To Jeremy Corbyn: Thank You for the Ban on Fracking. Now, What About the Most Extreme Energy?



Dear Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Leader,

I am writing to you on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland, a volunteer group based in Cumbria[1] to thank you whole heartedly for pledging to ban fracking which

“locks us into an energy infrastructure that is based on fossil fuels long after our country needs to have moved to clean energy”.[2]

We agree entirely with the case against fracking, as well as being fossil fuel based there are also radiation risks from unleashing large amounts of radon deep underground[3]. The nuclear industry is, like fracking, extractive and extreme. But nuclear is in a league all of its own[4].

The Electrical Trades Union in Australia (ETU) has banned its members from working in uranium mines, nuclear power stations or any other part of the nuclear fuel cycle: “We are sending a clear message to the industry and the wider community that vested interests in the uranium and nuclear industries are trying to hoodwink us about this dangerous product and industry”. [5]

Here in the UK, to avoid public scrutiny, the industry has a Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases[6]. The public have no such compensation. There is no recompense to the public for health damage from radioactive emissions. Decades of nuclear wastes have arrived at Sellafield. Emissions are routinely chucked into the air and wastes are routinely dumped to the rivers and sea. The health damage is undisputed with a 10fold increase in childhood leukemia being well documented The authorities have told us that this is from “population mixing” due to the influx of nuclear workers rather than emissions from Sellafield. We are also told that the greater emissions from Sellafield “masks” the emissions from the Trident shipyard a short way down the coast at Barrow. The UK government has taken seriously (and gratefully?) the work of Leo Kinlen, an epidemiologist based at the University of Oxford. The Leo Kinlen theory, put forward in 1988, suggests that exposure to a common unidentified infection through population mixing results in Childhood Leukaemia. “This exposure is greater”, Prof. Kinlen says, “when people from urban areas mix with rural communities e.g. when construction workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area”[7].

Radiation Free Lakeland would like to invite you to a field visit to the still beautiful river Ehen floodplain area, near to the intolerable nuclear wastes at Sellafield[8]. This area of Cumbria in the vicinity of Sellafield is known to be contaminated deep under the ancient hedgerows and on the Irish Sea bed. The industry have said it is too contaminated for a low level nuclear dump[9] but now this same area which should be a buffer zone is being drilled with 300 “exploratory” boreholes to build three untried untested nuclear reactors and thousands of temporary workers.

Surely it is way past time to ban the most extreme energy there is?

Not just for our sake but for the sake of our European neighbours too[10].

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

[1] Radiation Free Lakeland website


[2] No Fracking in the UK under Labour – The Ecologist 28th September 2016


[3] Rise of Deadly Radon Gas in Pennsylvania


[4] John Gofman: “No Safe Dose”


[5] Electrician’s union bans uranium


[6] Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases


[7] Population Mixing


[8] Stop Moorside “Biggest Nuclear Development in Europe”


[9] Moorside site “too contaminated for a nuclear waste dump”


[10] Serious Safety Concerns: The Irish Times 7th September 2016


3 thoughts on “To Jeremy Corbyn: Thank You for the Ban on Fracking. Now, What About the Most Extreme Energy?

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