Category Archives: Radioactive Landfill

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


Independent Radiation Monitoring In NW – What?


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)

Sellafield Study “Hides Cancer Increases”

Still Fighting for Gemma

Still Fighting for Gemma – a film was made of this true story.. the only known cause of childhood leukemia is….. man made radiation.


Sellafield Study “Hides Cancer Increases”


It seems the study commissioned by our pro-nuclear government is not all

it cracks up to be.


The study funded by the Department of Health and published by the British

Journal of Cancer found no difference in cancer incidence from 1991 -2006

between those living near Sellafield (and Dounreay) and the larger

population. The report magnanimously acknowledges that there was

increased incidence of leukaemia before 1991 but infers that Sellafield

has since cleaned up its act (despite its continuing crash programme of

reprocessing) to such an extent that the Sellafield area is now entirely

safe for young families.


The reassuring report has been dealt a blow by criticism from leading scientists.


Dr Ian Fairlie is a leading independent scientist and consultant on

radioactivity in the environment. He has collaborated with leading German

scientist Dr Korblein to analyse the new

report. Dr Fairlie comments that the report commissioned by the

Department of Health and reassuring those living near Sellafield and

Dounreay, should never have been published. He goes on to say it is

“misleading” as “over all cancers and all years, the observed cancer

increases in fact were highly statistically significant”




More Information on Dr Ian Fairlie’s website


The full text is here:


Comments on another BJC article

Posted on July 25, 2014

In 2013, the British Journal of Cancer published an article (Bithell et

al, 2013) (for references see below) purporting to show there were no

leukemia increases in young children near UK nuclear power plants (NPPs).

I published a post criticising this article stating that it should not

have been published. The BJC has now printed a similar article (Bunch et

al, 2014) which, if anything, is even worse than the 2013 one. The new

article also should never have been published.


The new report concludes, first, that children, teenagers and young adults

currently living close to Sellafield and Dounreay are not at an increased

risk of developing cancer. Second, it concludes there is no evidence of

any increased cancer risk later in life among those resident in these

areas at birth.


However a close reading of the actual data in the reportís table 3 in fact

reveals statistically significant cancer increases measured across all

years and ages. The data layout in their table 3 carefully hides these

increases so the data are more clearly laid out below (for Seascale ward),

together with p values kindly added by Dr Alfred Kˆrblein.


The very low p values in Seascale ward show that the cancer increases

there are statistically significant, ie are not due to chance. It is

notable that these increases and their accompanying p values are NOT

discussed in the new report.


Total leukaemias (0-24 y)


Obs       Exp       SIR       P value*            RR       P value**

study region       6          0.91      6.59      0.0004

control region     68         76.33    0.89      0.8442   7.40      0.0002

All malignancies (0-24 y)


Obs       Exp       SIR       P value*            RR       P value**

study region       12         3.66      3.28      0.0004

control region     321       322.27   1.00      0.5356   3.29      0.0005

Obs= observed, Exp= expected, SIR= standardised incidence ratio, RR=

relative risk


*one-sided P value (Poisson test), **one-sided P value (Binomial test)

both calculated by Dr Alfred Kˆrblein


So, at Seascale, the leukemia risk is 7.4-times greater than the control

area (RR=7.4, P=0.0002), and for all malignancies, the risk is 3.3 times

greater than the control area (RR= 3.3, P=0.0005).


The new article should therefore have reported that statistically

significant cancer increases occurred across all ages and cancers in

Seascale, about 4 km from Sellafield. Instead, the printed conclusions

refrain from this and make misleading inferences in selected analyses

which appear to show the opposite. This is poor science.


Let’s unpack that first conclusion that children, teenagers and young

adults currently living near Sellafield are not at an increased risk of

developing cancer. This is presumably based on the most recent data

(1991-2006) which show 1 observed case (0-14 yr olds) and 1 observed case

(15-24 yr olds). In fact, these are increases over the expected numbers,

but you can’t say anything definite one way or the other as the numbers

are far too small for meaningful conclusions. Also these data are now

eight years old: can we really say that young people currently living near

Sellafield are not running risks?


Let’s unpack the second conclusion that ìthere is no evidence of any

increased cancer risk later in life among those resident in these areas at

birthî. This is presumably based on the data for those aged 15-24, but in

fact, these again show actual increases (Observed 4, Expected 1.43 for all

cases). Again you canít be definite from such small numbers as the

increases are still not statistically significant, but to say there was no

increased risk when in fact the numbers show the opposite is perverse and


Given the lack of statistical power in their chosen analyses and given the

fact that increases were actually found, the report should not have

concluded that people were not at risk. Instead it should have reported

the cancer increases but added that the results of its chosen analyses

were not statistically significant as they were underpowered. However, it

should also have added that, over all cancers and all years, the observed

cancer increases in fact were highly statistically significant.


There is a second major flaw in this study. Leukemia incidences vary a

great deal depending on age at detection. Grouping babies and infants

with other ages may mask increases among them, as any increase could be

diluted by the numbers at older ages. This problem is well known and itís

for this reason that almost all studies in this area have focussed on

under 5 year olds. This study should have done the same: it didn’t.


Another problem is that the leukemia data from 1963 to 1990 at Seascale

only shows 5 cases. But the famous study by Gardner et al (1990) revealed

10 such cases. Where have the other 5 cases gone? Were they all detected

before 1963?


Fourth, the study refrains from discussing the huge amount of evidence

world-wide on childhood leukemias near NPPs as discussed by myself

(Fairlie, 2013) and many others. It hardly mentions the important German

KiKK study (Kaatsch et al, 2008) and ignores the meta-analysis of four

European studies by Korblein and Fairlie (2012) which conclusively showed

increased leukemia risks among under fives, living within five km of

almost all NPPs in France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.


In sum, like the similar study of leukemias the BJC published in 2013,

this study should also not have been published as it is misleading and

contains no scientifically useful information.


(PS This post concentrates on Sellafield but similar considerations and

criticisms apply to the Dounreay data.)


I wish to thank Dr Korblein for his invaluable help in writing this post.




Bithell JF, M F G Murphy, C A Stiller, E Toumpakari, T Vincent and R

Wakeford. (2013) Leukaemia in young children in the vicinity of British

nuclear power plants: a caseñcontrol study. Br J Cancer. advance online

publication, September 12, 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.560.


Bunch KJ, T J Vincent1, R J Black, M S Pearce, R J Q McNally, P A

McKinney, L Parker, A W Craft and M F G Murphy (2014) Updated

investigations of cancer excesses in individuals born or resident in the

vicinity of Sellafield and Dounreay. British Journal of Cancer (2014),

1ñ10 | doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.357


Fairlie I (2013) A hypothesis to explain childhood cancers near nuclear

power plants. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 133 (2014) 10e17


Gardner MJ, Snee MP; Hall AJ; Powell CA; Downes S; Terrell JD (1990)

Results of case-control study of leukaemia and lymphoma among young people

near Sellafield nuclear plant in West Cumbria. BMJ. 1990;300:423ñ429.


Kaatsch P, Spix C, Schulze-Rath R, Schmiedel S, Blettner M. (2008)

Leukaemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power

plants. Int J Cancer; 122: 721-726.


Korblein A and Fairlie I (2012) French Geocap study confirms increased

leukemia risks in young children near nuclear power plants. Int J Cancer

131: 2970ñ2971.


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 –

Truth is too Hot – Sellafield keep schtum (or misinform) to keep the whole shebang going


Despite Sellafield’s PR  spin saying that deer had been “accidentally” trapped,  evidence points to the trapping of wildlife within the Sellafield site as deliberate.

Why else build an L shaped bank around the site , plant native trees, make it attractive for wildlife…and then fence it in…thereby increasing the footprint of the site?

In 1988 a report produced for government by the then Institute of Terrestrial Ecology advises “the establishment of wildlife monitoring schemes…to provide an early warning of radionuclide accumulation”

So Sellafield built a bank and planted it with trees: “a roughly L- shaped parcel of land” At the widest point the piece of land is no more than 0.3km wide and in total the enclosed area represents approximately 15 hectares.

Then they fenced it in trapping deer (and other wildlife) which are- as the recent redacted_Deer Report-Sellafield  obtained under Freedom of Information, helpfully says :

“excellent bio-indicators and sentinels of environmental contamination.
Because of their extremely rapid and efficient deposition of minerals in
bone, they are recognised as important sources of data in respect of heavy
metal and radioactive isotope accumulation. Given the nature of the
industrial work at Sellafield, the regular sampling of deer bone and liver
tissue might be an attractive prospect for those responsible for
environmental monitoring at the site.”

Radiation Free Lakeland have asked further questions of the site operators, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, under Freedom of Information


1. What was harvested tissue from the culled deer tested for?

2. What are the results of tests on the culled deer?

3. Was the advice of the 1988 Institute of Terrestrial Ecology report acted on in
setting up a “wildlife monitoring scheme” at Sellafield? Namely the L shaped high
bund planted up with trees on the Calder Gate side of the Sellafield site adjacent
to the golf course?



There will be a demonstration on Wednesday at 1pm outside the Calder Gate to protest the continuing experimentation on our wildlife (and on us) while the industry continues to disperse radioactivity to the environment.

Instead of containment of radionuclides there is  now an acceleration of radionuclide releases from decommissioning, reprocessing and planned new build…

Sellafield Springwatch – roe deer and other animals


Sir Tony Cunningham writes to DECC: Why have Lillyhall Landfill operators not been prosecuted?


Letter from Sir Tony Cunningham MP for Workington following over 100 letters from constituents.




“Thank you for your letter dated 26th march together with letters from constituents and visitors to Workington regarding the non prosecution of landfill operators FCC following the prosecution of Sellafield for “illegally dumping three bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into Lillyhall landfill”.


I have written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on this issue and will be back in touch once a reply is received.


I hope this is helpful.”


yours sincerely,


Sir Tony Cunningham MP”


More info and letter below:

Letter from Sir Tony Cunningham - Lillyhall Landfill

EU says Radioactive Effluent from Lillyhall will not affect Member States – What does the MP for Workington say?

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


The powers that be are allowing higher activities and high volumes of radionuclides into the environment, into our landfill, our food and our water.

Democracy does not come into it as this is top down government where the decision has already been made at European level with collusion of the nuclear industry.

Europe’s  Euratom Directive has  Lillyhall in Cumbria earmarked as a radioactive Waste dump ….no Cumbrian vote, no Cumbrian discussion.

Question: What nasty rogue regime would “release radioactivity to
groundwater” near settlements?

Answer: UK government’s Environment
Agency obeying Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty.

This is not a spoof, or a send up. Our government has signed up to the Euratom Treaty which describes in detail a plan to turn Lillyhall landfill site into a Radioactive Waste Repository with a “controlled release of radioactivity to groundwaters.”   Our government has smoothed the way with a change to UK law. High volumes of “low level” radioactive wastes can be
relabelled “exempt” allowing them to be dumped in landfill. Higher activity wastes have already been illegally dumped by Sellafield. The Environment Agency has issued a permit despite the opposition of County and Borough councils.

All that’s left is for local councillors to rubber stamp, which they have done despite the majority of councillors being vehemently against nuclear wastes going to Lillyhall.

This is an abuse of power, of human rights and an abuse of the environment.

What can we do?   We are doing all we can as an unfunded local volunteer group but without national media support or the support of National Non Governmental Organisations there is no momentum to oppose this – which of course is the desired effect.  The out of control nuclear juggernaught rolls on, the more momentum it gains the more uncontrollable and unstoppable it becomes.

On the streets of Cumbria there is disbelief .  Disbelief that this abuse of our democracy and our human right to clean unpolluted water could be happening. Disbelief that there could be such collusion between the nuclear industry, the European Union, The UK government and the regulators.  As Energy Minister the late Tony Benn was in charge of Britain’s nuclear program  he summed the situation up in his time as ” this is the trouble with the nuclear industry, I came not to believe what I was told, and that throws a doubt on more than nuclear power: the question of democracy, if officials can operate as a state within a state. Where is the democratic control of policy?”    We suspect that the nuclear corruption of governance  has gone from bad to a whole lot worse since then.

The following is a letter sent today to Workington’s pro nuclear MP, Sir Tony Cunningham.  


Dear  Sir Tony Cunningham MP,


Lillyhall is a Radioactive Waste Repository (so says the European Commission)


Please find enclosed 100 letters from your constituents and visitors to Workington. The letters were signed on 22nd March, World Water Day, in Workington in a very short time, many more people were keen to sign but we ran out of letters.


The letter says:


Sellafield was fined £700,000 for illegally dumping 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into Lillyhall landfill.   Lillyhall has been given a permit to dump the recently classified “exempt” radioactive waste.  This led to the open gate allowing Sellafield to dump even higher activity wastes than the already dangerous “exempt” waste. 

 According to the European Commission the plan is to have liquid radioactive effluent being routinely released from Lillyhall as long as it does not affect Member States.

 We are asking why was Sellafield prosecuted while the landfill operators FCC are allowed to not only get away scot free but given a green light to continue?  Is it because the government needs privateers such as those running Lillyhall to “dispose” of radioactive wastes?   We want to know why the landfill operators have not been prosecuted and we are urging you as the local MP along with all Cumbrian MPs and Cumbria County Council to ask some tough questions and demand some answers.


Residents from Workington spoke at the recent County Council Meeting in opposition to Lillyhall’s nuclear landfill.  The Cumbria County Council Development Control Chair Alan Clark repeated time and again that the Lillyhall meeting was “not about nuclear” but merely about a time extension to the landfill.


What Councillor Alan Clark should have said is that ‘this meeting is not about nuclear waste because the European Commission has already decided that Lillyhall is a Radioactive Waste Repository above our heads and also above our heads the Environment Agency has already given Lillyhall a permit’.


It is clear that democracy does not come into this top down nuclear decision making. In Europe, Lillyhall is earmarked as a radioactive waste dump in an area previously free of high volumes of nuclear waste (apart from small amounts of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials)  So Lillyhall is earmarked as a nuclear dump with No Cumbrian vote, No Cumbrian discussion. The decision made by the European Commission has been rubber stamped by the UK Environment Agency by granting a permit.


All that’s left is for local councillors to rubber stamp a time extension, which they have done despite the majority of councillors speaking angrily against nuclear waste being dumped in Lillyhall. The Chair Alan Clark was insistent that if they denied a time extension to the landfill (“because this isn’t about nuclear” ) the private operators would appeal against the Council’s decision. This turns justice and democracy on its head. West Cumbrians have been conscientiously reducing, reusing and recycling which, say the company running the landfill, means that there is “spare capacity” of 1.4 million cubic metres.   We would like you to ask this question in Parliament on behalf of your constituents and those towns and villages in Cumbria who would suffer radioactive rubble being trucked passed them on the way to Lillyhall from Sellafield, Chapel Cross etc.


Q: Why weren’t the private operators of Lillyhall Landfill prosecuted for allowing Sellafield to dump 3 bags of low level and one bag of intermediate level waste into the landfill?



Yours sincerely,


Marianne Birkby on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland (address)

cc. Tim Farron MP, John Woodcock MP, Rory Stewart MP, Jamie Reed MP,  John Stevenson MP,  Cumbria County Council Leader Stewart Young, Chair of Development Control Alan Clark



pg 2   Lillyhall Radioactive Waste Repository





European Commission Directorate D – Nuclear Energy





Letter from DECC to Radiation Free Lakeland



A UK Radioactive Waste Dump is Born with Fanfare or Fuss


Sellafield V Crown Court

  1. i)  The failure was not isolated but systemic.
  2. ii)  It potentially exposed those who handled waste off-site and the public to unnecessary risk.
  3. iii)  It was not a first offence. A prohibition notice had been served on 28 June 2008, one year before installation of the new monitors, by the Department of Transport for breach of Regulation 5 of the 2009 Regulations. Sellafield Ltd had been fined twice for incidents involving the emission of radioactive material in 2005 and 2007 – £500,000 and £75,000 respectively.


Fomento de Contrucciones y Contratas

Criminal Waste Activity : Without closely monitoring third-party practices, landfill site owners open themselves up to large fines and even closures as a result of illegal waste disposal occurring on their site.

Powerful Evidence to Pull the Plug on Radioactive Fly Tipping:




Tony Benn