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New Year New Challenges to Halt Nuclear Dump Plans




Dear Friends,


Thank you to all who are supporting Lakes Against Nuclear Dump, a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign. We have had a rollercoaster of a year with battles on so many fronts that sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the big picture which is protection of our land and sea from further nuclear pollution.


With the big picture in mind we have compiled a Timeline - the next part of this story is up to all of us. It is good to remember that we have many allies and friends who provide invaluable advice, help and support and with that and the power of all our collective elbows we say... Onwards and Upwards!


BACKGROUND

In the 1990’s a government agency called Nirex looked at the Gosforth area in West Cumbria as a possible site for geological disposal of nuclear wastes. An inquiry and appeal followed. The Inquiry Inspector agreed with the view taken by local authorities and environment groups that the risk of radioactive waste migrating to the surface was too great. Following the failure to find a site in the 1990s, in 2008 the government asked for “volunteer communities” to make a “home” for high-level radioactive wastes deep underground. Only Cumbria “expressed an interest.” Volunteer group Radiation Free Lakeland was formed to fight the plan. In 2013 Cumbria County Council voted to take no further steps towards Geological Disposal. Their decision can be read here: https://cumbria.gov.uk/elibrary/Content/Internet/538/41543992.PDF

Since 2013 the law has been changed to make Geological Disposal a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. Cumbria County Council no longer exists (from 2023) and a new process under Nuclear Waste Services, a division of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has begun in Copeland and Allerdale to “find a home” for high level radioactive wastes.

TIMELINE


1801

“There’s joy in the mountains,

There’s life in the fountains”

Willliam Wordsworth - a poem

1997 “the location should be in a region of low hydraulic gradients, so that there should be slow-moving and long groundwater pathways; the geology and hydrogeology of the site and its district should be readily characterisable and predictable.” Chris McDonald, Nirex Inquiry Inspector’s Report Letter from Chris McDonald to the Guardian 2007 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/jun/28/nuclear.uk


2008

“Geological disposal safety plans do not assume that total containment by engineered barrier systems for ever is possible.”

Dr Adrian Bath, Engineered Barrier Systems :What are they for and how do they relate to the geosphere? A Presentation https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/~/media/shared/documents/policy/Policy%20Meetings/Bath.pdf?la=en


Volunteer group, Radiation Free Lakeland formed in 2008 to fight the Geological Disposal Facility plans


2010

“Build-up of gas pressure in the repository, as a result of the corrosion of metals and/or the degradation of organic material, could damage the barriers and force fast routes for radionuclide escape through crystalline rock fractures or clay rock pores.”

Dr Helen Wallace, Rock Solid? A scientific review Sept 15th https://temelin.cz/ke-stazeni/odborne-studie/rock-solid-helen-wallace-genewatch-uk-eng

2011

" I would like us to set a goal of putting the first waste into a geological disposal facility by the end of 2029. I have tasked the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to look at opportunities for accelerating progress to meet this aim".

Charles Hendry MP, Chair of the Geological Disposal Implementation Board, Department of Energy and Climate Change Press Release 28th June

2012

“This groundwater will return to the surface much faster, within a few decades, if hot temperature, high level waste is also buried. That heat will also make the land surface rise. No earthquakes or extra rainfall are needed.”.

Professor Stuart Haszeldine OBE FRSE C.Geol, Cockermouth Feb 2nd 2012

2012

"The Swedish concept of emplacing high-level waste in copper cylinders, which are then buried in granitic rock, has been adopted by the UK. But it does not work. This short slideshow explains why. The history of this concept shows that nuclear engineers are over-optimistic, by a factor of 10,000 or more, about the prowess of their technology in containing nuclear waste." Professor David Smythe

2012

“Government is using an approach based on voluntarism and partnership to site a geological disposal facility with the first stage being local communities expressing an interest in entering discussions about the siting process. The invitation for communities to express an interest is still open . We can be contacted on radioactivewaste@decc.gsi.gov.uk or 0300 068 6111”

2013

"When I came away from the International Conference in Canada, after speaking to many experts from all over the world, I was quite convinced that there was no alternative to a GDF. Then I started my research in earnest… the more I read and studied and listened the less certain I became that a GDF in Cumbria was the solution to Cumbria’s or the UK’s nuclear waste”. Council Leader Eddie Martin’s speech to Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet 30th January 2013 when CCC voted not to proceed with GDF “steps”. https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/eddie-martins-speech-to-cabinet-on-30th-january/


2015

Government makes Geological Disposal of Nuclear Waste a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project which provides exemption from regulatory planning process. A yet to be decided “test of public support” would be limited to the immediate area of the GDF. https://theecologist.org/2015/apr/02/dump-nuclear-waste-first-they-must-dump-democracy


2019 CEO of West Cumbria Mining currently focussed on coal is appointed to the Government Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. Mark Kirkbride's brief is " provision of advice to BEIS (Dept of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy) and RWM (Radioactive Waste Management now Nuclear Waste Services) on activities relating to the continued development of a GDF safety case" and "GDF siting activities, including selection criteria, methods of investigation, and the timescale for carrying out site selection in the three rock types” and to "advise on new technologies that could be applicable to the development of a GDF including those in the mining and construction sectors and their potential impacts on a GDF programme” https://www.change.org/p/sack-cumbrian-coal-mine-boss-from-government-advisor-role-for-nuclear-dump

2022

“Cumbria County Council will cease to exist in May 2023. The government chose the new Unitary boundary to coincide with pro-nuclear councils.” Dr Kate Willshaw, Friends of the Lake District https://allerdalecopeland.greenparty.org.uk/2022/01/30/disposal-of-nuclear-waste-in-cumbria/


"As part of the search for a suitable site to build a Geological Disposal Facility, the Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership has formed and ..has given access to £1million Community Investment Funding per year .. Lizzie applied for funding for a revamp of the village BMX Pump Track in Seascale and was awarded £47,801". https://midcopeland.workinginpartnership.org.uk/three-community-projects-awarded-grant-funding-from-gdf-programme/


"Formation of the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership has given access to £1million Community Investment Funding per year from the GDF programme .. The project to benefit from this first round of funding was Millom Cricket Club, receiving £31,236 to make improvements to the clubhouse and facilities.” South Copeland GDF Community Partnership May 10th 2022 https://southcopeland.workinginpartnership.org.uk/first-projects-in-south-copeland-receive-grant-funding-from-gdf-programme/


"The UK government’s Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) is set to carry out seismic surveys off the Cumbrian Coast between July and August this year. They are looking for a place to dispose of the waste produced by Britain’s nuclear reactors.” Charlie Jaay in Euronews.green https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/06/22/the-uk-is-searching-the-sea-for-a-nuclear-dump-site-and-the-risks-to-marine-life-are-huge June 2022

"Maryport Solway Sea Cadets - TS Caesar are thrilled to receive funding from the Allerdale GDF Community Partnership Investment Fund. This investment has allowed us to replace our old pontoons and continue to provide exciting opportunities for our young people to safely access adventures on the water.” Maryport Solway Sea Cadets 20th November 2022


Government approves coal mine (whose boss is UK nuclear dump advisor – this cronyism yet to be mentioned in mainstream press) 6th December 2022 https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/23177233.government-approves-plans-whitehaven-coal-mine/



The rest of the story is up to us, will there be resistance and opposition to the tsunami of nuclear bribes? Will the wider public in Cumbria and neighbours such as Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man object to the narrow "test of public support" for a deep, subsea and very hot nuclear dump which excludes all those who are not being bribed ......TO BE CONTINUED.......





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This letter was published in the Whitehaven News on Wednesday January 11th 2023 under the heading: Coal Mine vs GDF The heading sent in was: Coal Mine Boss Compiles Latest Nuclear Dump Plans for Gover

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