The following is the reply from the Scottish Government. We asked them to make a stand against the Cumbrian coal mine on both climate and nuclear grounds. The reply is a pretty shocking abdication of responsibility to the health of Scottish citizens in preventing radiation linked diseases – but it falls in line with all the other regulators and official bodies tasked with health and safety of the public who are washing their hands of any responsibility for the direct radiological impacts the coal mine would have. The Scottish Government basically say that they will monitor the increase in the radioactive pollution being reactivated from the Cumbrian Mud Patch but that they will not comment on the coal mine development.
Our Reference: 202000115082
8 December 2020
Dear Marianne Birkby,
Thank you for your email on 12 November 2020 to Scottish Ministers in relation to your campaign to
oppose a coal mine in Cumbria.
Your email has been passed to me to respond to as policy lead for Radioactive Waste and
Decommissioning in the ScottishGovernment.
In terms of your campaign, this is a matter for Cumbria County Council and it would not be appropriate
for The ScottishGovernment or Scottish Ministers to comment on this.
With regards to monitoring the impact of radioactivity and in conjunction with Food Standards
Scotland, SEPA undertakes a comprehensive environmental radioactivity monitoring programme
across Scotland covering foodstuffs, sediments, water, soil, grass and a number of bespoke
measurements to determine the radiological impact of permitted radioactive discharges on the public
in Scotland. With particular reference to Sellafield, this programme covers both the upper and outer
Solway firth as well as multiple samples along the West Coast of Scotland. All of the monitoring data
and an assessment of the impact is reported annually in the Radioactivity in Food and the
Environment report, which is available via SEPA’s website –
https://www.sepa.org.uk/environment/radioactive-substances/environmental-monitoring-andassessment/reports/ . SEPA’s monitoring programme aims to detect the distant effects of discharges
from Sellafield, however it would also detect any increase as a result of disturbance of sediment
caused by seabed activities
I hope the above information is helpful.
Scottish Ministers, special advisers and the Permanent Secretary are covered by the terms ofthe Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016. See
St Andrew’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG
EQCE : Radioactive Waste and Nuclear Decommissioning Policy