The following has been sent off to local and national press in short letter form and as a longer press release (below) - so far there has been zero response - what is it with this cloak of invisibility over the blatant cronyism between the earthquake inducing coal mine and the extinction level high level waste nuclear dump agenda? Have all press had the memo to ignore?
Days after two legal challenges are launched against the Government’s coal mine decision, a Government sponsored report into the costings for a Geological Disposal Facility for high level nuclear wastes goes online compiled by the coal boss.
CEO of West Cumbria Mining, Mark Kirkbride was appointed to the Government Committee of Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) in November 2019 as key advisor on investigation techniques for the Geological Disposal Facility and on costings for construction.
The Government’s coal mine decision in early December was made by Communities Secretary Michael Gove as a result of recommendations made by Planning inspector Stephen Normington. The legal challenges are being brought by Friends of the Earth and South Lakes Action on Climate Change. Both NGOs have focused on the mine's climate impacts. This is in contrast to the wider focus in 2017 by the first opponents of the coal mine. Radiation Free Lakeland’s Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign. RaFL’s objections since 2017 have included, earthquake and subsidence impacts alongside proximity to Sellafield and the conflicts of interest between Government nuclear waste plans with the appointment of coal boss Mark Kirkbride to CoRWM.
The official carbon footprint of the mine has been set at 400,000 tonnes, the official carbon footprint of the nuclear waste industry is in the words of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: "Using Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology, the total NDA group carbon footprint for 2019/20 is 1,046,950 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).” This is set to rise with new nuclear build, new nuclear wastes and the construction of a 25km square and 1000 metre deep geological disposal facility for high level nuclear wastes. Two areas of interest for sub-sea nuclear waste disposal lie either side of Mark Kirkbride’s coal mine at Mid-Copeland and Allerdale. Nuclear safety campaigners commented: "the appointment of Mark Kirkbride as advisor to the Government’s nuclear waste dumping agenda is hair raising, as is the lack of attention on this dangerous cronyism which seems to be an issue too hot to handle, much like the nuclear waste which Kirkbride points out in his latest advice to Government: "needs to be disposed of in a distributed manner to ensure adequate spacing for heat dissipation into the surrounding rock mass.” The same complex sub-sea rock mass that lies either side of his coal mine!"
Nearly 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for the sacking of Mark Kirkbride from his Government position as key advisor on high level nuclear waste dumping. The petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/sack-cumbrian-coal-mine-boss-from-government-advisor-role-for-nuclear-dump
Friends of the Earth legal challenge https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/legal-challenge-launched-over-cumbrian-coal-mine
South Lakes Action on Climate Change legal challenge https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/23229135.south-lakes-action-climate-change-challenge-coal-mine-decision/
2017 Demos and Walks - Nuclear Threats by Coal Mine https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2020/10/06/2017-demos-and-walks/
2020 -Radiation Free Lakeland’s Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign - legal challenge granted Judicial Review -https://www.leighday.co.uk/latest-updates/news/2020-news/cumbrian-campaign-group-granted-permission-for-judicial-review-of-county-council-s-approval-of-coal-mine/
West Cumbria Mining changed plans to avoid JR but following a legal challenge and judicial review, a revised application - eliminating the processing of the by-product of middlings coal - was submitted in May. https://www.whitehavennews.co.uk/news/18767356.new-west-cumbria-coal-mine-plans-approved/
NDA Sustainability Report ( inc carbon footprint) : https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/967255/Sustainability_at_the_NDA_-_080321__FINAL_.pdf
2017 Demonstration against the mine includes nuclear impacts https://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/15548998.protestors-travel-to-bowness-to-protest-against-new-coal-mine-plans/
GDF Costings report compiled by coal boss Mark Kirkbride: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1114108/corwm-gdf-cost-review-2022-report-3703.pdf