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"Community Partnership" alerted to surveillance and intimidation by Radioactive Waste Management

Following a Subject Data Access request it has been revealed (amongst other things) that Radioactive Waste Mangement has given false information to the police/Civil Nuclear Constabulary about the founder of Radiation Free Lakeland- this feels pretty intimidating. The following is a letter to all the Council Members of the "Community Partnership" with Radioactive Waste Management.

LETTER to All Council Members of the Community Partnership with RWM

Dear Council Member of the Community Partnership with RWM

This information has been sent to local and national press but in case it is not flagged up by media you should be aware that South Lakes MP Tim Farron has described surveillance and "intimidation" by Radioactive Waste Management as "severely concerning." Opponents of the plan for a Geological Disposal Facility in Cumbria have been placed under surveillance with social media/online conversations/letters monitored and analysed by companies specialising in behavioural science. This has extended to false information being passed to the police about a leading campaigner by Radioactive Waste Management. The police have been informed that the information passed to them by RWM is false.

Following our own investigation, campaigners at Radiation Free Lakeland discovered that Oxfordshire based Radioactive Waste Management, tasked with "Delivery" of a UK Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) have employed three companies, Brandwatch, MHP and Press Data to carry out surveillance. Councillors may be aware that Cumbrian group Radiation Free Lakeland have set up a dedicated volunteer campaign called Lakes Against Nuclear Dump to counter RWM's remit to Deliver a Geological Disposal Facility for High Level Nuclear Wastes and Near Surface Disposal (at Drigg?) for Intermediate Level Nuclear Wastes.

Information on surveillance from Radioactive Waste Management was asked for by wildlife artist and opponent of nuclear dump plans Marianne Birkby through a Data Subject Access Request. The information is, say campaigners astonishing in its breadth of surveillance, analysis of what has been said in opposition to the deep nuclear dump plans and in discussing RWM actions aimed at discrediting voices opposed to GDF as “scaremongering.”

The extent of surveillance includes correspondence with Cumbria Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. An email was sent by Radioactive Waste Management on 7/27/21 to Cumbria Police saying "The RWM lead [name redacted] has expressed concerns that there could be some local protestors at the event as a well-known local activist Marianne Birkby (Radiation Free Lakelands) has a holiday home nearby.” This says the campaigner is “news to me, I haven’t got a holiday home anywhere! Also I wasn’t even at the event referred to, surely passing false information onto the police is illegal and it feels pretty intimidating.”

Campaigners say that it is frightening that Local Authorities Copeland and Allerdale have now entered into a Community Partnership” with Radioactive Waste Management which so patently advocates against local communities expressing any dissent to RWM’s remit to Deliver a Geological Disposal Facility.

In a letter to Radiation Free Lakeland, Tim Farron MP states: "I am severely concerned ...The police should not be used as a method to harass or intimidate peaceful law-abiding protestors. This surveillance seems wholly unnecessary and is another example of the Government’s growing hostility towards those who would exercise their political freedoms.I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change and Radioactive Waste Management to ask them to confirm that such surveillance has been authorised and what cause they have to harass my constituents in this manner.”

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby,

Lakes Against Nuclear Dump a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign

Photos - Radiation Free Lakeland portfolio on picfair

Extracts from the Subject Data Access Request -

4/13/21 Email from RWM Comms to NDA Comms Subject: Daily Mail

Hi [name redacted]

Don’t know if you’ve caught up with all your emails yet, but [name redacted] wishes to respond to the Daily Mail letter from Marianne Birkby.

6/28/21 Email chain between Community Engagement team and Contact Centre team

Subject: Petition to stop the "Nuclear Dump" plans!

It would in theory be possible for Marianne to ask a local MP to present the petition on her behalf if this attracts enough signatures.


This is a new Nuclear (sic) Free Lakeland campaign called Lakes against Nuclear dump. Marianne Birkby from NFL (sic) is hoping to get enough signatures to

trigger the debate in parliament so maybe she isn’t aware that this will not work the way she thinks it will.


NEW Petition to the UK Prime Minister: A Call to Stop Geological Nuclear Dump Plans. Our new petition set up just last night has already received

dozens of signatures – we have a long way to go before we get to the 10,000 signatures required for a debate in Parliament – but the UK does need to

talk about the unwanted, scientifically unworkable and deeply dangerous Nuclear Dump Plan!

Radiation Free Lakeland 24th June 2021 plans%2F&

7/1/21 Email from Communications team to Community Engagement team

Subject: “Two West Cumbria WG articles”

I think RWM / the WGs need to address this one - as is nearly always the case with Marion Birkby from RFL, she gets facts wrong and creates misinformation


She claims - hat the few people on the Allerdale and Copeland “Working Groups” are claiming to speak for the whole of Cumbria – this is blatantly not true- designed leakage of heat-generating nuclear wastes/gases under the sea is in breach of a number of international treaties – there is no designed and I’m not aware that GDF is in breach of any international treaties ( she probably means disposal at sea not underneath it ) the hundreds of thousands of lorry loads of nuclear materials, the rock spoil (which would itself be radon rich) – where does she get this from !!! All in all there is a lot of the usual scare mongering from RFL / Marianne which I think we should rebut.

7/2/21 Email chain between Communications team and Community Engagement team

Subject: Two West Cumbria WG articles

Below are the two regional Cumbrian media articles that appeared as a result of MBs / RFL’s letter. ...the content is much the same as the material MB published recently With MB however I suspect reasoned arguments are unlikely to change her approach which often seems bedded in fantasy and misinformation – she certainly seems led by heart rather than head coupled to a rigid anti-nuclear / GDF dogma.

7/27/21 Email from Events team to Cumbria Police Subject: “Copeland pop-up event at Thwaites village Hall – near Millom

Copeland GDF Working Group are holding a pop up event in the Millom area tomorrow 28th July between 10 and 3pm

The RWM lead [name redacted] has expressed concerns that there could be some local protestors at the event as a well-known local activist Marianne Birkby (Radiation Free Lakelands) has a holiday home nearby.

7/27/21 Email between Communications team Subject: C&SE Dashboards & Monthly Report Thanks for this-quick query- what’s the negative media for Copeland in July? The only think I could think of is Marianne Birkby’s letter?

note: The above is a tiny extract from the Subject Access Request which also reveals insight into RWM's beliefs - for instance that they do not need to be responsible for the safety of a GDF "that is up to the regulators"


nb: Tim Farron MPs Westmorland & Lonsdale constituency is not in Allerdale or Copeland but is within both the Sellafield and Heysham Outline Emergency Planning Zones

Heysham Outline Planning Zone

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1 Comment

It would be good if RWM would concentrate on their technical issues i.e. how to keep future generations safe from material that will take 24,000 years to become half as dangerous as it is now. The present the proposal of burial deep underground may seem best they have but there is no plan should the burial tunnels be breached. Why does RWM have any confidence that rock faults will not slip in that long timecale allowing aquifers to flood the storage tunnels with water at massive pressures easily capable of moving the waste back to the surface? While they cannot design to totally avoid these risks they must not present burial as a solution - there is no way…

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