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Letter in the Local Press

From the Westmorland Gazette 1st July 2021

Dear Editor,

Under the new and unjust rules of the ongoing nuclear dump game, anyone anywhere can volunteer a place for an above and below ground Geological Disposal Facility for heat generating nuclear wastes. The area of Ghyll Scaur quarry was put forward by Parish Councillor of Bootle, David Faulkner. Bootle happens to be the home of MP for Copeland Trudy Harrison, a staunch supporter of the nuclear waste dump plan. The carrot of £Millions of pounds for local amenities for Bootle area was a likely factor in nominating a beautiful rural area on the edge of the Lake District over 6 miles away.

That Radioactive Waste Management should even consider the proposal of an area far nearer to Broughton than Bootle and as the crow flies just as near to Morecambe as to Sellafield shows how desperate they are to "deliver' the GDF plan.

Equally there is astonishment that the few people on the Allerdale and Copeland “Working Groups” are claiming to speak for the whole of Cumbria not to mention Cumbria’s neighbours across the Irish Sea, the Duddon Estuary and Morecambe Bay - all of which would be impacted. Cumbria has already said no repeatedly to the plan, the geology has not changed, the science of containment is still unresolved. We believe the “Working Groups” are looking to move to the next stage of “Community Partnership” - what “Community” are they representing ? Does that “Community” know that intentional burial and designed leakage of heat generating nuclear wastes/gases (“up to” 100 degrees C) under the sea is in breach of a number of international treaties?

Ghyll Scaur quarry has now been withdrawn from the “search” following the point being made that Friends of the Lake District have called for the southern tip of Copeland to be included in the National Park. It is not clear whether the Southern tip of Copeland will once again be in the frame should the area not be included in the National Park extension. The National Park boundary is of course just a line on the map, Beatrix Potter who bought farms in Copeland and Allerdale would not have made any distinction at all between the coastal plain and the National Park - it would all have been “The Lake District.”

As part of our new campaign, Lakes Against Nuclear Dump (LAND) we have written to the “Working Groups” of Allerdale and Copeland urging them to withdraw from the process, to withdraw from the false advertising of a “safe” deep nuclear dump. The industry has no idea of the final inventory of high level wastes or how containment deep underground could be achieved. Nevertheless the controversial coal mine boss, Mark Kirkbride has been employed by government to give costings for digging a big hole for a GDF -using the same suppliers as for the coal mine ( at £160M)- Kirkbride’s estimate for a GDF hole is £1.7 Billion but that is just a figure plucked out of the air in order to make this GDF plan look like a done deal. The image featured on the “Working Groups” website of above ground facilities, does not paint a true picture of the proposed 100 year+ operation. Ongoing movement of (still unresolved) containers of high level nuclear wastes would turn any rural area into a full blown nuclear licensed site with all that entails, the razor wire, the ‘sterile zone,’ the armed nuclear police the hundreds of thousands of lorry loads of nuclear materials, the rock spoil (which would itself be radon rich from being extracted so deep beneath the ground).

We also have a petition directed to the Prime Minister : Stop "Delivery" of a Geological Nuclear Dump Under the Irish Sea or Anywhere Else. Instead of bribing communities with £Millions to accept the plan to dump many decades worth of hot, high level nuclear wastes deep underground, we ask that you stop the production of ever more dangerous radioactive wastes, place a moratorium on the GDF “Delivery” plans and put all effort into containment ( not "disposal"), above ground where the waste can be monitored and repackaged as necessary. Continuing with an aggressive and scientifically inadequate push for “Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility” merely in order to justify a new nuclear build agenda is the wrong thing to do.”

The petition can be signed online at:

or contact: for petition forms.

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

Lakes Against Nuclear Dump - a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign

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