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RWM Employ Behavioural Scientists to 'keep a friendly eye' on what people are saying - really?

We have been sent a leaked document indicating that Radioactive Waste Management, the government body tasked with "Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility" have employed a company involved in "behavioural science" to monitor independent conversations of those talking online about the deep nuclear dump plan. The Cumbrian nuclear safety group have sent this leaked report to Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council urging them to follow the example of the most nuclear sympathetic County in the UK, Cumbria, and exclude themselves from the RWM agenda which is to implement one or more geological disposal facilities. The nuclear safety group argue that the science of deep disposal of nuclear wastes is in its infancy and that instead of spending billions of pounds on behavioural scientists in order to deliver a dangerous deep nuclear dump, all effort should be made on containment at the Sellafield site . For example finding and stopping the ongoing leaks from the Magnox Swarf Silos has not been resolved with hundreds of gallons of radioactive liquour from reprocessing leaking every day into the ground beneath Sellafield. The silos were "state of the art" when constructed, the reason the leaks are difficult to find say Lakes Against Nuclear Dump is because parts of the Silos are underground. (


A Radiation Free Lakeland campaign. 9th August 2021

Sent by Email


1. Letter to Lincolnshire CC & East Lindsey DC from Lakes Against Nuclear Dump

2. Leaked report from MHP "behavioural science" monitoring of conversations regarding GDF - sent to NDA addresses

Dear Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council

We are a volunteer nuclear safety group based in Cumbria, founded in 2008 to fight against the Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely “Steps Towards Geological Disposal”. Prior to that many of our members gave evidence at the NIREX inquiry in 1997 which found the ‘best’ geology in the UK (having looked elsewhere including Lincolnshire) to be unsuitable for GDF. We were also successful in our campaign in 2013 when Cumbria County Council refused (again) to continue “steps” because of flawed geological ‘suitability’ and (still) unresolved containment issues.

The previous "gently gently" (as previous Minister of State, Charles Hendry described it) “Steps to Geological Disposal” are now changed to unequivocal “Delivery." Radioactive Waste Management are tasked by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with implementation of “Delivering” one (or more) Geological Disposal Facilities for heat generating nuclear wastes. To facilitate this, Geological Disposal is now a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. This means any hard won planning protections such as SSSI, RAMSAR etc can be overridden and, added to this, all County Council’s are now denied right of veto. We are very grateful to our own County Council for quite rightly excluding themselves from this new RWM ‘process’. The two West Cumbria District Associations of Allerdale and Copeland have co-opted or cajoled their member parishes (many of whom voted no to continuing the plan last time round) into the first stage of the current process and have neutered their own internal opposition by agreeing to exclude all the National Park parishes and part parishes for example Drigg & Carleton is half in and half out of the National Park.

We urge Lincolnshire County Council and ELDC to follow Cumbria County Council’s principled and scientifically correct stance to exclude themselves from Radioactive Waste Management’s agenda to deliver a “willing” area and implement Geological Disposal of High Level Nuclear Wastes.

We ask that LCC and ELDC support campaigners who are working to secure the containment now of leaking radioactive wastes on the Sellafield site. The late Cumbrian County Councillor John McCreesh opposed the 2008-2013 GDF plan for Cumbria while working to make Cumbria and our neighbours ( including Europe) safe from high level nuclear wastes at Sellafeld. The National Audit Office (NAO) produced a report in 2011 which stated: “Some of the older facilities at Sellafield containing highly hazardous radioactive waste have deteriorated so much that their contents pose significant risks to people and the environment."

This intolerable situation is ongoing with high level wastes continuing to arrive at Sellafield with no end in sight.

Councillor John McCreesh said that "The Government must immediately commit the investment to make Sellafield safe. This is one item of expenditure that simply must not be cut back. The Government must also order the NDA to stop shipping waste into Sellafield, until the facilities are given a clean bill of health by the NAO.”

We are sure that Lincolnshire CC and ELDC will, like us, be shocked to discover that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and RWM, instead of focussing on securing the existing (and massively leaking) wastes on the Sellafield site are spending money on private companies who are carrying out covert monitoring of groups concerned about the plan for GDF. Last week a report was leaked to us from a company hired by the NDA/RWM called MHP who specialize in “behavioural science."

It is shocking that comments of private individuals are being covertly monitored by behavioural scientists engaged by RWM at tax-payers’ expense.

A fact which RWM only admitted to, via the Lincolnshire Against Nuke Dump Facebook group, following RWMs discovery that one of their daily analysis reports (attached) had been leaked. The paid surveillance by behavioural scientists was veiled as an invite to the Lincolnshire Facebook site admin (who is vehemently in favour of RWM’s plan for GDF, just not in Lincolnshire) to have a friendly chat ‘Kate does look through this Facebook Group.’

When The NDA entered into a contract (2014) with RWM shortly after RWM was incorporated, there was no mention of behavioural monitoring of members of the community. The 2018 Policy (working with Communities) did not mention that RWM would be deploying covert behavioural monitoring techniques on those participating in conversations about geological disposal.

Given the state of Sellafield and lack of effective short and long term containment technology, we are astounded that the government are spending £billions on aggressive promotion which includes behavioural monitoring in order to implement “Delivery” of one (or more) Geological Disposal Facilities. This is a diabolic plan that is and may always be far from securely underpinned by ethics, geology and technology.

We urge Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council to exclude themselves from RWM’s “Delivery” agenda for one or more GDFs and instead to join those calling for the existing wastes at Sellafield to actually be contained….now.

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

major campaigns include:

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Lakes Against Nuclear Dump

Further Reading:

Geology (including documents missing from RWM’s online prescence)

John McCreesh, Leading Cumbrian County Counciillor: Make Cumbria Safe

Containment issues outlined in this thesis which was peer reviewed by RWM advisors.

1 Comment

Aug 09, 2021

This comment has just been shared by Darryl on our Radiation Free Lakeland campaign page - .......for info...... RWM GUILTY OF HARASSMENT? I have grave concerns about RWM conducting behavioural monitoring without telling any of the people that they are being monitored. It looks to be covert surveillance at first glance but in my opinion would not fall within the statutory definition, but such secret monitoring seems wrong. And, if it is not (in law at least) covert surveillance (Directed or Intrusive) it cannot have been authorised as such by the relevant legislation as it would for example, in a criminal investigation.

Employers sometimes monitor their staff (including emails) but that type of surveillance ordinarily requires a reasonable suspicion of criminal…

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