Friends of the Earth UK’s Top Ten Priorities- No 1: Keep Schtum about Nuclear

Anti Nuclear & Clean Energy Campaign - Australia FoE
Anti Nuclear & Clean Energy Campaign – Australia FoE

As a former long time activist with Friends of the Earth this is horrifying. Simon Bullock, Friends of the Earth’s senior campaigner on Climate Change and Energy has outlined the top ten priorities for Amber Rudd, the new head of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  DECC was formed in 2008 amidst great hope for a new future tackling climate change and ensuring a genuinely sustainable future.  The grim reality of  DECC is that 95% of its budget goes to nuclear .  Almost all of the roughly £7.9 billion DECC budget during 2013/14 went towards “cleaning up”  the UK’s nuclear legacy largely at Sellafield through the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), a government quango.  The NDA has also spent public money on buying up large areas of land around Sellafield – one would think as a buffer zone as a measure of protection for the public but no.  This green land near Sellafield is now being offered for sale to the companies responsible for Fukushima to build untried untested AP1000 reactors.

Nuclear is the most extreme energy  blocking the move to a sustainable renewable future.  Room must be made for the inflexible leviathan of nuclear electricity  in the national grid which is why exciting new renewable schemes are briefed against and scrapped repeatedly.  Divestment away from nuclear and into renewable technology is happening across the globe, even in China carbon emissions are falling as a result of investment in renewable technologies. Despite DECC’s budget being blown on nuclear, Friends of the Earth’s top ten priorities make only one reference to nuclear and that is to the fact that  solar is cheaper than nuclear.  Talk about giving the nuclear industry an easy ride!  People are beginning to talk about the damage this lack of action from FoE and it has to be said Greenpeace is doing.  That is not to detract from the fantastic work that FoE and Greenpeace do otherwise.  Also Greenpeace and FoE are being fantastically successful   in vigorously campaigning to secure a divestment away from nuclear internationally – just not here in the UK for whatever reason.

This is what Friends of the Earth’s top ten priorities for Amber Rudd should  be:

1.  Solidarity with those countries around the world phasing out nuclear energy in favour of renewable technology.  Here in the UK just 3% of final energy demand was provided by nuclear in 2013.  Nuclear is fuel based, Renewables are a technology. Investment into renewable technology and divestment away from nuclear fuel burning reactors.

2. A Moratorium on Decommissioning of Nuclear Sites.  The nuclear industry is being deregulated to allow novel pathways for nuclear waste in order to clear the decks for new nuclear waste.  For example nuclear waste has been classified as “exempt” to dump into landfill and “free release” for  metal recycling into the open market. Investment into R&D and the containment of nuclear wastes on site of production

3. Investment into energy efficient technologies and Warm Homes.

4. Investment in Solar

5. Investment in Wind.  Onshore and Offshore.  More support for community owned projects.

6.  Support for Employment in Renewable Sectors

7.  Moratorium on Fracking.  The largest user of gas in Cumbria is Sellafield.  There is a high pressure gas pipe from Barrow to Sellafield.  Tens of £millions of gas every year to cool the wastes and reprocess spent fuel thereby making the volume of nuclear wastes greater and more complex.  Sellafield stopped producing electricity in 2003

8. Protection of water resources.  Currently Thirlmere is being eyed up as a fresh water resource by NuGen the consortium planning to build three Ap1000 reactors near Sellafield.    Sellafield itself already abstracts 4 million gallons of water daily to cool the wastes and for other processes on site.

9.  Scrap the Hinkley C nuclear plant now before more £millions are wasted.  Return the site to green fields, the ancient hedgerows will be more difficult to replace.

10. Moratorium on  “Implementation of Geological Disposal” of nuclear wastes.   The rejected plan in the 1990s was for intermediate level wastes.  DECCS new plan which has already been rejected by Cumbria County Council is many times larger and includes heat generating wastes to be buried 3000 ft underground in an area one fifth the size of Cumbria.

We would agree with the last three points FoE make-

but would include uranium as a chemical element akin  to fossil fuel, making nuclear power the most extreme energy there is.

No new dash for gas or biomass The Conservative Manifesto pledges a major expansion in new gas plants, which is set to break carbon targets, and mean more imports of gas, irrespective of whether fracking happens. A dash-for-gas is bad for the UK’s energy security and our climate. These plans should be dropped, and replaced with a focus on cutting gas use and a 2030 power decarbonisation target. Phase-out coal Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel.

We strongly support the Prime Minister’s pledge to phase-out coal power. It needs to happen by 2023 at the latest. But to get a phase-out means tougher policy from DECC. This should be linked with a ban on open-cast coal mining – a blight on local communities.

Build strong bridges with DfT, DEFRA and Treasury DECC needs to work strongly with all departments on climate change – but three are critical: The Department for Transport needs to seize the huge economic opportunities from a switch to electric vehicles, and in the first year the decision on airport expansion is crucial. On both air and road transport, the Department needs to reverse its strategy to support all predicted growth in demand. The Treasury can be a huge enabler or blocker of all climate policy. It could allow the Green Investment Bank to borrow as a first signal of a changed approach.

Finally, DEFRA has the lead role in reducing the air pollution that is killing thousands of people every year, and costing the NHS billions, and in adequately protecting people from the climate change we can no longer avoid.

Government Corruption and Collusion led to the NMP Contract for the Obscene and Dangerous Gravy Train called Sellafield

Fat Cat With Your Money
Fat Cat With Your Money

In all the handwringing in the last few days on the termination of the Nuclear Management Partners lucrative Sellafield contract, perhaps the most nauseating and hypocritical is that by Jamie Reed MP.  He tweeted “Sellafield NMP contract terminated. Inevitable, necessary and overdue”.

In 2008 when MP Paul Flynn quite rightly questioned the huge sums of money being awarded to NMP by DECC without any Parliamentary scrutiny at all, Jamie Reed poo poohed this concern as an  “incoherent concoction.”

Dr David Lowry an independent research policy consultant,  has provided the backstory to this appalling ongoing corruption of governance in all things nuclear…..
Geoffrey Lean only partly explains what happened this week: what went wrong,  but not why nor how such a poor private consortium was able to secure the contract in the first place.

The known facts in the backstory to the Sellafield decision are startling.

I have worked on this issue with Labour MP Paul Flynn for seven years, and his attempts to make transparent the deal done to give Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) the contract have been met with obstruction- by Government and in nuclear industry at every turn.

When he initiated Parliamentary debate, on 19 November 2008, shortly after the NMP contract was awarded in early October 2008, coincidentally two days after Ed Miliband became Labour’s first Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Changer, Mr Flynn was dismissed by Mike O’Brien, the then Labour energy
minister, as a conspiracy theorist asserting “his concoction of conspiracy theory, innuendo and hyperbole has reached new heights in the House,” and told MPs Flynn had “exaggerated, went way
over the top in his condemnations.”

Mr Flynn’s Labour colleague, Jamie Reed chipped in with the observation that Mr Flynn’s exposure was an “incoherent concoction.”€ (Hansard, 19 Nov 2008 : Column 125WH)

Let your readers decide, now the current energy secretary has sacked NMP partners from their £22 billion contract, who was exaggerating and whether Mr Flynn’s criticisms were coherent.

Mr Flynn tabled an early day motion (EDM) – a kind of political notice – on the NMP contract on 6 February 2013, which included the observation: “DECC were questioned on the probity of such huge sums being awarded (to NMP) without Parliamentary scrutiny; recalls an earlier EDM 2321 on Parliamentary Oversight
of Sellafield Indemnification tabled on 22 October 2008 observed accurately that the agreement would privatise the profits of the Sellafield management contract leaving the potentially multi-billion pound liabilities with taxpayers; acknowledges the subsequent release of internal memoranda and emails between DECC and NDA officials which expose the deliberate cover up from

I obtained the internal e-mails and documents from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, who own Sellafield, after a protracted battle over disclosure for many months in 2008, which were very heavily censored prior to release with whole pages, and the names of most of the officials involved, having been systematically blanked out. Nonetheless, they included buried in the 140-odd
pages released, the extraordinary revelation that the Department of Trade and Industry, DECC’s predecessor department responsible for nuclear policy, and the NDA, wanted to go ahead with awarding the deal to NMP, by avoiding due Parliamentary scrutiny and circumventing democratic oversight, detailing how
the deception of Parliament was to be effected. It was a clear scandal.

Energy secretary Ed Davey says a new transitional management arrangement will be brought in over 15 months. The minimum the public and Parliament can expect is every aspect of this is fully transparent and open to detailed scrutiny in public before any new agreement is signed.”

Independent Radiation Monitoring In NW – What?

Three Wise Monkeys
Three Wise Monkeys


Radiation Free Lakeland are lobbying for independent radiation monitoring in the North West.  This used to be carried out by Radiation Monitoring in Lancashire – RADMIL – which was disbanded a few years ago due to council cuts.

Multi-national private companies taking on lucrative government contracts to “decommission” nuclear plants are essentially self regulating, such as the landfill at Lillyhall which accepted “non exempt” 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste from Sellafield.  The Environment Agency said they were satisfied that the company running the landfill was “unaware” of Sellafield’s actions.  So no prosecution against the private company was made.  The Environment Agency are the government body policing radioactive releases to the environment. They are being crafted to become  increasingly a watchdog that does not bark, or even look.

Please write to the Chief Scientist at Lancashire County Scientific Services:

and cc to Cumbria County Council’s Nuclear Issues:

Dear Scientific Services/Nuclear Issues


Radioactive releases to the environment used to be independently monitored by the council run Radiation Monitoring in Lancashire, RADMIL. RADMIL was stopped a few years ago due to council cuts. The nuclear industry and government plan to manufacture fuel for new reactors beginning with uranium at Capenhurst, Near Chester and then on to Preston’s Springfields plant with proposed new nuclear build at Moorside in Cumbria  and proposed geological dumping under Cumbria. This means the escalating release of radioactive materials to the River Ribble and Clifton Marsh Landfill in Lancashire and to the Irish Sea, Lillyhall landfill and more in Cumbria.  Fracking would also release radiation to the environment.  Nuclear is ALREADY releasing an accelerating cocktail of the most potent radionuclides to the environment from fuel manufacture, routine emissions from nuclear plants, reprocessing, decommissioning and waste ‘disposal’.

Given this escalation in radioactive emissions we urge you to reinstate regular and frequent independent radiation monitoring in Lancashire and Cumbria

Yours sincerely,




More info:
From: ENV Lancashire County Scientific Services
Date: 31 March 2014 14:44:29 BST
To: ‘marianne Birkby’

Subject: RE: RADMIL

Dear Ms Birkby

The decision to discontinue radiation monitoring was taken about three years ago
by the Lancashire Chief Environmental Health Officers group. This was mainly due to budgetary pressure and the recognition that the background levels of radiation were very well established.

It was also decided that the remaining equipment would be held by Lancashire
County Scientific Services and maintained in good working order in case it might
assist in the recovery phase of an nuclear incident.

As the pressures on budgets have not eased I cannot see RADMIL being reinstated in the foreseeable future.

I hope this answers your question adequately. If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.


Andrew Smith, BSc., PhD., M.Chem.A., C.Sci., C.Chem., M.R.S.C.

Lancashire County Council
County Scientific Services
Pedders Way
Riversway Docklands
Tel: 01772 721660 (Office)

Heysham’s Graphite Core Clapped Out? No Probs..Just Change the Rules!

Heysham 1 ?
Heysham 1 ?

Last week the Station Manager of Heysham 1 Ian Stewart, had a Podium piece in the Westmorland Gazette.  The piece was the usual puffed up nonsense we have come to expect of the nuclear industry extolling the “low carbon” credentials and “safety” of the industry and Heysham 1 in particular.   Far from being low carbon, nuclear entrenches fossil fuel dependence.   Independent scientist  Dr Ian Fairlie has pointed out in this weeks Ecologist:

“The most thorough UK examination of nuclear’s potential carbon savings was by the former Sustainable Development Commission in 2006. It concluded  “Nuclear power is not the answer to tackling climate change … “. Surprise: one of the first things the Tory-led coalition Government did when it assumed power in 2010 was to abolish the Sustainable Development Commission”.

Ian Stewart the Heysham Manager is absolutely right when he says that “Low carbon energy is vital both locally and nationally”  why then is he promoting a life extension to Heysham 1?

Even if nuclear was the bees knees as far as low carbon energy is concerned, that would still not justify the trade off.  The trade off for continued nuclear fanaticism is the real possibility of accident and the absolute certainty of routine emissions.  Emissions which the industry and government know cause radiation linked disease in humans and a snowball of blight to the environment.

Given what is at stake you would think that safety would be paramount.  Not so.  Graphite bricks in the Heysham 1 reactor are cracking and starting to lose weight due to bombardment of radiation. The graphite is about to breach safety levels and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) would have had to prosecute or even shut down the plant. But instead, the regulators are considering a request from EDF energy, to simply airbrush away the safety limits.

Yesterday’s Utility Week reports:  “EDF Energy applied to extend the limit on how much degradation can take place to the graphite bricks surrounding the nuclear core at its Kent-based nuclear site, and told Utility Week that the rest of its site are under review as safety margins continue to shrink. “The figures we have for our sites are well within the safety margins we have been set. But we will keep this under review during the operational lives of our sites, and as is usual work with the Office for Nuclear Regulation,” a spokesman for the company said. The Heysham 1 nuclear power unit is the reactor closest to reaching its safety standards relating to graphite weight loss, at just 1.5 per cent off its limit. Current average weight loss is at 10.5 per cent with its limit being 12 per cent. A final decision as to whether the Heysham plant’s lifetime may be extended to 2019 will be made by the regulator next year following detailed safety assessment of the site which will be shared with the Office for Nuclear Regulation. If the life extension is not approved a safety limit change may be unnecessary as the plant would close in 2016. However, if the plant’s life extension is approved, an application to change the safety limits may be required”.

There is a petition regarding EDF’s Dungeness B – another petition for Heysham 1 will follow.

Or if you would like to set up petitions PLEASE DO!

This is MEGA BIG BAD DANGEROUS and the more groups and individuals who SHOUT the more chance we have of preventing nuclear catastrophe.

What can you do?

Please contact Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth UK ask them to grab hold of this nuclear hot potato while we still have the chance to make a difference.

Contact your Social Media Networks and shout about this

Contact your MP

Contact Anyone and Everyone you can think of who can stand up and strongly oppose.


PODIUM – The Westmorland gazette July 3rd Ian Stewart Station Director of Heysham 1

Heysham 1 Ian Stewart Podium WG july 3 2014

Jamie Reed MP: Why Have Energy Solutions Not Been Prosecuted for Nuclear Flytipping?

Lillyhall Nuclear Waste Disposal Site - If you can read this you are too close
Lillyhall Nuclear Waste Disposal Site – If you can read this you are too close


Dear Jamie Reed MP

Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to members of Radiation Free Lakeland at our Alternative Sellafield Story in Whitehaven.

As promised we are writing to you with information about the flytipping of radioactive waste in Lillyhall Landfill. There has been an unexpected turn of events with the company responsible for nuclear oversight of the landfill, Energy Solutions now planning to sue the government for £200M with regard to not being awarded nuclear “clean up” contracts.

Energy Solutions from Utah are subcontracted by Fomento de Contrucciones y Contratas (FCC) to look after the nuclear aspect of Lillyhall Landfill.

So the company who have not been prosecuted for allowing Sellafield to illegally dump 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate waste into Lillyhall are now looking to receive substantial monies off government for breach of contract?

Sellafield WAS fined over £700,000 for illegally flytipping into Lillyhall but of course that money came from the public purse.

Following over 100 letters of concern from his constituents, Tony Cunningham MP for Workington wrote to Secretary of State, Ed Davey asking why the operators of Lillyhall had not been prosecuted while Sellafield has. The reply from Ed Davey is alarming:

“It is important to note that the Environment Agency did not take enforcement action against Waste Recycling Group (WRG) Limited (operators of the landfill at the time.) This was because WRG Limited did not knowingly breach its environmental permit”.

WHAT!! In that case every Tom, Dick and Harry could say they never knowingly breached permits. And in this case Energy Solutions are supposed to be the last line of defence preventing illegal nuclear flytipping.

The use of Lillyhall as a nuclear dumping ground for decommissioned nuclear rubble is bad enough but to allow the operators to get off scott free with dumping even higher activity wastes is more than criminal. What hold have these companies over government? Is it because the government needs these nuclear privateers to carry out “decommissioning” ?

Lillyhall, previously nuclear free, is now classed as a radioactive waste dump with emissions to land and air. The already dangerous practice of dumping in landfill is made even more dangerous by Energy Solutions having allowed Sellafield to dump higher activity waste. The non prosecution of energy Solutions and their contractors FCC sends out the message that companies involved in nuclear waste are untouchable. The landfill operators Energy Solutions and FCC have got off not only scot free but with a license to dump a further 1 million cubic metres or more of radioactive rubble into the landfill’s spare capacity.

Also concerning is that Ed Davey’s facts are plain wrong – he says that WRG were operators of the landfill at the time (of the illegal nuclear flytipping.  Really?)  FCC took over Waste Recycling Group in 2006, the illegal nuclear flytipping took place in 2010.

Yours sincerely,


Marianne Birkby

on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Attached –

BEACON REPACKAGED while Nuclear Waste Spews Out


Brian Cox Tweets "Very Good Day at the Beacon" 30th May 2014
Brian Cox Tweets “Very Good Day at the Beacon” 30th May 2014

Protest at The Beacon 30th May 2014

Looking at the Alternative Sellafield Story outside the Beacon- 30th May 2014
Looking at the Alternative Sellafield Story outside the Beacon- 30th May 2014


When the UK’s favourite celebrity scientist is roped in alongside a Government Minister to open a local museum you know something big is afoot.

The local museum is The Beacon, formerly run by Copeland Council. Copeland, like councils across the country have had their funding cut by central government. You might think that with Copeland being home to Sellafield, this area would be best placed to withstand the worst of the economic downturn. Instead it seems to be the very worst placed.

All essential services have been mercilessly cut.

From public toilets to the closing of The Civic Centre, nothing spared. Whitehaven’s popular Civic Centre was used by everyone from local theatre groups to Government led public meetings such as Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely. The ironically titled Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely Partnership was dissolved following Cumbria County Council’s momentous no vote on January 30th 2013.

Cumbrians thought that was the end of the nuclear dump plan. We thought that government would go back to the drawing board with their cunning plan to dump heat generating nuclear waste under Cumbria’s complex geology. But like Terminator it seems the “implementation of geological disposal” is unstoppable. Government ministers have certainly never tired of telling Cumbrians what a huge “opportunity” it would be. 

When the “huge opportunity” line didn’t seem to be working the carrot was changed to the perceived stick that “ new build will not happen unless we have geological disposal.”  Never mind that Cumbria, the most nuclear compliant community in the UK has said no several times. Never mind the complex geology and the fact that heat-generating wastes have never been successfully contained in a geological dump.ever…anywhere.

What a golden opportunity then to use The Beacon as a platform to repackage The Sellafield Story in order to make nuclear waste loveable. The Beacon is still funded out of the public purse, only now it is receiving government funds filtered through the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.


The Sellafield Story has some excellent photographs, archive footage, factoids and timelines. All this serves to give the impression of being open and transparent about Sellafield’s history.


Visitors are greeted with a big picture of a mushroom cloud to illustrate the industry’s origins as nuclear bomb manufacturer. The text is however careful not to mention that the Ministry of Defence and the operators of Sellafield, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are still wedded. The Nuclear Academy, along with partners the NDA, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), West lakes Renaissance and British Nuclear group officially commenced construction of The Nuclear Academy just up the road from the Beacon on 9th March 2007.


The Nuclear Academy describes itself as a “world class centre of excellence for nuclear skills development” including… defence!

Meanwhile the last generation of “defence” nuclear submarines look likely to be dumped, sorry, “decommissioned” at Sellafield. These factoids are just some of the high level omissions from The Sellafield Story.



Cumbrians are beginning to learn that “decommissioning” means dispersal to the environment. The exhibition has some snazzy computer games. One of these is to test smashing up radioactively contaminated buildings with a bulldozer. Curiously The Sellafield Story does not follow up on where the smashed up rubble will be dumped. Cumbrians were surprised to learn that Sellafield is routinely dumping radioactive rubble in landfill, not just any old landfill but ironically the one right next door to the Nuclear Academy in Lillyhall, Workington.

Sellafield was fined over £700,000 for illegally dumping 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into the landfill instead of newly classified “exempt” waste. The landfill operators got off not only scot free but with a license to dump a further 1 million cubic metres or more of radioactive rubble into the landfill’s spare capacity. 

Not only from Sellafield but also from Scotland’s Chapel Cross and elsewhere. Both European and UK Laws have been changed to accommodate the nuclear industry’s fly tipping.


There is just one column about protest and this rather ungraciously shows Bono smoking a cigarette on the beach at Sellafield in the 1990s during Greenpeace’s Stop Sellafield campaign which aimed to prevent the Thorp reprocessing plant going ahead.  At least Bono had free choice to smoke the cigarette. As a result of reprocessing activity and previous discharges, Cumbrians are exposed and unprotected from radioactive particles washing up onto our beaches with every tide. These particles include cesium, plutonium and americium. Young children and pregnant mothers are, as with all things nuclear at greatest risk of damage to health. Despite the incidence of particle finds increasing dramatically over the last few years, monitoring and retrieval has been cut back.


This is what Sellafield does in spades – it was the original purpose of the plant – to extract the bomb making material called plutonium from spent nuclear fuel. In recent years the rationale was to reuse the plutonium in MOX fuel – this was a catastrophic failure described in an internal government report as “not fit for purpose” after racking up £2bn in debt and polluting the environment.


However, the Sellafield Story spins it: “a chemical operation called reprocessing, is used to separate the 3% of waste products. The 97% that is left is the uranium and plutonium which can be used again”.

Truth is, reprocessing actually increases the volume of nuclear waste by as much as 189 times compared with the original spent fuel. Virtually all the radioactivity ends up as massive and hazardous waste streams spewing out of Sellafield.


As well as the increased waste streams everything involved in the process becomes contaminated with radioactivity. This includes huge quantities of solvents and acids, containers, filters, machinery and even the fabric of the reprocessing buildings. The only reason trains and boats continue to bring spent fuel/nuclear waste to Sellafield is for the insanity of reprocessing.


While Brian Cox’s enthusiasm for the scientific dream of nuclear fusion is understandable, his endorsement of nuclear fission’s “business as usual but more of it” is dodgy.


Who needs fusion or fission anyway when increasingly renewables are outstripping nuclear. 

On opening The Beacon, Professor Cox gushed proudly that the nuclear industry has a “track record second to none!” That we can agree with…



Radiation Free Lakeland went along to the opening of The Beacon with their Alternative Sellafield Story from uranium mining to the plan for geological dumping. RaFL are all volunteers and activists giving their own time and expertise freely. Any donations go directly to campaigning for nuclear safety  ………Stop and Contain.





The Beacon Protest yesterday

Hearing about the Alternative Sellafield Story
Hearing about the Alternative Sellafield Story


Handing out leaflets about Sellafield roe deer cull and testing for radionuclides
Handing out leaflets about Sellafield roe deer cull and testing for radionuclides
Chauffer Driven Prof Brian Cox speeds past our Renewable Energy Yes Please banner
Chauffer Driven Prof Brian Cox speeds past our Renewable Energy Yes Please banner
Essential amenity of Whitehaven Civic Hall Closed
Essential amenity of Whitehaven Civic Hall Closed



Yesterday members of Radiation Free Lakeland and Save the Sellafield Deer went along to set up their own exhibition outside the new propaganda vehicle for Sellafield.

Around 250 people stopped to chat about the real Sellafield Story, to take leaflets and to look at our exhibition illustrating  the vicious nuclear cycle from uranium mining to geological dumping.

A longer write up is to follow but here are some photographs of the day to be going on with.


MANY THANKS to supporters of Radiation Free Lakeland and Save the Sellafield Deer who came along to help and to all the people who stopped to chat and to share their own stories about Sellafield’s ongoing experiment on both animals and humans.

Brian Cox Pitching Nuclear Woo

Brian Cox Pitching Nuclear Woo in Cumbria
Brian Cox Pitching Nuclear Woo in Cumbria
Pitching Nuclear Woo
Pitching Nuclear Woo


Professor Brian Cox will be opening the Beacon on Friday and pitching nuclear woo The renowned celebrity Prof has said :  “The debate around nuclear waste is skewed and illogical at times. The nuclear waste is here, the problem is here, it isn’t going anywhere so it needs to be resolved now. New build will not impact on the storage solution; it will not contribute to the problem. I see it as an opportunity for a willing community, more than an issue.”. Rather bizarre that he thinks new build would not contribute to the problem, the waste would be even hotter from new build reactors and need an even larger area to store. Maybe that is why the plan for new reactors at Sellafield (Moorcide) would more than double the size of the already obscenely large site.

Given Professor Cox’s enthusiasm for the geological dumping of heat generating nuclear wastes, we wonder whether he will take the opportunity to urge fellow celebrity Beacon opening guest, Baroness Verma, to aggressively promote geological dumping under London Clay?

We will be holding a demonstration from 10am outside the Beacon

Please write to Professor Cox c/o The Beacon by Friday  1pm

The Beacon Museum
West Strand,
CA28 7LY

Tel: 01946 592302

sample letter:

Dear Professor Cox,

Given that Cumbrians have said no repeatedly to the plan for the dumping of high level nuclear wastes within complex geology with unpredictable water flow, will you be urging Baroness Verma to look elsewhere?  Instead of aggressively grooming Cumbria perhaps another area would be keen to be groomed to take up the opportunity?  I understand that the impermeable London Clay is viewed  as a potential ‘home’ for heat generating high level nuclear wastes.

yours sincerely,





Just found a radioactive particle? Must be a Good Beach!

The Marine Conservation Society and Keep Britain Tidy have  awarded West Cumbrian beaches Good Beach status.

Neither of these bodies take radioactive pollution into account when awarding Clean and Good Beach status.

On St Bees alone over 70 particles including alpha particles have been found and retrieved up to 2011. Despite this the monitoring and retrieval has been scaled back at the request of local Parish councils who are in the Catch 22 of not wanting to put the holiday makers off. This of course means that the nuclear industry is given free rein to continue to pollute while holiday makers and locals alike are encouraged onto the sands by those they trust such as Keep Britian Tidy, The Marine Conservation Society and Cumbria Wildlife Trust.   The fact that None of these cheerleading flags promoting the safety of the beaches looks at radioactive pollution as a criteria is diabolic.

There's a hole in DECC's bucket
There’s a hole in DECC’s much fresh water needed to cool the HOT waste (sea water is too corrosive) that there is talk of a desalination plant on the West Coast …this would churn up and return even more radioactive silt to Cumbrian beaches.


Sellafield itself wrote to the Health Protection Agency with concerns
about the contamination of their beach workers who use argocats and
specialist equipment to retrieve radioactive particles. Unlike the
Sellafield radioactive particle beach workers, the public are not suited
and booted with urine being tested for radioactive contamination.

In Scotland health concerns about radioactive pollution from radium
prompted warning signs to go up on Dalgety Bay beach. Radium is of far
lesser concern than the cocktail of radionuclides being found on Cumbrian
beaches where there are no warning signs. We wonder whether this is
because the radium is from the world war 11 plane dials whereas the more
dangerous particles on Cumbrian beaches are from the industry that the
government is aggressively promoting as a solution to energy needs.

There is an excellent report from another nuclear safety group Cumbrians
Opposed to a Radioactive Environment here:

Radioactive Particles on Cumbrian Beaches

more info here



“Its always the technology that lets us down” says International Authority on nuclear safety

Committee on Radioactive Waste Management meeting 30th April 2014
Committee on Radioactive Waste Management meeting 30th April 2014
We Said NO!
We Said NO!
On the Road again - Nuclear Waste
On the Road again – Nuclear Waste



Many thanks to the Bristol nuclear waste barrels for their epic journey to West Cumbria.  These are the ONLY nuclear barrels that we want in Cumbria but more of the REAL spent fuel is arriving by the week for insane reprocessing.

The barrels were worn by local West Cumbrians and by Bristolians alike.

The colourful demo made such a huge impact with people coming up to us to say how disgusted they were at the government coming back to Cumbria repeatedly to try to force a deep nuke dump or two or three on us.

The best quote of the night was from Professor Laurence Williams of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management when the microphone conked out : “its always the technology that lets us down”

Quite – thats what we think about the plan to use previously unused and scientifically impossible to predict “engineered barriers” 1000 metres underground with geology as the last line of defence when the barriers inevitably deteriorate.  The government is keen to show that “steady progress is being made in the implementation of geological disposal working within the underpinning principles of voluntarism and partnership with local communities”    WE SAID NO – AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN

Head of Committee on Radioactive Waste Management – Laurence Williams