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Increasing Use of beaches known to contain radioactive particles from BAE and Sellafield "Reckless"

The following Memo on Radioactive Beaches has been sent to the Planners looking at the proposal for 450 holiday lodges at Roanhead, South West Cumbria. Today is the last day to officially send in your objection...

To: <> Sent: Sunday, 23 July 2023, 14:11:09 BST Subject: Memorandum on Radiation Free Lakeland’s Objection to Roanhead Development for 450 holiday lodges Memorandum on Radiation Free Lakeland’s Objection to Roanhead Development for 450 holiday lodges Your Ref: Ref: B06/2023/0307 Roanhead Farm, Hawthwaite Lane, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria This memorandum by Marianne Birkby endorses RaFLs objection sent by email on 10th July (see below) and adds the following: Health and wellbeing Westmorland and Furness Council’s Council Plan featured on the website states; "A caring council

  • ambitious - we are ambitious for everyone. We will focus on identifying and delivering the outcomes that our communities want to see. We will support our workforce to innovatively transform services for the better, enabling residents and visitors to have healthy, happy lives.”

Radiological Habits Survey: Barrow and the south west Cumbrian Coast 2012 " Handling fishing gear that has become entrained with fine sediment particles, or handling sediment while undertaking activities such as bait digging or mollusc collecting, can potentially give rise to skin exposure from beta radiation. Doses to the skin need consideration as part of the dose limitation system (ICRP, 1991).Fishing gear can also be a source of gamma exposure due to occupancy in the vicinity of the gear. However, this pathway is minor compared with the exposure received during occupancy over intertidal areas and it has therefore been omitted from the report.” Cefas, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science In 2012 Cefas along with other agencies carried out a Radiological Habits Survey which included the Roanhead area. It is clear that the “occupancy rates” ie people using the coastal area/beaches are a key concern: "This report presents the results of a survey conducted in 2012 to determine the habits and consumption patterns of people living, working and pursuing recreational activities in the vicinity of the nuclear site at Barrow-in-Furness and along the south-west Cumbrian coast. At Barrow-in-Furness, BAE Systems Marine Ltd builds, tests and commissions new nuclear powered submarines. The site is permitted to discharge gaseous radioactive wastes via stacks and other outlets to the atmosphere, liquid radioactive wastes to the local sewer and contains sources of direct radiation. The sewer flows to a utility company’s wastewater treatment plant and after undergoing a sewage treatment process the effluent is discharged into the sea in the Walney Channel. Areas likely to be most affected by the discharges and sources of radiation were defined as the aquatic survey area for liquid discharges, the terrestrial survey area for the deposition from gaseous discharges, and the direct radiation survey area for ionising radiation emanating directly from the site. The occupancy data collected from the direct radiation survey area is also applicable to the direct exposure arising from potential gaseous releases from the site. The discharges from the Barrow nuclear site are minor compared with those from other nuclear sites located on the north-west coast of England. The coast and sea area in the vicinity of Barrow-in- Furness and south-west Cumbria may be affected by discharges of liquid radioactive waste from these sites, most notably Sellafield, and the results of this survey are also relevant to those sites. The following potential exposure pathways were investigated:

  • The consumption of food from the aquatic survey area

  • Activities and occupancy over intertidal substrates

  • The handling of fishing gear and sediment

  • Occupancy in close proximity to sewage, sewage sludge and sewage cake

  • Activities and occupancy in and on water

  • The use of seaweed as a fertiliser or animal feed

  • The consumption of food from the terrestrial survey area

  • The use and destination of produce originating from the survey areas

  • The consumption and use of groundwater and surface water in the terrestrial survey area

  • The transfer of contamination off-site by wildlife

  • Activities and occupancy within the direct radiation survey area

  • Any new or unusual exposure pathways”

Cefas Report Although the report notes that the radioactive discharge to the sewer and gaseous discharge from BAE is lower in its impacts than that from Sellafield this produces a double whammy for those living in the South West of Cumbria alongside the BAE site as historic discharges from Sellafield also make their way to the South West Coast. Sellafield’s historic discharge is embedded within silts called the “Cumbrian (or Sellafield) Mud Patch". Resuspension of radioactive particles occurs by means of tides - especially storm surges, and disturbance of the seabed. This south west movement from the Cumbrian/Sellafield Mud Patch has been recently illustrated by an Internship document prepared under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Security. "In 1952, Sellafield (a nuclear reprocessing plant in the UK) authorized the discharge of low-level radioactive effluents via pipeline into the Irish Sea. These effluents consisted of radionuclides such as Am, Cs, Pu, Tc, U and Np. Overtime, the radionuclides mobilized and accumulated onto a nearby fine-grained Mud-patch in the Irish Sea. The radionuclides then redispersed via sedimentary deposition from the Mud Patch along the coast including a nearby saltmarsh, Ravenglass, which is located 10 km from Sellafield. Overtime, the radionuclides have accumulated onto the soils of the saltmarsh due to the tidal currents.”

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