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Campaigners Giving Irish Sea Marine Life a Voice on World Ocean Day

On World Ocean Day June 8th at 1pm a petition of nearly 55,000 signatures will be delivered to the Marine Management Organisation office on Whitehaven Harbour by Lakes Against Nuclear Dump. Campaigners say that they are giving the marine life of the Irish Sea a voice on World Ocean Day. "Investigations" are now taking place undemocratically over the heads of the public in Cumbria to look at using the geology of the Irish Sea as a high level nuclear waste dump.

photo credit: Ian Finlinson

Campaigners say that "Incredibly the boss of the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years is advising UK Government on "investigation techniques, costings and construction" for a deep hot nuclear dump next to his offshore coal mine." Seismic blasting commissioned by Nuclear Waste Services took place last August centred off Sellafield with "devastating impacts upon the amazing creatures that call the Irish Sea home, from Minke Whales, Harbour Porpoise, Dolphins to Plankton. "

All are invited to join campaigners in delivering the petition and giving a voice to marine life in an increasingly deafening ocean. Campaigners will meet at the entrance to Queens Dock, Whitehaven Harbour at 12pm to launch the GDF (Geological Disposal Facility) Villains - the "world's smallest comic on the worlds most long lasting man-made wastes." They will then make their way to hand in the 55,000 signature petition to the Marine Management Organisation. Campaigners are urging the Marine Management Organisation to halt any further "investigations" including very deep boreholes into the fragile seabed for a deep and very hot high level waste nuclear dump under the Irish Sea.

Petition hand-over at 1pm to the Marine Management Organisation at Fish Hall, North Shore, Whitehaven.

More information:

Nuclear Waste Services (under the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) have been looking at the deep disposal of hot nuclear wastes. Under the Irish Sea is being actively considered. Seismic testing is preparation for: “Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility.” The CEO of West Cumbria Mining (currently focussed on coal) is advising Government on the digging of an enormous vault of 25km square beneath the seabed. These vaults would be used to “dispose” of nuclear wastes and this seismic survey is say campaigners the opening salvo in the quest for sub-sea “disposal” of heat generating nuclear wastes.

WHO DECIDED? There has been no public consultation or vote, Nuclear Waste Services, Radioactive Waste Management, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Marine Management Organisation and the handful of people on the Mid-Copeland “Community Partnership” decided to green light the plan over the heads of the public.

Shearwater GeoServices were contracted to carry out the seismic survey using blasts of sound every five seconds during August. There have been recorded deaths of harbour porpoise, pilot whale, dolphins, seals and mass strandings of jellyfish (food source of leatherback turtles) during and following the period of intense seismic blasting.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? Not only creatures like whales, dolphins and seals in the Irish Sea are harmed, but everything down to tiny shellfish and even plankton are impacted. Effects from blasting, can cause deafness to marine life and chronically impair ability to navigate and find food. The Irish Sea is a Marine Protected Zone because of its wealth of biodiversity and vulnerable species but even this protection say campaigners has not blocked the ambitions of the nuclear industry.

In a double whammy the harbour of Whitehaven has been turned red by the reactivation of old mine workings spewing heavy metals from a culvert in Queen's Dock. The authorities including the Environment Agency and the Coal Authority have, they say, no clue as to why this has happened but campaigners say that a catalyst may well be the miles of investigative coal mine boreholes carried out by West Cumbria Mining above Whitehaven. The boss of WCM is advising UK Government on "investigation techniques" for the nuclear dump. Campaigners are urging people to join them to "Save the marine life of the Irish Sea!"


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Events of marine deaths attached (note: this is not the full picture!)

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