What Simon Said & Didn’t Say About Sellafield

The following is letter published in the Whitehaven News and Westmorland Gazette last week.

Dear Editor

Simon Reeve’s insightful and luscious documentary on the Lakes this week gives us some interesting footage of the most hazardous, and complex nuclear site, including crumbling concrete ponds of highly radioactive old fuel rods and Civil Nuclear Constabulary’s state of the art shooting range.  But ends up copping out with the same old cynical mantra that “mistakes of the past were made and are now having to be cleaned up” to be followed by repeating the nuclear industry’s smug and false assertion that now “we now know more and new build is designed with decommissioning in mind.” 

Similarly Simon repeats the mantra that nuclear is “low carbon” and that a GDF is essentially a fait accompli. No mention that nuclear waste is continuing to arrive at Sellafield almost daily and cooling that waste results in Sellafield being the biggest single emitter of CO2(e) in Cumbria with a massive new gas plant being built right now onsite. Despite showing us the crumbling ponds at Sellafield Simon makes no connection with a new, earthquake inducing highly mechanised undersea coal mine just five miles away.  

No mention of the fact that the first to oppose the coal mine in the face of overwhelming apathy (including from climate campaigners) was a volunteer nuclear safety group, Radiation Free Lakeland.  No mention that the CEO of the coal mine is now an “invaluable” government advisor on digging big holes for a Geological Disposal Facility for Heat Generating Nuclear Wastes and Near Surface Disposal of Intermediate Nuclear Wastes at Drigg’s “Low Level Waste Repository”. Disappointing to say the least but I guess predictible that the BBC should ultimately stay on message regards nuclear.

Yours sincererly,

Marianne Birkby
Radiation Free Lakeland (also Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole)

2 thoughts on “What Simon Said & Didn’t Say About Sellafield

  1. Roger Cartwright

    I think Simon did a great job – at least he was let in to fortress Sellafield and showed something of what it is like there and it was obvious that he couldn’t say too much or the BBC would not have put it on!
    It would be great if your statement ” Simon repeats the (Questionable) mantra that nuclear is “low carbon” and that a GDF is essentially a fait accompli (???). No mention that nuclear waste is continuing to arrive at Sellafield almost daily and cooling that waste results in Sellafield being the biggest single emitter of CO2(e) in Cumbria with a massive new gas plant being built right now onsite.” (And clean water from Thirlmere being piped at vast expense to West Cumbria???) Could be given wider publicity on say, BBC social media pages?

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