Radiation Free Lakeland: Review of 2017
“Scrap your pylon connection – Moorside would be an abomination.” Jean Ward of Kendal . We learnt in January of Jean Ward’s passing. In her late eighties she had a young spirit and campaigned fiercely but with great personal gentleness. The last time I spoke to she told me how she had given National Grid a piece of her mind. She was inspired. She told National Grid that their actions in planning to connect pylons to three untried untested nuclear reactors was nothing short of criminal. National Grid replied to her that “Moorside has nothing to do with us.” Jean pulled them up on this and they had to admit that if Moorside doesn’t go ahead, neither do the giant pylons. Jean told National Grid that they should be ashamed of themselves for promoting such a dangerous monstrosity that has the potential to pollute much of Europe…”
Jean was, and is, absolutely right and it turns out most Cumbrians think so too. The local paper held a poll which, unlike all the industry and government CONsultations on nuclear had the option to say an outright no to new build. Of 2445 people responding to the poll in the North West Evening Mail, a staggering 84% said “NO – Cumbria shouldn’t be home to a new nuclear power station.”
Treasure Turned to Trash.
Despite opposition to an increasingly disliked plan, the land between the mountains and the sea is being shafted right now by nuclear developers who have already drilled 300 “exploratory” boreholes (with no democratic consent) on greenfields near Sellafield. Polluted borehole waste is piped to the river Ehen and dumped into landfill. This is the same land in which a Viking Treasure Hoard was found by detectorists.
“Look at that…How Beautiful That Is!”
The Treasure went on display in the Beacon Museum in February. NO mention in the museum or publicity that the land the treasure was found on is being eyed up as yet another poisonous nuclear sacrifice, Moorside.
Health Turned to Illness
Also in February an Open letter was published in the Whitehaven News. The letter asked all the Copeland Byelection Candidates the Question: “the UK government state that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is due to a novel virus brought in by a large number of construction workers which then goes on to infect a relatively rural local population. Do you think that government must take responsibility for this view and inform the local community to expect an increase in childhood leukeamia following the construction of the planned nuclear facility at Moorside?”
We received no reply. This may be – because the “population mixing” explanation of increased leukaemias is a red herring to divert attention away from the dangerous cancer factories aka nuclear power stations. Sellafield “reprocessing plant” is in a league of its own.
Coal and Nuclear, Hand in Glove?
We were fully expecting a huge outcry by mainstream NGOs in the local and national media about the proposal for the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years.
Images – West Cumbria Mining’s license area and the Cliffs at St Bees
Despite being undersea off the heritage coast of St Bees, just five miles from Sellafield no outcry materialised (in fact ALL the candidates in the Copeland byelection said they were in favour of the plan). Therefore we decided to jump in where angels obviously feared to tread and show visible opposition to the plan. A website Keep Cumbrian Coal In the Hole was set up and protests organised. These protests gained some attention in the local press and we were even spoofed and ridiculed online but nationally zilch has been said about opposition to the plan. The Guardian’s environment editor bizarrely saying that the paper would do “a story” when Cumbria County Council make a decision. Isn’t this a tad too late? Isn’t it undermining any semblance of democracy? If no one even knows about opposition then the media is complicit in quietly rubberstamping the plan?? The plan has been deferred twice already and will now be heard on the 7th March 2018 but still no word of outcry in the national press. What is going on? Many national organisations have written to the Council strongly opposing the developers plan. West Cumbria Mining are “currently focused on coal.” There are serious concerns about wildlife, water, seismic activity, climate change. Those opposing include the Coal Authority, the RSPB, Natural England and many more. But the public are not being told this by the press nor it has to be said by the organisations themselves. Something fishy is going on. We increasingly suspect the coal mine plan may well be a Trojan Horse to quietly put the infrastructure and expertise in place for the government’s cunning plan to dump heat generating waste deep underground (Geological Disposal Facility) Either way, an undersea coal mine, or a means to facilitate a nuclear dump, it is bonkers and no one has been allowed to say this in the national press. It is not for want of trying.
Induced Seismicity at Sellafield and Springfields: Fossil Fuelled Earthquakes?
In April Radiation Free Lakeland sent a letter to the Health and Safety Executive : “Given the vast uncertainty regarding the classification of nuclear materials at both Sellafield and Springfields (Springfields is the UKs nuclear fuel manufacturer at Preston) at the very least there should be a moratorium on fossil fuel extraction near nuclear sites.
We call for a comprehensive inquiry, which includes the worst-case scenarios that could result from induced seismic activity near nuclear installations. The inquiry should be undertaken honestly and transparently and be fully independent of current government policy”. To date we have received no reply and will follow this up with the HSE through our MP Tim Farron.
New Report – Nukiller: Electricity to Die For
Outside the Springfields nuclear fuel plant in Preston we held a pop up protest in July to mark the launch of new report paid for by crowdfunding.
The report explores The AP1000 Nuclear Reactors proposed for Moorside in Cumbria and their Environmental Impact. The report by the Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy contains findings including over 200 deaths predicted from routine operation of the proposed nuclear reactors in Cumbria. The “high burn” fuel would be made by Westinghouse at Springfields, Salwick, Preston. The findings of the report were not published by any mainstream media outlets despite the many press releases sent out.
Bearing Witness with Friends,
Remembering the 60th Anniversary of the Windscale Fire
Despite the large numbers of people who have died and have been affected there have been no church services of remembrance (unlike other industry’s such as coal). There are no statues or monuments to properly remember the ongoing civilian sacrifices made for the sake of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
Martyn Lowe of Close Capenhurst said : ” The history of the nuclear industry has been one of major ‘accidents’ every 10-15 years. All of these accidents have had or rather are having long term consequences. We remember the Windscale fire because many people died as a result of what happened.” (and the numbers keep being revised upwards)
Elfed who campaigns against Wylfa B and travelled from Wales to bear witness at the place, Springfields in Preston, where the nuclear fuel was made for Windscale in Cumbria had this astute observation to make: “A short explanation of what we are about to Springfield’s security sees us allowed to place flowers and candles along with a few quiet moments to reflect on the victims of the fire. A very serious request to the Springfield staff,to make sure they keep the gates locked and not allow any of the most deadly commodity ever made to come to Wales is met with a laugh !!!”
Often laughed at, humiliated and largely denigrated by eloquent nuclear apologists who are hyped to the world as environmentalists. The same “environmentalists” who are now saying absolutely nothing about the first coal mine in the UK for 30 years. What is their game?
We go into the New Year with so many Good Friends Old and New (remarkable given the harsh unsupported climate especially reserved for antinuclear campaigners) to continue the quest to Stop the Nukiller Juggernaught.
Join us and Together Lets Make A Peaceful, Safe and Healthy 2018