Calder Hall -Truth Hurts!


A photograph not shown on the ITV news bulletin – Calder Hall …. with hundreds of resting (and nesting) herring gulls.

The recent news item on Calder Hall was, in fact, parroted propaganda from a Sellafield press release .  Aimed at the hearts and souls of the Cumbrian public who are being relentlessly softened up for the nuclear “renaissance” including most significantly Moorside and the geological dumping of nuclear wastes.

Here is a letter of complaint to ITV –  please do write a letter of your own to

Dear ITV


Radiation Free Lakeland are a volunteer nuclear safety group in Cumbria. We have become used to the hubris of Sellafield’s statements over the decades but we were shocked to see ITV repeat Sellafield’s puff piece of propaganda on Calder Hall earlier this week.

Your item of the 15th November 2016 stated : “Calder Hall produced electricity and radio cobalt – used in the treatment of cancer, for 47 years before it closed in 2003. Now, workers have reached the halfway point in the defueling programme which began in 2011. They have to remove tens of thousand of fuel rods from the site’s reactors. It is scheduled for completion in 2019 and then it can be fully decommissioned and shut down.”

This ‘news’ item is wrong on every level. It is no secret that Calder Hall’s primary purpose was to produce plutonium for WMD. Electricity was (and is) a by product. To big up Sellafield’s impact on health as positive is cynical propaganda. Radio cobalt is being phased out by many hospitals because it is just too “dangerous requiring heavy shielding and high levels of security to protect. The unstable material is constantly decaying and cannot be turned off.”   Why didn’t ITV point out that Calder Hall’s legacy includes Sellafield’s own Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases? This covers a wide variety of cancers and diseases of the central nervous system.   The Compensation Scheme applies only to nuclear workers and not those outside the fences on the receiving end of the emissions. A recent Freedom of Information Request is included below.

Calder Hall is a long long way off Halfway through Decommissioning. The nuclear wastes from Calder Hall need to be kept separate from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. This has never been done….ever. “Decommissioning” will continue into eternity.

Sellafield has the press officers, the PR and the weight of a vested pronuclear government behind it. But a functioning democracy demands that the people of Cumbria deserve at least balanced reporting on this, the most extreme industry there is.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland


From: “CSRLD Executive Secretary (SL)”> Date: 14 October 2016 at 13:15:07 BST

To: ‘marianne Birkby’

Subject: RE: FOI Dear Ms Birkby, In response to your request the 29 claims (last year) were against the following eligible diseases:


















Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Further information on diseases covered by the Scheme can be found on the Schemes website in the Q&A and Reference material sections: Yours sincerely,

John Johnstone CSRLD Secretariat



Radio Cobalt

Why use X-ray versus Gamma produced Ionizing Radiation?

Gamma ionizing radiation is produced by radioactive sources such as cobalt 60 or cesium 137 and is dangerous requiring heavy shielding and high levels of security to protect. The unstable material is constantly decaying and cannot be turned off. X-ray ionizing radiation is produced by a X-ray tube therefore it can be turned off when it is not being used and it requires much less shielding. At the end the of unit’s lifecycle, the unit does not have any radioactive source and therefore does not require the expensive disposal costs associated with radioactive sources that continue to degrade over hundreds of years.


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