The following letter was published in last weeks Whitehaven News
It’s such bad form to blow your own trumpet but I believe I was the first person in the world to set up a campaign to oppose the first deep coal mine in the UK in over 30 years (Cumbrian Climate Activists in London by Ollie Rawlinson Nov 2nd 2023). Back in 2017 at the outset of the campaign “Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole (and Nuclear Waste Out)” I remember well how utterly painful and frustrating it was trying to encourage climate activists and climate authors to oppose the mine. Invariably the answer was we "don’t have time” or “know enough” to oppose the earthquake inducing coking coal mine just a few miles from Sellafield.
The nuclear aspects of the coal mine, its guarantee of inducing earthquakes in close proximity to Sellafield, were totally airbrushed out of the mainstream narrative when climate activists did get involved. When the coal mine was approved by Cumbria County Council in 2019 the CEO of West Cumbria Mining told me at the planning meeting to “get a conscience Marianne!”
I could not have imagined in my worst nightmares that just a week later, the coal mine CEO Mark Kirkbride, would be appointed to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management to advise the UK Government on “investigation techniques, costings and construction” of a very deep, very hot and very radioactive nuclear dump adjacent to his coal mine. This hair raising scandal has been ignored for so many years and continues to be ignored.
While climate activists shout for “action” and “clean energy,” the nuclear industry and our nuclear obsessed government are only too keen to oblige. With nuclear power now calling itself “clean” and the means to brush extremely hot (literally upwards of 100 degrees c) radioactive nuclear wastes under the carpet, or in this case, the Lake District coast and the Irish Sea. It is scary that 'climate activists' in Cumbria repeatedly fail to oppose the nuclear industry (which is one of the North Wests biggest users of fossil fuel) and fail to challenge the industry’s Orwellian claim on the word “clean.”
Cumbria is being pushed ever closer to an ever more toxic nuclear future that could return us to a time when the planet was too radioactive for life. Coal and nuclear are now hand in glove in Cumbria but only nuclear has the brass neck to claim it is "clean". 55,000 people have signed a petition against coal boss Mark Kirkbride’s advice on “investigation techniques” for a nuclear dump which has seen devastating seismic blasting with "unusal" deaths of harbour porpoises, dolphins, pilot whale and more https://www.change.org/p/save-the-whale-and-the-snail-stop-nuclear-waste-services-blasting-the-irish-sea. Hundreds have signed a petition to reclaim the word “clean” from the nuclear industry Petition: Stop calling uranium mined fuels "clean energy". Will climate activists widen their gaze in Cumbria? To continue to ignore the very hot and very radioactive nuclear elephant in the room (held up as a “solution”) is to guarantee extinction.