity and thus for peace.” P. LACOSTE, then president of the Fondation pour les Etudes de Défense Nationale, and one of the highest-ranking French officers. From his preface to Olivier PIROTTE et al.: Trente an d’expérience Euratom – La naissance d’une Europe nucléaire. Bruylant, Brussels 1988. – See references to Mitterrand, Delors and others in H. STOCKINGER: Atomstaat, zweiter Anlauf? Die zivile und militärische Integration Österreichs in die Europäische Atomgemeinschaft, publ. by the Austrian umbrella organization AntiAtomInternational(AAI), Vienna, 1993.
↑ In the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament elections, Mütter gegen Atomkraft e.V. (Mothers Against Nuclear Power) asked top candidates: “How much does Germany pay each year to fulfill EURATOM obligations?” CDU, CSU and SPD answered in unison: “The current financing scope of the EURATOM research programme (2014-2018) amounts to a total of about 1.6 billion euros.” Green MEP R. HARMS, a long-standing expert on the issue: “5.077 billion euros.” – Now, the EURATOM research programme is by no means the whole expense: the EURATOM Fuel Suplly Agency (ESA), EURATOM loan management and European Investment Bank (EIB) financing, the Nuclear Safety Cooperation Facility (ex PHARE and TACIS aid to Eastern Europe programmes), etc., do not all formally belong under the EURATOM heading, yet have to be counted among EU nuclear financing systems.
↑ Ethik-Kommission, living document Kap 1-all, 201 10504.
↑ Manfred ROTTER, University of Linz (2003); Michael GEISTLINGER, University of Salzburg (2005); Bernhard WEGENER, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (2007).
↑ Austria, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxemburg, Sweden.

Lakeland’s “Long Tradition”

Sellafield from Moorsidea

Today’s Westmorland Gazette letters page


While everyone waits to see if the finances for Hinkley Point Nuclear plant can be propped up, there is an equally high risk fate hanging over the Lake District.

NUGen are running a consultation on plans for the Moorside nuclear reactors just two miles outside the Lake District National Park. What is barely credible is that the supposed guardians of the national park will be raising no major objections to Moorside. The Lake District National Park Authority states in it’s Moorside consultation response (April 2016): “We support the principle of a new nuclear build power station adjacent to Sellafield.  The proposal would continue the long tradition of the nuclear industry in Cumbria and benefit the national and Cumbrian economy.  Our support is consistent with that offered in 2011.”

And even more worrying is that all the UKs nuclear waste, including that from any new build reactors, will probably end up going into an underground repository for millennia – and the most likely location for this repository is under the very same English Lake District, with the entrance at or very near Sellafield.

But what does the National Park Authority care, as long as we all support “the long tradition of the nuclear industry in Cumbria.” ?

David Siddall


Ghost Orchid: page 21 of Beeches Boreholes and Badgers

so many reasons to oppose nuclear and to keep Cumbrian stories going on forever..still looking for the Ghost Orchid in Cumbrian Beech woods…..

Wastwater Chronicles


10th July 1996

Aunt Vera has written with the names of boffin friends to contact.  When she was 11 in 1924, Vera found the mythical Ghost Orchid (Epipogium aphyllum) in a beech wood near Henley.  It was first discovered in 1854 and rare sightings can be decades and woodlands apart.  No one is sure how the Ghost Orchid pollinates but it is known to rely on fungi- especially honey fungus.

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Honeybees and Butterflies as Indicators of Radioactive Contamination; Impacts on Fruit Production


Mining Awareness +

In “Honeybees as Monitors of Low Levels of Radioactivity” Simmons et. al.(1990) state that”it is known that honeybees can be used to detect radionuclides present in the environment. Their mobility and their ability to integrate all exposure pathways (i.e., water, air, vegetation, and soil) could expand and add another level of confidence to the present monitoring program.” (This study was for the US DOE at Hanford Nuclear Site) [1]

In “Radioactive Bees–Honey Bees as Indicators of Radionuclide Contamination“, Timothy K. Haarmann of Los Alamos National Lab says that his experiments at LANL “verify that honey bees are indeed good indicators of radionuclide contamination when it is present in the environment“. [2]
Honey Bee flower public domain via wikipedia
McGee and McGarry of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland inform us that “Bees forage intensively over about 7 km2 visiting thousands of plants daily in their search for pollen…

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Stones and Sea #SellafieldFreeTheDeer

From 2 years ago…. We didn’t manage to save the deer ….they were shot by Sellafield and tested for radionuclides as “bioindicators”. The fences on the other side of Sellafield , the flood plain of the river Ehen, would more than double with “Moorside” ….so much at risk and Nothing said about it by National, International or even Cumbrian wildlife and countryside groups. #StopMoorside

Radiation Free Lakeland

Sellafield have put up extra security fences extending the largest nuclear site in Europe to include woodlands trapping deer and other wildlife. Now they want to cull the trapped family group of roe deer including pregnant does. Sellafield have told Natural England that the deer are a “security threat” and so “special permission” has been given to shoot the deer out of season. The fences are meaningless while Sellafield continues to chuck radioactive wastes out to sea, to air and to landfill.

Save the Sellafield Deer Facebook page

More info:

Music by Yvonne Lyon “Someday”


The stone circle that the Sellafield fences are getting ever nearer to is called Grey Croft – maybe the least visited in Cumbria nevertheless important archeologically

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Repression of Dissent? Professor David Smythe and Glasgow University

Ennerdale nuke dump tunnel
Ennerdale Geological Nuke Dump tunnel to Gillerthwaite (where NuGen have teamed up with Cumbria Wildlife Trust!)

Radiation Free Lakeland have just written to Glasgow University to urge them to reverse  the blocking of Professor David Smythe’s  access to online journals.

Please write and support Professor David Smythe – we feel that without his help Cumbria would now be at Stage 4 of the Geological Nuclear Dump plan.  Moorside would of course add at least two Olympic swimming pools of waste to that plan – the area needed would be far greater as the waste from the proposed reactors would be far hotter.

Remember the Ennerdale Granite was being eyed up .  It was suggested that emplacement of waste could be achieved directly from Sellafield via a 10 km-long tunnel – the implication being that the surface of the National Park would be unaffected.

You can write to write to the Secretary of the Glasgow University Court

Our Letter is Below for reference – please feel free to use/amend

Dear Mr David Newall,

Radiation Free Lakeland has just heard that Glasgow University has refused online journal access to Professor David Smythe. It is our opinion that Cumbria would now be at Stage 4 of the plan for a deep geological nuclear dump in the Ennerdale granite were it not for Professor Smythe’s work during 2012/13. That work would have been impossible without access to online journals.

Here in Cumbria there is an increasingly unhealthy climate of nuclear complicity and the nuclear industry with friends in high office holds all the aces with regards access to privilege and power. This means that dissenting voices in the world of academia are even more valued by communities who would otherwise feel overwhelmed and entirely helpless to resist the government’s nuclear policy.

We hope that Glasgow will continue to be a bastion of independent thought and free expression of that thought and will consider reversing the bizarre and ultimately repressive decision to refuse Professor David Smythe the expected access to online journals granted to a Professor Emeritus.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland



PDF of some of David Smythe’s work during 2012/13