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George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwashing Award Goes to Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councils

Image: George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwash Award 2022 - Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councils

Dear Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councillors,

To mark the anniversary of the 1957 Windscale [ Sellafield ] fire in Cumbria, the Close Capenhurst Campaign and Radiation Free Lakeland have awarded the second George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwashing Award to Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councils. Only by sheer luck and by the bravery of the Windscale workforce is Cumbria habitable today. As it is, the damaging health consequences of the fire have been revised upwards over the last 65 years.

The award is being given to the West Cumbrian councils for the following reasons:

Supporting the nuclear power industry in expansion at Sellafield and other areas in Cumbria.

1. Failing to take any meaningful measures to hold Sellafield to account in the ongoing radioactive pollution in the immediate area and beyond for example on West Cumbrian beaches where radioactive particles are routinely found as a result of historic and continued routine and accidental discharges.

2. Supporting the Cumbria Coal Mine which would result in subsidence and resuspension of radioactive wastes from the Sellafeld Mud Patch beneath the Irish Sea resulting in more radioactive partlcles on the beaches.

3. Partnering with Nuclear Waste Services in the Siting of a Geological Disposal Facility (aka nuclear dump) under the Irish Sea, alongside the proposed West Cumbria Coal Mine, without reference to a democratic vote by the full Borough Councils or by the public.

The first recipient of the award was the Springfields Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing Plant near Preston which is now calling itself the “Clean Energy Technology Park” as it gears up to produce high burn uranium fuel for planned new nuclear reactors in the UK and in an unprecedented act of hubris is planning to incinerate radioactive wastes from across Europe 24/7.

More Information

The award is named after George Monbiot, the influential journalist , who has promoted the governmental agenda now led by PM Liz Truss to build new nuclear reactors as a ‘solution' to climate change. Monbiot has even gone so far as to promote dangerous fast breeder reactors requiring the reprocessing of nuclear wastes. Dounreay was a prototype fast reactor and has left a legacy of radioactive blight.

Mining, Transporting, and processing of Uranium increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, as does the use of vast amounts of concrete used in the building of nuclear reactors.

This is before all of the energy used and CO2 created in processing or storing all of the highly radioactive waste after these reactors have been supposedly ‘decommissioned’. Radioactive carbon is produced during the nuclear fuel cycle and by nuclear weapons - inhalation is dangerous to all biota. Radioactive carbon that is incorporated into the body will remain there and emit radiation disrupting DNA and increasing the likelihood of health defects which will be passed on to offspring in a snowball effect. Future generations will bear the brunt of radioactive carbon released by the nuclear industry.


The Springfields Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing plant operated by Westinghouse is at the beginning of the process which has led to nuclear accidents and routine emissions of radionuclides such as radioactive carbon, cesium, strontium and host of other damaging and very long lived radionuclides. Incredibly Springfields has rebranded itself as a “Clean Energy Technology Park.” The nuclear industry is increasingly promoting itself as “clean” and “renewable,” George Monbiot has played a key part in facilitating this dangerous rebrand. Austria has last week launched a legal challenge to the Nuclear industry’s claims that it should be regarded as “clean” and “green” energy. The messaging to future generations is incoherent, on the one hand nuclear claims to be “clean energy” and on the other hand to ensure a viable planet future generations and the biosphere must be separated from nuclear waste into eternity.

About the Award

The award itself is a tarnished gold coloured cup, made in low quality plastic, symbolising the ecologically damaging nature of the nukiller industry.

Each year the cup will be awarded to other parts of the nukiller industry in order to highlight the irreparable damage they are doing to the environment and to public health. Nuclear sacrifice zones are increasingly a consequence of nuclear power as are the increasing number of people suffering from radiation linked diseases for which the industry has a Compensation scheme for its workforce. No such scheme exists for members of the public impacted by accidents such as the Windscale Fire, fueled by nuclear fuel made at Springfields.

The cup itself will held in safe keeping by the two campaigns in a bid to protect it from radioactive damage by the award winners.

We hope that going forward Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councils would agree that Nuclear Safety Must be a Priority, this is, however, at odds with the current nuclear policy of the two Borough Councils.

Yours sincerely,

Martyn Lowe

Close Capenhurst Campaign

Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland

mobile: 07904 952913



Extract: The element carbon is found in all organic substances. Carbon is also a primary constituent of greenhouse gases that are responsible for climate change, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Carbon-14 (c-14) is a radioactive form of carbon that occurs in nature and is also newly formed in nuclear power processes. Carbon-14 is a health concern because it is released from nuclear power facilities as radioactive carbon dioxide and methane, traveling readily in the local and global environment. Over time, carbon-14 becomes part of organic material including food, and has a half-life of approximately 5,730 years, decaying by a type of radioactive particle called a beta. Its hazardous life is 10-20 times its half-life, meaning that harmful exposure to man-made carbon-14 can last for hundreds of generations. The radioactive carbon forms as a byproduct of fissioning of uranium fuel, through a process called activation. The final step is a chemical reaction between carbon-14 and oxygen or hydrogen, which forms methane or carbon dioxide. The radioactive carbon-14 formed by this process is brand new and would not exist without nuclear fission. During its long hazardous life, carbon-14 could be responsible for gross physical or mental defects, stillbirths and childhood deaths, embryonic and neonatal deaths into the many millions over the life of the isotope. These millions could be underestimated five times or more. Carbon-14 could also be responsible for leukemia, bone and other cancers.

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