Melvyn Bragg and the Land Grabbing Mafia

Drilling Rigs and Herdwick, Farm Cottage Left to Rot, Footpaths Trashed
Drilling Rigs and Herdwick at “Moorside’ – Farm Cottage left to rot, Footpaths trashed – all this and much more for the “biggest nuclear development in Europe” and the nuclear taboo continues……

Letter sent today ….

Dear Lord Bragg,



When I heard your voice on the radio talking about the “disgraceful purchase of land, shameful manoeuvring, bullying mafia tactics” I thought Hurrah! Melvyn has read all our many letters to him and is at last holding the nuclear industry to account!   It was disappointing to hear that your ire was directed only at the National Trust. The nuclear industry’s land grab is far less benign. They have not only purchased several farms but also sites of important wildlife and historical importance and plan to turn these into another nuclear sacrifice zone, just as the farming hamlet of Sellafield was. No one remembers the “Yeomen of Sellafield” who farmed the land since Neolithic times until the nuclear monster arrived.


There have been many other examples of beautiful old farms having being purchased with public money in the Lake District recently, only to be taken out of farming. In Ennerdale the purchaser was the government owned United Utilities.   This is of particular concern as the less privately owned land in Ennerdale there is the more likelihood that the government can return to its diabolic plan of implementing geological disposal of heat generating nuclear wastes. We wrote to you in March of last year about this asking you to object in the House of Lords to the government making Geological dumping of nuclear waste a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.


What we said was: “I am sure you would agree that the hard-won planning protections for ancient monuments and special sites of conservation should not be scrapped in Cumbria.

This is what is being proposed right now, with Cumbria specifically in mind.

On wednesday, the House of Lords will be discussing the plan to push through legislation that will remove our right, and the right of Cumbria County Council to object to burying radioactive waste underground, anywhere.

Government hopes to do this by 2016 by adding geological disposal facilities (GDFs) to the list of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP)

NSIP forces through the government’s plans for new nuclear by denying communities the voice usually afforded to them via public inquiries.

The Government hoped the nuclear waste “problem” was going to be solved by communities coming forward to volunteer to take the waste, now that plan has fallen by the wayside the Government wants to impose it, not only by trying to remove Cumbria County Council’s right of veto, but also by designating nuclear waste burial as NSIP.

The protections of planning permission, listed building consent, scheduled monument consent and conservation area consent among others are not required by NSIP.

This already seems to be happening with regard to Moorside (proposed nuclear power station near Sellafield) where 100 (now it is over 300!) “exploratory” boreholes are now being dug on what should be protected land on the Site of Special Scientific Interest flood plain of the River Ehen.

In the same area one wind turbine up to 30m high was turned down on the grounds of wildlife and landscape (while cooling towers or vast installations at sea would cool the toxic heat of Moorside).

This total lack of scrutiny over nuclear developments will escalate should GDFs be added to the already undemocratic NSIP legislation (brought in to accommodate nuclear)

Please join other Cumbrians who love our land and say no to this diabolic plan to turn Cumbria into Europe’s largest nuclear sacrifice.”

The vast tract of land amounting to around 600 hectares including at least 3 farms between Beckermet, Sellafield and Calder Bridge was purchased by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with taxpayer’s money, we thought as a buffer zone.   Instead this land, which is important in so many ways, has been offered (an “undisclosed sum”) to the same companies responsible for Fukushima in order to double the size of Sellafield with new nuclear build. This land the fertile plain between the mountains and the sea is historically the overwintering land of the herdwicks brought down from the fells. Now the herdwicks graze amongst the 300 “exploratory” boreholes and drilling rigs. Very soon, if the nuclear juggernaut continues to be such a taboo subject for the great and the good, the herdwicks will lose their habitat, along with the farmers, the curlew, the natterjack toad, the salmon and so much more…..lost forever.


The Nuclear industry see Cumbria as their own private fiefdom and the plan increasingly appears to do as much raping and pillaging as they can and then when the land is bespoiled and the people poisoned, the industry knows it will get paid to “clean up” the destruction. Give me the National Trust, or even the Border Rievers over the Nuclear Industry anyday!


Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

Founder of Radiation Free Lakeland



Land and Property purchased by the NDA


Letter to Lord Bragg




PYLONS:What Decision Would You Like National Grid to Make? 70% Say No to Moorside

Evening Mail Pylon Poll 30.Aug2016

The Evening Mail’s Pylon Poll has the option (unlike the actual Consultations) to vote No to Moorside…the poll is now standing at 70% saying No to Moorside …this is absolutely remarkable and very heartening given that the Friends of the Lake District and other groups along with the media are concentrating campaign efforts and media space only on the damaging impact of pylons rather than the  obscenity of the main event!!

PLease ask your friends to vote and share !

Radiation Free Lakeland are often called into question when we say that Sellafield ceased to produce electricity in 2003.  People are astounded when we reply that all the pylons seen radiating out from Sellafield  through towns and villages and across the landscape are not taking electricity away from Sellafield but are taking electricity TO the most dangerous nuclear site in the world.  Sellafield absolutely relies on energy and will do so for years to come.  Even the dodgy NuGen consultation referred to Sellafield as a “power plant,” well, it is, in that it uses up more electricity and gas than any other industry!



Visit from CID

20 years ago – the National Park go to great lengths to “protect the public” from the Rusland Beeches. If only they would be so protective of the public’s health from the biggest nuclear development in Europe planned for Cumbria.

Wastwater Chronicles


Sept 3rd 1996

Had a visit from CID.  Just arrived unannounced at the door – plain clothes chap….asking(?) to come in and “talk about the Rusland Beeches” Like before (on the phone) wants to know if I plan to organise a “sit in” but the National Park still have to ratify their own decision to fell and need permission from the Dept of Environment and we dont want to jeopardise their decision.  I ask if they will be making an official visit to the National Park as ordinary landowners are fined 10,000 a tree for felling TPO trees and thats without bats overwintering!  He assures me they will be speaking to the NP but I won’t hold my breath.

View original post



Parish Councils around the Cumbrian Coast have teamed up to oppose the giant pylons from Moorside.  Former US nuclear regulator Arnie Gundersen has told Radiation Free Lakeland that there would need to be two transmission lines 10 miles apart.   Pylons are the least worst thing about Moorside.  We suspect that those few Parish Councillors who are in favour of Moorside are grandstanding about the pylons because they know very well that their parishioners are increasingly concerned about the biggest nuclear development in Europe being dumped on our coastline.  Our coastline, which is already suffering from the intolerable nuclear burdens of Sellafield and Drigg.

The North West Evening Mail is running an online poll.  We ask people to take a few moments to vote in this poll and vote: NO MOORSIDE POWER STATION



Large Earthquakes Strike Italy

Mining Awareness +

Norcia Italy wall
Norcia Italy church bells
Google Streetview of Norcia, Italy
August 24 2016 Earthquake Central Italy
M6.2 – 10km SE of Norcia, Italy, 2016-08-24 01:36:33 UTC 42.714°N 13.172°E 10.0 km depth
M5.5 – 4km NE of Norcia, Italy, 2016-08-24 02:33:30 UTC 42.822°N 13.126°E 10.0 km depth

‘Voices under the rubble’ after quake hits Italy; at least 38 dead
Posted:Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:09:16 -0400
ACCUMOLI, Italy (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake devastated a string of mountainous towns in central Italy on Wednesday, trapping residents under piles of rubble, killing at least 38 people and leaving thousands homeless

Italy cancelled the nuclear power station which would have been closest to the epicentre and closed the rest after Chernobyl:

View original post

An Open Letter to Bill Bryson

Radiation Free Lakeland


Roe deer, Moorcide Roe deer, Moorside

Dear Bill,

Fantastic that you are supporting the Friends of the Lake District campaign to hide the two rows of pylons from the proposed Moorside nuclear reactors.

Perhaps you would consider supporting the resistance to Moorside?

The doubling of Sellafields already “grotesque” (Alfred Wainwright)  nuclear sprawl will be rather more difficult to hide than the pylons.

The National Grid’s Robert Powell told campaigners during a Pylon “drop in” at Beckermet,  that the only guaranteed way to stop the pylons is to ‪#‎StopMoorside‬

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

View original post

Kuwait scraps nuclear power plans – Gulf Business

Kuwait scraps plans for new nuclear…too costly, too dangerous …..

AGR Daily News Service

Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water has reportedly scrapped plans to build a nuclear power plant citing cost concerns.The country had planned to obtain a licence for the project from the United Nations.Kuwait Times reports that the ministry decided to retract the plans because studies proved it was unfeasible and too expensive.The ministry also said alternative energy sources like wind and solar power were more cost effective, according to the publication.The country is expected to require several new power stations between 2020 and 2030.

Source: Kuwait scraps nuclear power plans – Gulf Business

View original post

Letter in today’s Guardian – Moorside

Marianne Birkby
Radiation Free Lakeland, Milnthorpe, Cumbria

Note: George in his Grouse article quite rightly exposes “astroturfing” but strangely omits to include nuclear. Nuclear is  prime culprit – the grandaddy of astroturfing from which all other industries have taken their cue.  George is  gaslighting when it comes to nuclear,  encouraging public amnesia of the depths to which the most extreme and nasty industry will sink.

Unfortunately the Grouse have far more to contend with than hunters.  In Cumbria Life magazine 20 years ago it was reported that: “The Red Grouse has escaped media attention but its almost exclusive diet of succulent heather shoots means that many birds will have concentrated Caesium in their bodies post Chernobyl. Work prior to the Chernobyl disaster established that the heather family, Ericaceae, could accumulate high concentrations of Caesium. Since then, surveys in the Lake District have revealed that one species of heather, calluna vulgaris, accumulates the highest Caesium burden.”


Stop Hinkley

THE NUCLEAR FREE LOCAL AUTHORITIES calls on the UK Government to consider a decentralised alternative
energy policy including district heating, green gas and solar in its
review of Hinkley Point C

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today a report which
shows some of the types of alternative energy solutions the UK Government
could support as an alternative to the building of new nuclear reactors at
Hinkley Point. (1)

The Government is currently reviewing the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear
development – one of the largest, most expensive and complicated nuclear
sites of the modern nuclear age. National and specialist media as diverse
as The Times, The Guardian, Bloomberg, The Economist and many others have
been sharply critical of the project and a number of them have called for
it to be cancelled. NFLA agrees with them. As a recent example, a poll of
over 1,000 members of the Institute of Directors, previously supportive of
Hinkley Point C, finds just 9% of them were in strong agreement that the
Hinkley Point nuclear plant would make Britain more economically
competitive, and fewer than one-in-five were of the opinion that the
nuclear option would make the country more ‘strategically secure’.
Instead, there was much stronger support for solar energy, offshore wind
and to a lesser extent, tidal energy. (2)

Whilst much of the media may have criticised the Hinkley Point deal, there
has not been as much analysis of what could replace the reactors and the
electricity it may generate. NFLA is contributing to that debate by
publishing a report by two commissioned experts – its Policy Advisor Pete
Roche and the energy policy expert Professor Keith Barnham – which show
dramatic evidence of the growth and potential of a number of renewable

Pete Roche argues that district heating schemes, together with energy
storage solutions, could help to deal with the intermittency issues
associated with renewables, and in addition provide a valuable way to
tackle fuel poverty. (3) Councils around the country are developing such
schemes and they advocate more support from the UK Government and Devolved
Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Roche’s analysis also
calls on renewed support for biogas alternatives where district heating is
not an option.

In addition, NFLA reissues the research produced for it by Professor Keith
Barnham of the dramatic growth of renewable energy in recent years. This
has been needlessly placed under genuine threat by Government cuts to
financial support for solar, wind and other renewable solutions. The
report puts forward six ways that renewable energy can still grow despite
such retrograde cuts. Professor Barnham has just returned from a visit to
the United States and looked at a number of promising new initiatives in
renewable electricity, as well as discussing sustained progress on the
ultimate renewable challenge: developing a solar fuel that could
eventually replace gasoline in cars, trucks, buses, trains and aircraft.

Pete Roche and Keith Barnham will be presenting their analysis on such
clean and sustainable energy alternatives to Hinkley Point C at a NFLA
seminar in Manchester Town Hall on the 30th September. (5)

NFLA Chair Councillor Ernie Galsworthy added:
“During the almost decade long debate over the Hinkley Point C development
NFLA has been saying that it is the wrong answer to our low carbon energy
needs. It is pleasing to see the mass and specialist media finally
beginning to contemplate such a view at long last. With this and other
reports, NFLA show again the many alternatives to new nuclear that can
provide energy security, reduce fuel poverty and literally bring renewable
power to the people. I call on the Government’s review to encompass such
reports and move policy away from new nuclear and fossil fuels and towards
a renewable energy revolution moving ahead in much of the industrialised
and developing world

Notes for editors:
(1) The report is attached with this media release and can be found on
the homepage of the NFLA website
(2) PV Magazine, 19th August 2016–poll-shows_100025849/#ixzz4HwjNYXVM
(3) Originally published by Greenpeace’s Energy Desk –

(4) Keith Barnham, ‘Goodbye gasoline, we can Get if From The Sun’, The
Ecologist, 21st July 2016
(5) NFLA SC / English Forum seminar, ‘The decentralised, renewable
alternatives to Hinkley C and new nuclear’, Manchester Town Hall, 1.30pm –
3.00pm, 30th September 2016. Contact the NFLA Secretary to register



World Could Run on 100% Renewables By 2050; 80% By 2030; The Main Barriers are Neither Technical Nor Economic, But Political and Social – Expert Testimony to US Congress

NUclear is way past its sell by date, way past being socially, ethically and environmentally acceptable and not needed apart from insane military hubris.

Mining Awareness +

The main barriers to a conversion“[to 100% Wind, Water, Solar] are neither technical nor economic; rather, they are social and political.” (Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, Ph.D. in Testimony to the US Congress, 19 Nov. 2015)

Written Testimony to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Democratic Forum on Climate Change November 19, 2015 at 2 PM, Washington D.C. By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University (Witness), Roadmaps for 139 Countries and the 50 United States to Transition to 100% Clean, Renewable Wind, Water, and Solar (WWS) Power for all Purposes by 2050 and 80% by 2030
Navajo solar carport US DOE
Navajo solar carport US DOE

Testimony to the US House Nov 19, 2015 By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford, Renewable Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) Power for all Purposes by 2050, 80% by 2030 , p. 1
Testimony to the US House Nov 19, 2015 By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford, Renewable Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) Power for all Purposes by 2050, 80% by 2030 , p. 2
Testimony to the US House Nov 19, 2015 By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford, Renewable Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) Power for all Purposes by 2050, 80% by 2030 , p. 3
Testimony to the US House Nov 19, 2015 By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford, Renewable Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) Power for all Purposes by 2050, 80% by 2030 , p. 4
Testimony to the US House Nov 19, 2015 By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford, Renewable Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) Power for all Purposes by 2050, 80% by 2030 , p. 5
Testimony to the US House Nov 19, 2015 By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford, Renewable Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) Power for all Purposes by 2050, 80% by 2030 , p. 6
Green and Red Emphasis (underline) added. Original with embedded links found here: More information found here:

140 countries studied out of 196 countries.

View original post