The following has been sent to investigative journalists (too busy) and national press (studiously ignored) .  This Ball is WAY Too Hot to Handle?


The Beautiful Nuclear Game?

Uranium Hexaflouride - Springfields

Uranium Hexaflouride arriving at the Springfields Nuclear Fuel Plant May 10th 2018

Most people have heard of the battle to stop fracking in Lancashire, but just what is going on at the other end of Preston New Road and does anyone care?

Major NGOs Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are high profile in the fight alongside campaigners in the battle to stop the fracking industry taking a hold in Lancashire.

The great and the good are standing shoulder to shoulder on fracking.  Baronesses, MPs and Environmental Journalists amongst others have joined the many ordinary folk at the gates of Cuadrilla’s drilling operations to condemn fracking.

This is all heartening.  I have joined in the protests in the battle against fracking on many an occasion.

It does leave me feeling conflicted to say the very least.  The latest knife in the heart is seeing nuclear enthusiast George Monbiot welcomed to Preston New Road, by good folks protecting the land from fracking.

George will no doubt be congratulating fracking campaigners in their battle to protect our water, our air. our health, that is all good.

What is sickeningly heart churning however is that George is promoting ever more deliveries of uranium hexafluoride to make ever more dangerous nuclear fuels just a few miles down the same road at the Springfields Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing site.  The very nasty uranium and chemical wastes from this manufacture of nuclear fuel is dumped in Clifton Marsh landfill alongside Preston New Road.

Fracking campaigners are understandably upset at the recent temporary injunction against them. Barely an eyebrow is raised though at the awful fact that the secretive and paranoid nuclear industry doesn’t need an injunction to confiscate your camera, your phone, raid your house and throw you in jail.  It can do all of this  without charge or apology for false arrest.   One of Radiation Free Lakeland’s founding members and a very brave man, former Sellafield worker Duncan Ball was sentenced to 2 years in jail for trying to blow the whistle on the nuclear industry.   This extreme paranoia by the nuclear industry (after all it is THE MOST dangerous industry!)  is set to escalate with the vicious plan for a new nuclear deterrent and new nuclear build.

Springfields is key to the nuclear civil military complex.


Many would say we need a nuclear deterrent to defend us from those “pesky Russkies” (as cartoonist Raymond Briggs’ character says in his iconic comic book “When the Wind Blows.”)

Following hard won information through Freedom of Information questions and appeals we now have a letter from the Foreign Office saying that the export of nuclear materials to Russia from Preston is “important” to the UK. Really? Shouldn’t our government should be questioned on the legitimacy and wisdom of sending such materials to Russia, a country long held up as a justification for the UKs expensive and dangerous nuclear deterrent. It makes no moral or logical sense to supply Russia with nuclear materials while continuing with an expensive, and meaningless Renewal of Trident ….to protect us from…….Russia??!

In a letter to our MP Tim Farron, from the Foreign Office they state: “; “Russia remains an important market for the UK. We will continue to offer UK companies looking to invest in Russia support and advice, provided they are compliant with EU and other sanctions legislation”

They are talking about the export to Russia of uranium products including enriched uranium.  This they say is “just”‘for civil nuclear use in Russia.

Tim Farron MP states ” with regard to the exporting of potentially weapons grade nuclear materials to Russia (from Preston)

I am disappointed that the Minister seems to believe that the Government can compartmentalise its views on Russia, by maintaining a business relationship and seeing Russia as a viable market for nuclear materials but ALSO maintaining a frosty diplomatic relationship since the chemical attack in recent months. I am sure you will be disappointed in this insufficient response to your rightful concerns on this issue as well as their stalling in addressing the issue you raised regarding the transportation of nuclear materials along the same stretch of country road as those for Lorries carrying fracking materials”

There is it seems a cloak of invisibility over the Springfields Nuclear Fuel manufacturing plant. At a recent public inquiry into traffic issues and fracking, the fact that the Springfields site is on the same road that the fracking lorries propose to use was not flagged up by any NGOs apart from ourselves. Greenpeace told us it is because they do not want to “muddy the waters.” in the fight against fracking.

The waters will be more than muddy if the nuclear industry is allowed to continue with this cloak of invisibility. There is no doubt in my mind that fracking has served a useful purpose in muddying the waters so that the good folk of Lancashire are completely blinded not only to existing nuclear devastation but also to the advancing nuclear new build, next generation juggernaught bearing down on them ever so quietly, ever so softly and ever so viciously.

The eyewatering, obscene, expense of the civil, military nuclear complex, is the least of it, more important is the inevitable poisoning of our air, our water, our land, our rivers, our sea and even our DNA.

There is no excuse for nuclear weapons from a national security point of view as the letter from the Foreign Office vividly illustrates.  There is no excuse for the most expensive and dangerous way to boil a kettle.  The nuclear game is on, it is a titanic battle but one that is being (deliberately) kept on the fringes with scrappy mongrel underdog challenges to the most powerful vested interests in the land. Vested interests that have the wherewithal to silence, isolate and demoralise those scrappy souls who persist in unequivocal challenging of the nuclear civil military complex.


Marianne Birkby

Founder of Radiation Free Lakeland


Export of HEX to Russia Letter to Tim Farron from FO June 7th 18.jpg


Take Action

Radiation Free Lakeland have a number of campaigns on the go aimed at protecting Cumbria and our Neighbours from further radioactive pollution.

Stop Moorside: “Biggest Nuclear Development in Europe”

Stop Fossil Fuel Extraction Near Nuclear Installations

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (Its too near Sellafield!)



  1. Ken Gorman

    I’ve noticed that any letters I submit to the i newspaper which refer to nuclear weapons, are never acknowledged or published. I submitted the following yesterday, but it has not been published:
    (You are free to submit it to any other newspaper in your own name if you wish.):

    How strange that no one in the media mentions the saving of £205 billion that could be made by not renewing the Trident nuclear weapons programme.
    These useless nuclear weapons, under US control as head of NATO, and which would be opposed if a referendum was granted on the issue, have helped to impoverish the UK over decades. Why do the economists keep quiet about this waste? There is obviously ample funding available from this source for the NHS. If extra taxation is also needed, it should therefore be no more than 2%. Any other extra taxation would be to pay for the useless weapons, and the overall loss incurred by Brexit.


    Ken Gorman (Nukewatch)

    1. Dear Ken, That is an excellent letter making points that should be SHOUTED out in the press! This nuclear civil military industry is a crime against humanity that humanity is paying for through the public purse and through our health and through much more besides, Thank you for sight of the letter and yes I will use it and hope others do too!!

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