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Stop Lake District Coast Nuclear Dump Investigations! Join Us Tomorrow in Whitehaven - 12 Noon

Photo by Guillaume Meurice

The following letter and petition opposing any further "investigations" into a deep nuclear dump under the Lake District Coast is to be delivered to the Marine Management Organisation in Whitehaven tomorrow on World Ocean Day.

Our Lake District Coast is under threat like never before. People are rallying at 12 noon on Queens Dock Whitehaven - the petition will be delivered to the MMO offices at Fish Hall - all invited to join.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities have also sent a letter of support to campaigners which includes: "solidarity greetings and our best wishes for your presentation of the petition of over 54,000 signatures to the Marine Management Organisation on this World Oceans Day." The full letter will be read out tomorrow. We encourage other groups and individuals to write to the Marine Management Organisation and urge a halt to ANY new mining in this fragile and beautiful area.

Dear Marine Management Organisation

On World Oceans Day June 8th 2023 nearly 55,000 people urge you to halt investigations in the Irish Sea/Solway Firth area for a deep geological nuclear dump (Geological Disposal Facility) for high level radioactive wastes. The public had no say on the seismic survey commissioned by Nuclear Waste Services. In August 2022 Shearwater GeoServices blasted sound in the ocean every 5 seconds from Millom to St Bees. Dead marine life including harbour porpoise washed up on nearby beaches. Chronic impacts on marine life are ongoing.

Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, The Chair of UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities said: “The NFLA believes that as this (seismic blasting) was an activity to support the creation of a Geological Disposal Facility, in which to dump Britain’s legacy and future high-level nuclear waste, rather than an altruistic scientific project, that it was wrong for Nuclear Waste Services to claim an exemption from licensing and that it was wrong for the MMO to accept their claim to an exemption so readily.”

Nuclear Waste Services are advised by the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management who are in turn advised on GDF “investigation techniques, costings and construction” by West Cumbria Mining coal mine boss Mark Kirkbride. With uncanny timing when the coal mine was approved by UK Government in December 2022 the harbour in Whitehaven turned red with mine water from old workings. The miles of borehole and intensive water flushing investigations carried out by WCM cannot be ruled out as a catalyst in part or in whole for the reactivation of old mine water. We have through Tim Farron MP and FOI questions seen the Environment Agency reports on the (very limited) tests carried out on the old mine water now flowing into Whitehaven harbour which contains highly elevated levels of iron, cadmium, ammonia and other toxins fatally poisonous to marine life.

Given the continuing pollution pouring into Whitehaven harbour from old mine works we call on the Marine Management Organisation to cancel existing mining licences and not to licence any further shallow or deep mining developments. The red water in Whitehaven should be a red flag to ANY new mining developments in the area from Furness to the the Solway where there is a honeycomb of old mine workings within a complex geology of rocks and groundwater. GDF investigations and the new deep coal mine adjacent to those investigations should be halted right now not least in order to protect the marine life of the Lake District coast from further old mine water being released into the supposedly ‘protected’ “Marine Conservation Zone” adjacent to Whitehaven and the “Highly Protected Marine Conservation Zone” of the Solway Firth.

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

Richard Outram Secretary of Nuclear Free Local Authorities

Martyn Lowe on behalf of Close Capenhurst Campaign.

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