Lakeland’s “Long Tradition”

Sellafield from Moorsidea

Today’s Westmorland Gazette letters page


While everyone waits to see if the finances for Hinkley Point Nuclear plant can be propped up, there is an equally high risk fate hanging over the Lake District.

NUGen are running a consultation on plans for the Moorside nuclear reactors just two miles outside the Lake District National Park. What is barely credible is that the supposed guardians of the national park will be raising no major objections to Moorside. The Lake District National Park Authority states in it’s Moorside consultation response (April 2016): “We support the principle of a new nuclear build power station adjacent to Sellafield.  The proposal would continue the long tradition of the nuclear industry in Cumbria and benefit the national and Cumbrian economy.  Our support is consistent with that offered in 2011.”

And even more worrying is that all the UKs nuclear waste, including that from any new build reactors, will probably end up going into an underground repository for millennia – and the most likely location for this repository is under the very same English Lake District, with the entrance at or very near Sellafield.

But what does the National Park Authority care, as long as we all support “the long tradition of the nuclear industry in Cumbria.” ?

David Siddall


You too can have a Lakeland View Like this – All you have to do is Nothing!

Moorside from Scafell Pike - You too can have a view like this - just do nothing!
Moorside from Scafell Pike – You too can have a view like this – just do nothing!

Radiation Free Lakeland will be launching the report on 26th Sept at the
Beckermet Pylon Consultation from 1-2.

Please join us if you can – we will then walk for a few miles or so around the
‘Moorside’ site (actually called Greenmoorside).

The Cooling Towers for AP1000 reactors under construction in America and China are 600ft to 800ft high. This is many times higher than any existing
building in Cumbria and more than double the height of the now demolished Calder Hall cooling towers. The largest pylons for example would be 152ft.

Radioactively contaminated seawater would be drawn from the Irish Sea for cooling. Deposition from vapours and particulate matter emissions from cooling towers would fall on Lakeland. The visible vapor plumes
associated with cooling towers can rise more than 5,000 feet above the towers (ie above the Lakeland fells) and extend as far as 9 miles downwind.

The river Ehen meanders through National Trust land from Ennerdale to the final reaches at the proposed Moorside site. Fresh Water Pearl Mussels and
other endangered species are under direct threat as a result of the Moorside proposal.

NUGEN are disingenuously describing this beautiful 500 acre area of West Cumbria as
“a brownfield site.” We wonder how much more of Cumbria will be described as “brownfield” should Moorside go ahead?

Radiation Free Lakeland have sent the report to movers and shakers such as the National Trust, Friends of the Lake District and Cumbria Wildlife
Trust, all of whom are taking part in the Pylon CONsultation while Saying NOWT about the biggest nuclear development in Europe.

MOORSIDE RaFL Report 19.9.14


The Moorside Report: Europe’s biggest nuclear development

Cooling tower plumes from Moorside would reach 5000ft over Lakeland Fells
Cooling tower plumes from Moorside would reach 5000ft over Lakeland Fells



A new report has been produced by Radiation Free Lakeland, which outlines
the impact “the biggest nuclear development in Europe” would have on

Visible vapor plumes from AP1000 cooling towers would rise more than 5,000
feet above the towers (ie 2000 feet above the highest Lakeland fells) and
extend as far as 9 miles downwind. Resulting precipitation would be from
seawater drawn from the Irish Sea, which is contaminated by Sellafield’s
reprocessing activity.

The river Ehen meanders through National Trust land from Ennerdale to the
final reaches at the proposed Moorside site. Fresh Water Pearl Mussels and
other endangered species are under direct threat as a result of the
Moorside proposal.

Spokesperson for Radiation Free Lakeland, Marianne Birkby said: NUGEN are
disingenuously describing this beautiful 500 acre area of West Cumbria as
“a brownfield site.” We wonder how much more of Cumbria will be
described as “brownfield” should Moorside go ahead?

Radiation Free Lakeland have sent the report to movers and shakers such as
the National Trust, Friends of the Lake District and Cumbria Wildlife

MOORSIDE RaFL Report 19.9.14


30th April, Government Committee Comes to Workington to teach Cumbrians to suck eggs

City of Carlisle - Geological Nuclear Dump
City of Carlisle – Geological Nuclear Dump


…..or in this case heat generating nuclear wastes.  

The plan we were told  was for one mega dump “as big as the City of Carlisle.” Cumbria said No to that plan on 30th January 2013.  It is worth bearing in mind that the area of the City of Carlisle includes much of rural West Cumbria and is ENORMOUS.  Now the government’s increasing and insane nuclear ambitions mean that there would be  not one dump the size of the City of Carlisle but 4 or more  geological dumps.  The Committee of Radioactive Waste Management is coming to Cumbria on 30th April to tell us about their work in advising government.  Originally scheduled to take place in Workington centre, demand was so great that the venue has changed to accommodate more people .  Rather surprisingly the venue has changed to the Hunday Manor Hotel, out on a limb and inaccessible by public transport- we wonder whether this has more to do with ensuring an air of reverence and respect rather than  to accommodate more people.

People can book here – or just turn up!  Your paying!

Its worth a history lesson on the birth of the Committee of Radioactive Waste Management.  To go back nearly 20 years to the original plan,

Immediately after the Nirex inquiry decision by John Gummer (the day the  election was called in 1997) there was a big problem for the nuclear  industry, because their chosen site, Longlands in West Cumbria had been ruled out  as geologically unsuitable, but they knew nowhere else in the country  would be politically acceptable. And the inquiry had only looked at  intermediate-level wastes, not the high-level wastes and spent nuclear  fuel they were hoping to put down there later .  The House of Lords Technology Committee (which is very pro-nuclear) was given the problem  to solve. They recommended the following:

(1) Changing planning law so major infrastructure projects were decided by central government with no cross-examination of scientific evidence so they would not lose again next time (this took them several attempts to get through but became what is now the major infrastructure planning law);

(2) Setting up a process to endorse deep disposal without actually looking at site selection and whether any suitable geology exists (this became the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management who will be coming to the Hunday Manor Hotel on 30th April);

(3) “compensation” for local communities (i.e. money for Copeland, plus what later became the “Energy Coast” PR exercise, i.e. promising jobs that will never materialise). At the same time, Nirex applied to extend the planning permission for their boreholes to continue to investigate the site (they tried to convince a lot of councillors that this would be
some kind of university of geology). Greenpeace and CORE objected to the extension of planning permission. They argued that permission had only been given to the boreholes to investigate the suitability of the site and allowing continuing work would overturn the inquiry decision that  the site was unsuitable. Cumbria County Councillors were persuaded by
this and voted to oppose planning permission and to fill in the boreholes.

New Geological Criteria were later cunningly developed (Criteria Proposals Group and Review Panel) under the auspices of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee to overturn the findings of the Nirex inquiry/appeal and rule Cumbria back in.

It is clear that Committee after Committee is being set up to drive the nuclear agenda.  Any authentic voices that manage to make it onto these government committees are it seems soon forced out, as this letter from former CoRWM members in the British Medical Journal illustrates:

Editor—We have professional interests in the public health impact of ionising radiation, the assessment and management of risk, and the development of policy. After more than a year as members of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) one of us (KB) was sacked and the other driven to resign because of the committee’s wayward modus operandi. CoRWM now lacks serious expertise in these subjects and developing policy to protect the public interest, including its health.1

CoRWM has a membership stronger on public relations than science, is strongly averse to consulting expertise, has adopted a “do it yourself” mode of operation contrary to its overseer role, and commonly relies on help from close associates when needed. Its remit is to advise government on a strategy that can be implemented quickly and will inspire public confidence.

After taking more than a year to eliminate long rejected options such as rocketing high level waste into the sun, the committee now has less than a year to formulate its advice on options that meet the engineering requirement of isolating the waste from the biosphere for up to 100 000 years.

The latest independent review is sceptical that there will be a successful outcome2 given the avoidable damage to the credibility of the committee from its failure to develop a science strategy before January 2005. As then members, we thought that this was not so much a failure as a deliberate antiscience strategy.

If the material stored at many places around the United Kingdom were inadvertently or deliberately dispersed, or some unsafe but seemingly publicly acceptable solution were implemented, the potential for major public health damage would be huge now and in the future. No strategy has been in place for managing radioactive waste in the UK in the past 25 years, and the medical profession should be concerned that this latest initiative is so controversial and lacking in professionalism.

In November 2003 the BMA wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) expressing its concern that the newly formed CoRWM had no medically qualified members. As we have not been replaced (even by co-option) CoRWM now lacks health and risk expertise as well as any hands-on expertise on the science and engineering of radioactive waste management.

Is this a responsible way to make such a momentous decision?

1. Baverstock KF, Ball DJ. The UK Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. J Radio Prot 2005;25: 313-20. [PubMed]
2. Collier D. CoRWM phase 2 evaluation. Oxford: Faulkland Associates, 2005. (Report R06.)
3. House of Lords. Radioactive waste management: 5th report, science and technology committee. London: House of Lords, 2004. 

World Heritage Status – Lord Clark

Herdwick Wasdale Show 2012
Herdwick Wasdale Show 2012

Wasdale Show 2012

Photos – Wasdale Show 2012 ….Come along and see us at the 2013 Wasdale Show Oct 12th

Email to Lord Clark

Date: Fri, October 4, 2013 1:47 pm

Dear Lord Clark,

Many thanks for pursuing World Heritage Status for the Lake District.
Radiation Free Lakeland are very proud to be from this beautiful and
internationally important part of the world. We are hefted to the land
just as strongly as the herdwicks!

We understand that you are still a salaried non executive director of
Sellafield as well as a leading player in the Lake District National Park
Authority. We have previously questioned this conflict of interest. A
concern which appears to be borne out by the Lake District National Park’s
incredibly weak and grudging 11th hour response to the geological dump and
its bizarre SUPPORT for new nuclear build in Cumbria.

Given the justified growing anger at the governments new attempt to bypass
the democratic will of the County Council and Parishes in Cumbria, we
would like to ask if you are still in strong support of

A. a geological dump under Cumbria
B. New build at Sellafield

We hope that your love for Cumbria is greater than your understandable
allegiance to the continuation of the nuclear industry in its present form
which is for wastes to continue to arrive by the week at Sellafield to
‘Make Worse and Disperse’ rather than ‘Stop and Contain.’

with kind regards,

Marianne Birkby
Radiation Free Lakeland

Geological Dumping – CONsultation Boycott


Geological Dumping – CONsultation Boycott by Radiation Free Lakeland

Open Letter to All Parish Councils in Cumbria

Dear Cumbrian Parish Clerk,

Radiation Free Lakeland would be very grateful if you could let your
members have sight of this letter

You will have heard that the Department of Energy and Climate Change has
brought out a new and improved CONsultation to try to trap Cumbria once
again into sacrificing our land, our environment and our people’s
livelihoods to host a geological dump for high level radioactive wastes.

Following Nirex and the ending of the MRWS process with Cumbria County
Council’s no vote, any new CONsultation regarding geological dumping
should not include Cumbria. This of course would mean that there would be
no further ‘steps towards geological disposal’ as there are no other
volunteers. Perhaps those MPs who have recently voted for new nuclear
build and new and much more dangerous wastes should be actively encouraged
by government to volunteer their own constituencies for geological
disposal? In any case Cumbria has already said No at least 3 times now.

The 84 members of the County Council have been airbrushed out of this new
‘democratic’ process alongside the hundreds of members of the Parish
Councils. The overwhelming majority of whom have said no repeatedly.
This leaves the 7 people on the executive of Allerdale and 6 people on the
Copeland executive – the wishes of less than 13 people who have voted to
proceed are being promoted against the democratic will of the Parishes and
the County.

This is a scandal and the only reason for continuing with further
CONsultations in Cumbria is in order to be seen to keep the ‘steps to
geological disposal’ going as a prerequisite for the new build agenda. In
the absence of any genuine host volunteer community the executives of
Allerdale and Copeland are obliging patsies.

Radiation Free Lakeland do not believe the ‘solution’ is geological
disposal anywhere. There is no ‘solution’ as such but an acceptance that
the waste needs to be looked after and repackaged again and again into
eternity to separate it from the environment. If the government is hell
bent on geological disposal the people of Cumbria have said no and the
search for a geological disposal site should continue elsewhere. Most
especially in the constituencies of those MPs who have voted for new
nuclear build.

Please ensure that your Parish Council lets Government know that you are
not a willing community and that this new CONsultation which ends on the
8th December is a sham.

Radiation Free Lakeland will not be responding or condoning this
outrageous CONsultation, it is in effect an abuse of human rights. We
will be meeting with Tim Farron MP on Saturday to ask him to let
government know that we are boycotting the CONsultation in protest at
Cumbria being once again in the frame. We have attached a briefing by
Nuclear Free Local Authorities which may be useful to you.

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Allerdale Executive

Copeland Exectuvive

Nuclear Free Local Authorities New CONsultation Briefing

Rock Solid scientific review of geological disposal

“Lillyhall Radioactive Waste Dump” – thats what Europe says ..

Beneath the Dark Mountain, lies the Dark Secret... the earth is Unearth - and can never be unearthed.
Beneath the Dark Mountain, lies the Dark Secret… the earth is Unearth – and can never be unearthed.

“Lillyhall Radioactive Waste Dump” – thats what Europe says and our government is going along with the diabolic plan.

While the Keekle Head Inquiry has now finished and the inspector will mull over whether or not to allow radioactive waste into a new area of Cumbria, Lillyhall Landfill continues to be targeted as a nuke dump without so much as a planning application for using the landfill as a nuke dump – no need – as the radioactive waste is “exempt” under a recent deregulatory law. The plan is to dump as much as possible of decommissioned nuclear power plants into Lillyhall under the “exempt” law. Radioactive waste, rubble and soil from smashed up nuclear plants undergoing “decommissioning” i.e. dispersal are being trucked to Cumbria. If this “exempt” waste is so safe why is it being trucked hundreds of miles from Scotland and the South? Why not just put it in Scotland’s landfill? The answer is that it is NOT SAFE and NO ONE WANTS IT. The only ethical solution is to leave the nuke plants intact and not “decommission” i.e. do not disperse them into the wider environment but have them as living monuments to man’s nuclear folly with guards to look after them and research and development into keeping the waste on site contained into eternity. Decommissioning is merely a PR ruse to disperse the whole shebang of nuclear plants into landfill or deep geological dumps and then point to for example Chapelcross and say “look how sustainable nuclear power is – this land is now free from nuclear and we have planted a peace tree” meanwhile the whole shebang is festering in Cumbrian landfill with a “controlled release of radioactivity in the High Volume Very Low Level Waste to groundwaters.” And there are those in Cumbria who spread the untruth that campaigning against nuclear is an odd waste of time and effort. It is the only way to waste time and effort ..and Radiation Free Lakeland will continue to waste as much time and effort as we can!

This is EU Directorate D Nuclear Energy Radiation Protection!!

Lillyhall Very Low Level Radioactive Waste Repository (really?? thats news to us!)

“A recent Hydrogeological Risk Assessment has demonstrated that the proposed modifications to the design are sufficient for the controlled release of radioactivity in the HV-VLLW to groundwaters.
It is expected that the HV-VLLW will arrive at the Lillyhall Landfill Site in skips or tipper trucks. The waste will be covered during transport to prevent the re-suspension of dust and water ingress. Plastic liners or super sacks may be used to reduce any contamination of the transport container. The HV- VLLW will be loose-tipped to one side of the cell and non-radioactive waste will be disposed to other parts of the cell. HV VLLW is proposed to be deposited in its own dedicated cell and once complete this area will be engineered in the same manner as the dedicated asbestos cell, after which it will be covered with non-hazardous waste. There will be no intimate mixing between the radioactive and non- radioactive wastes. The waste will be tipped in such a way as to ensure that large gradients in slope do not arise, there is no slumping of the waste and the addition of a soil layer on top of the HV-VLLW is practicable”.

Please sign and share – it is not an easy message to get out..

campaigning against nuclear “an odd use of time and effort”
The Burning Question – a much hyped book promoting nuclear power as the solution to climate change – and sneerily dismissing anti-nuclear campaigners – this is smart propaganda.

Letter to the Keekle Head Inquiry Inspector

Letter to the Keekle Head Inspector -Dear Mr Jonathon King

Letter x 2 – to print off, cut into two letters and sign, please get your friends and family to sign and share too!

Dear Mr Jonathan King,

KEEKLE HEAD– NUCLEAR DUMP: a million cubic meters …

Councils and political leaders in Cumbria have consistently and unanimously opposed the proposal to turn a former open cast coal mine in the Lake District into the UK’s first purpose built nuclear dump site. Keekle Head is the source of the beautiful river Keekle featured recently on BBC’s Countryfile as one of the last strongholds of the critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel. The company behind the proposal, Endecom says it not possible to site a low level nuclear dump at Sellafield: “there is insufficient space on the site to construct a Very Low Level Waste Disposal Facility and.. large areas of contaminated land on the site would have to be excavated to develop a VLLW Facility”.

In other words Sellafield’s 6 mile square site is too small and way too contaminated for a low level nuclear dump. We note that Endecom have replied to Cumbria County Council’s concern about the proposed Keekle Head waste being below the watertable by saying the waste will now be above the watertable. (Endecom: Addendum Environmental Statement 2011). This is just as likely to leach into the water table. 12 lorry loads a day- over 50 years would arrive at Keekle Head via the Lake District fringe should this plan be approved. Jamie Reed pro nuclear Copeland MP has opposed the proposal saying “I understand the need for additional disposal facilities but I don’t 
believe these should be undertaken away from the existing areas – it makes
 no sense to do so” I agree and urge you to recommend refusal for this proposal.

Yours sincerely,

Once you have collected as many as possible please send them before the end of June to:
Mr Jonathon King – Keekle Head Inspector
case reference no:2187327.
C/O Mr Robert Cook, 3/02, Temple Quay House, 2
The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN

or email:

Your own letters are best but to register the level of opposition the more letters signed and sent the better!

More info here:

and some history here:
Lillyhall and Keekle - news from 2010

The only way to stop this push to dump in landfill is for the 2007 “exempt” law to be abolished – it is difficult to get this message out that as the law stands people are reducing, reusing and recycling in order to make room for nuclear waste

Make Cumbria (and Cumbria’s Neighbours) Safe!

No More Mess!
No More Mess!

Please sign and share

Radiation Free Lakeland fully support Councillor John McCreesh’s call to “Make Cumbria Safe.” We urge others to do the same, all our futures depend on the wastes at the Sellafield site being contained into eternity, rather than dispersed to landfill, geological dump, scrap metal, rivers, air and sea.

Cllr John McCreesh has started a 38 degrees campaign, we urge everybody including Sellafield workers to support this call for huge investment of time, expertise and money.

The full text of the Petition:


Campaign created by John McCreesh

Dear Minister, please listen to the NAO, and commit to eliminating the ‘intolerable risk’ posed today by hazardous waste stored in run-down buildings at the Sellafield nuclear plant.
Why is this important?

The BBC reported last November: “An ‘intolerable risk’ is being posed by hazardous waste stored in run-down buildings at Sellafield nuclear plant, a watchdog has found.”

The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) stated: “Some of the older facilities at Sellafield containing highly hazardous radioactive waste have deteriorated so much that their contents pose significant risks to people and the environment.”

This waste has already been created, and it has to be kept safe until a proper solution is in place for dealing with it. West Cumbria urgently needs government investment to enable it to safeguard this material on behalf of us all.

What’s more, the problem is growing – there’s 44 tonnes more waste currently being moved down from Dounreay, with another 30 tonnes in the pipeline.

The Government must immediately commit the investment to make Sellafield safe. This is one item of expenditure that simply must not be cut back. The Government must also order the NDA to stop shipping waste into Sellafield, until the facilities are given a clean bill of health by the NAO.

Please sign and share