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Call for Removal of Cumbria Coal Boss From Nuclear Dump Advisory Role with Government.


PRESS NOTICE


A letter has been sent with a petition of almost 2000 signatures urging the removal of the Cumbria coal mine boss from his 2019 appointment to top level nuclear dump advisor. The petition started by local artist and campaigner Marianne Birkby asks for the CEO of the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years to be sacked from his key role providing “invaluable advice” to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. CoRWM is an advisory non-departmental public body. It was established in 2003 and has a remit to provide independent scrutiny and advice to UK government and devolved administrations on the long-term management of radioactive waste, including storage and geological disposal. CoRWM provides advice to the Community GDF Partnerships. A year ago on 7th Dec 2022 Mark Kirkbride’s coal mine was given the green light by the Secretary of State Michael Gove. At the same time the waters of Whitehaven ran red with pollution from the culvert in Queen’s Dock - this is now known to be from the honeycomb of existing mines in the area which campaigners claim may have in part or in whole been reactivated by the nuclear dump advisor’s coal mine borehole investigations and hydrological flushing. The water in Whitehaven continues to run red. Martyn Lowe from Close Capenhurst Campaign has pointed out that "the red water in the harbour is increasing not decreasing - this is a red flag for future mining." Campaigners point out that the advice given to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management by Mark Kirkbride includes using the same preferred suppliers such as Herrenknecht tunnel boring machines as his coal mine and say that " this is a corruption of any semblence of democracy and is blatant government/business cronyism". The petition calls for Mark Kirkbride to be sacked from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management as soon as possible - currently the coal boss is due to be nuclear dump advisor until 2027. ENDS contact Lakes Against Nuclear Dump .... https://www.lakesagainstnucleardump.com/ Full Letter TO THE CHAIR, COMMITTEE ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT. 7th Dec 2023 Dear Sir Nigel Thrift, Please find attached a petition numbering 1,714 signatures. The petition asks for the CEO of the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years to be sacked from his key role providing, as you have said “invaluable advice” to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. On this day last year Mark Kirkbride’s coal mine was given the green light by the Secretary of State. At the same time the waters of Whitehaven ran red with pollution from the culvert in Queen’s Dock - this is now known to be from the honeycomb of existing mines in the area which may have in part or in whole been reactivated by CoRWM’s nuclear dump advisor’s coal mine borehole investigations and hydrological flushing. The water in Whitehaven continues to run red. CRONYISM COAL AND NUCLEAR In reply to a Freedom of Information Request of October 2020 you claim that "West Cumbria Mining and the business interest of Mr Kirkbride, bear no influence on the remit of CoRWM”. However our research through Freedom of Information requests has indicated that Mark Kirkbride’s business interests have undue influence on the remit of CoRWM which is to provide advice to Nuclear Waste Services and Government. One of Mark Kirkbride’s key tasks in his appointment with CoRWM is to provide advice on construction and costings of a Geological Disposal Facility for Heat Generating Nuclear Wastes. SHARED SUPPLIER LIST Mark Kirkbride has contributed to a 2020 thesis from the University of Manchester in which he indicates that GDF construction would use the same suppliers as his coal mine. The thesis is called "Waste Disposal Drivers for a Range of Nuclear Power Systems by Kathleen Dungan” The thesis says in Appendix B that "The following costs were sent by Mark Kirkbride (Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)” and the costs include "shafts sunk using Herrenknecht shaft boring roadheader machines (Herrenknecht, 2020a).” In trying to distance themselves from this revelation CoRWM have claimed that Mark Kirkbride gave this information to Manchester University off his own bat - i.e. not with CoRWM’s approval. Whether it was with CoRWMs approval or not this indicates that Kirkbride’s business interests with his coal mine and the remit of CoRWM are mutually interdependent. TUNNEL BORING MACHINES FOR DEEP MINING (COAL AND NUCLEAR) Herrenknecht are also named as “preferred suppliers” by West Cumbria Mining - the same named suppliers Mark Kirkbride is advising CoRWM on construction of a Geological Disposal Facility. We would not be surprised to find other West Cumbria Mining “preferred suppliers” are being touted for the investigation techniques and construction of a deep nuclear dump and urge CoRWM to terminate the employment of the West Cumbria Mining CEO as their Geological Disposal Facility (nuclear dump) advisor. GOVERNMENT LICENCE TO DRILL FOR COAL ALONGSIDE NUCLEAR PLANS We note that Mark Kirkbride’s licence to drill for coal lapsed in October 2022 and he is looking to government via the Coal Authority to approve a new licence to drill. Clearly Mark Kirkbride cannot be government advisor and hopeful of government approval for licences for his coal mine at one and the same time. This flies in the face of any semblence of democracy and is worthy of the most corrupt of countries especially as the most favoured area for a deep nuclear dump is next to Mark Kirkbride’s business interests in West Cumbria. At the very least Kirkbride's contract as CoRWM advisor should be terminated THE BEST NUCLEAR DUMP ADVISOR IN THE WORLD IS THE COAL MINE CEO? Really?? If CoRWM believe that Mark Kirkbride is the only person in the world CoRWM can turn to for advice on the deep burial of nuclear wastes (deep burial and abandonment is not accepted universally as the safest option) then surely CoRWM should make it clear to Mark Kirkbride that his business interests in West Cumbria Mining should be scrapped. INVESTIGATION In any event we are calling for an independent investigation into how this situation of cronyism has been allowed to continue for so long on what amounts to the most important issue of our time - namely the safekeeping of heat generating nuclear wastes which have to be kept separate from the biosphere into eternity in order to ensure a liveable planet. Yours sincerely Marianne Birkby Lakes Against Nuclear Dump full address supplied PETITION https://www.change.org/p/sack-cumbrian-coal-mine-boss-from-government-advisor-role-for-nuclear-dump Mark Kirkbride - Committee on Radioactive Waste Management https://www.gov.uk/government/people/mark-kirkbridg Endorsement of Coal Mine Under the Cumbrian Mud Patch ? https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/endorsement_of_coal_mine_under_t "Waste Disposal Drivers for a Range of Nuclear Power Systems by Kathleen Dungan” Appendix B "The following costs were sent by Mark Kirkbride (Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)” and the costs include "shafts sunk using Herrenknecht shaft boring roadheader machines (Herrenknecht, 2020a).” https://research.manchester.ac.uk/en/studentTheses/waste-disposal-drivers-for-a-range-of-nuclear-power-systems West Cumbria Mining - preferred suppliers. https://keepcumbriancoalinthehole.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/your-local-coal-mine/ Close Capenhurst http://close-capenhurst.org.uk/

The Full Text of the Petition is below


On behalf of Government, Secretary of State Michael Gove approved the coal mine on 7th December 2022. The CEO of “Woodhouse Colliery” and West Cumbria Mining is Mark Kirkbride. In 2019 Mark Kirkbride was appointed to the Government Committee on Radioactive Waste Management to advise on the UK Government's nuclear dump plans. His appointment has been extended to 2027. Kirkbride’s “invaluable" role involves: Scrutiny and provision of advice to Government on activities relating to the continued development of a Geological Disposal Facility (hot nuclear dump) safety case Scrutiny and provision of advice to Government on GDF siting activities, including selection criteria, methods of investigation, and the timescale for carrying out site selection in the three rock types Advise on new technologies that could be applicable to the development of a GDF including those in the mining and construction sectors and their potential impacts on a GDF programme. Mark Kirkbride has recently provided costings to Government for the Delivery of a GDF (Nuclear Dump) including advice on enormous Tunnel Boring Machines from the same company (Herrenknecht) which would supply his coal mine. This is a direct conflict of interest. Mark Kirkbride has clearly advised on the hugely damaging seismic blasting which took place in August in the Irish Sea to “investigate” the complex geology for a deep nuclear dump. The enormous area of the Irish Sea in which seismic blasting took take place overlaps Kirkbride’s proposed coal mine. Mark Kirkbride's 'investigative boreholes' for his coal mine may well have led to the reactivation of old mine water which has been pouring out into Whitehaven Harbour for a full year now with no end in sight. The Coal Mine Planning Inspector in his recommendation to Government stated : "the risk of a seismic event cannot be ruled out." It is beyond belief that the CEO of a seismicity inducing coal mine near Sellafield should be employed by Government as an “invaluable” advisor on nuclear waste burial in a very deep, massive 25km square and very hot nuclear dump. We demand that Mark KIrkbride’s appointment to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management is terminated. The Cumbrian Coal Mine and the Nuclear Dump Plan are clearly Hand in Hand while Mark Kirkbride Remains as Advisor to Government. This is the dark heart of cronyism and it must stop. We urgently ask that:

  • Mark Kirkbride's appointment to CoRWM is terminated

  • the Cronyism between Mark Kirkbride's Coal interests and the Nuclear dump plans are investigated by an Independent Inquiry.

  • there should be a Moratorium on the Nuclear Dump (GDF) Plans

  • Connections to Russian money investigated - WCM has been bankrolled by Owen Hegarty (now a Director of WCM) who has in turn overseen Siberian coal mine interests being bankrolled by the Russian State.

Mark Kirkbride - CoRWM https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/committee-on-radioactive-waste-management/about/our-governance Seismic Testing for a Nuclear Dump beneath the Irish Sea - Marine Life At Risk https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/06/22/the-uk-is-searching-the-sea-for-a-nuclear-dump-site-and-the-risks-to-marine-life-are-huge https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2022/06/19/extreme-torture/ ""We urge all those speaking against the mine at the public inquiry to give at least a mention to the fact that this coal mine would mine out voids faster than any previous coal mine in UK history and would induce earthquakes and cause subsidence in the Irish Sea and Sellafield area." https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/cumbrian-coal-mine-geotech-experts-play-down-earthquake-claims-08-09-2021/ "Earlier this year, the first batch of waste was safely removed from one of the most hazardous sites at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site. “Perhaps they’re going to bury it down the pit,” says a resident with characteristic Cumbrian grit."https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherfarmbrough/2022/12/09/uk-government-approves-first-coal-mine-in-30-years-in-cumbria/ British Geological Society signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nuclear Waste Services in June 2020 - another conflict of interest as the coal mine CEO advises Nuclear Waste Services in his Government advisory role with the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management - "The collaboration between both organisations is intended to support improved environmental outcomes relating to a UK geological disposal facility (GDF)."https://www.bgs.ac.uk/news/british-geological-survey-signs-memorandum-of-understanding-with-radioactive-waste-management/#:~:text=BGS%20has%20today%20(24%20June,the%20UK's%20geological%20disposal%20programme.



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