NFLA media release, 24 June 2022
More Power to Millom: NFLA backs new protest group opposed to nuclear waste dump
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have written to a new group in Cumbria endorsing their opposition to plans to develop a nuclear waste dump. Millom and District Against the Nuclear Dump was only established a few days ago by a town resident yet the strength of feeling is such that several hundred local people are now already backing the campaign.
Millom is a small, but proud, town in South West Cumbria, which lies within the administrative boundaries of the Copeland Borough Council. Copeland has been supportive of the proposal to investigate whether the area could provide a site for a Geological Disposal Facility, which will be the repository of Britain’s radioactive waste, the unwanted deadly legacy of over 70 years of the country’s nuclear power operations. Nuclear Waste Services is working with Copeland Council, and neighbouring Allerdale, to investigate the suitability of three so-called ‘search areas’, and an area off-shore, to host the facility.
Public feeling is currently running high after recent revelations by the local campaign group, Radiation Free Lakeland, that seismic testing is due to take place offshore over the summer. Environmentalists, marine welfare organisations, residents, and the NFLA have all expressed their opposition to the testing regime as there is strong scientific evidence that blasting sound waves into the ocean repeatedly over 3-4 weeks will cause real harm to marine wildlife.
Millom and District Against the Nuclear Dump is the latest group to manifest its opposition to testing, and in conjunction with Radiation Free Lakeland, there are now joint plans to hold a public protest in Haverigg this coming Saturday.
Now the Chair of the NFLA Steering Committee, Councillor David Blackburn has written to the group’s founder, Jan Bridget, offering the support of Nuclear Free Local Authorities to the new group.
Councillor Blackburn outlined the NFLA’s position on GDF: “The NFLA has been opposed to a Geological Disposal Facility from the start. Rather than dumping Britain’s nuclear waste in a big hole in the ground or under the seabed, we favour near-site, near-surface storage under rigorous supervision.
“Some radioactive waste must be stored safely for many tens of thousands of years before its radioactivity wanes. It is our fear that, however well engineered this facility is, and it is estimated to cost somewhere between £20 and £53 billion at this time, at some point in the future it will become disturbed by future generations or there will be an undetected leak of radiation. And inevitably such a disturbance or such a leak of radiation will lead to a still more radioactive Irish Sea, which has already been poisoned by Sellafield”.
Councillor Blackburn is clear that the NFLA is on the side of the protestors: “It is clear from the level of support that this campaign has gathered in only a few days that, contrary to the opinions of certain local Councillors and officials in Nuclear Waste Services, not everyone in Cumbria wants a radioactive future.
“Nuclear Waste Services say that they need to identify a ‘willing community’ to take the dump. Well, as support for this campaign grows, it becomes clearer that Millom is a far-from-willing community. The NFLA will be right behind them in opposing this plan and joins them in saying to the nuclear industry ‘GDF Off’. We wish the people of Millom more (renewable) power to their collective elbow!”
Notes to Editors
The protest titled ‘GDF OFF from the Duddon Estuary to the Solway Coast’ will be held from 1 to 2pm at the Lighthouse Centre, Atkinson Street, Haverigg, Millom LA18 4HA.
This media release can be found on the NFLA website at: https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/more-power-to-millom-nfla-backs-new-protest-group-opposed-to-nuclear-waste-dump/