Lakes Against Nuclear Dump in Whitehaven
On Friday 30th July, Lakes Against Nuclear Dump, a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign went along to the nuclear waste “drop in” at Whitehaven. We went to show resistance to the to the latest and even more ruthless Governmental push for “Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility”. Dressed up in nuclear waste barrels outside the “Cumbria Traders Day” at St Nicholas Gardens, were people from all walks of life including local Market Traders who know that a scientifically premature deep nuclear dump in Cumbria’s faulted geology is the last thing that a vibrant healthy economy needs. Tourism and agriculture bring far more money into Cumbria than the false economic largesse of the nuclear industry (funded with taxpayers money) - but the nuclear industry and governmental plan for a GDF has the capacity to annihilate both major industries in Cumbria and beyond.
Many locals stopped to talk to us and we were thanked several times for being there showing resistance. The “drop in” for what is terrifyingly billed as “the biggest environmental protection project of our lifetime” purports to be a “conversation” in which people’s view’s and questions are “welcome.” My own experience on the day of talking to the “team” including Richard Griffin, Senior Policy Advisor of Radioactive Waste Management was that my views and questions were most definitely not welcome. In fact along with the “Community Engagement Manager” all objections and points I raised were crushed with the mantra “its the ethical thing to do” and “we have benefited from nuclear and its up to our generation to deal with the problem.” Anything and everything I said was dismissed including the fact that the Cumbria Association of Councils are not actually representing the 85% of councils in Cumbria who have already said no to the plan - Richard Griffin point blank said that the town and parish councils are on board with the “process.” A process which has only one outcome - namely “Delivery” of a Deep Nuclear Dump for Heat Generating Wastes (currently cooled by Wastwater to the tune of millons of gallons of water a day - another fact that Richard Griffin dismissed).
People in Cumbria, the area of the UK seen as the most expedient and the line of least resistance for a GDF, are being browbeaten with this absolute crap from Radioactive Waste Management - they are even handing out goody bags full of branded merchandise!
What makes this situation even more hair raising is that Richard Griffin the Senior Policy Advisor of Radioactive Waste Management was previously Allerdale Borough Council’s Nuclear Policy Officer. In 2019/20 Richard Griffin was singing a different tune where Allerdale (and Copeland he says) “had no current intention to volunteer and would not be expressing an interest.”
What on earth induced him to join Radioactive Waste Management as Senior Policy Advisor ?
This was Richard Griffin’s presentation to the Cumbria Association of Local Councils from the Minutes of a meeting held on the 11th July 2019 At Cockermouth Town Hall in 2019:
"3. Nuclear Matters The chair welcomed Richard Griffin the borough council nuclear policy officer to the meeting. Richard said that his role at the council was to keep abreast of all nuclear issues both locally and nationally and advise members when appropriate of current matters. He said that nationally government through RWM (a subsidiary of the NDA) were searching for a site to locate Geological Disposal Facility. They were looking for a willing community and a suitable site through a volunteerism process. Richard said that the borough council had no current intention to volunteer and would not be expressing an interest. He said that they had made their position clear to the developer and to central government. He said that he understood that Copeland Borough council’s present position was the same as Allerdale. However as councils close to Sellafield where 70% of the waste that would be disposed of in geological facility was at presented sited they had to ensure that their voice was heard when for example transport issues arose. Richard explained that there were two strands to the programme. The first was the “Working with Communities” process where volunteer organisations would begin the programme. He explained in some detail what that would entail. The second was the National Policy Statement which sets out the planning process. He said that GDF was a long term procedure and even initial borehole work was close to a decade away. Richard spoke about the Sellafield site stakeholders group which had six sub groups with the aim of holding the NDA, the Regulators and Sellafield Ltd to account. He said that the two councils were of the same mind that they had 70 years of dealing with the nuclear waste with little reward and now would be the wrong time to put themselves forward. Richard was asked what would happen if the present policy failed and would the word volunteer simply be crossed out. He said that central government had always said they were wedded to a volunteer process. He confirmed that the NDA were themselves land owners but he thought that they would be slow to offer land and it would be politically very difficult. Richard spoke about issues at a local level including the present concern with FCC at Lillyhall. The chair thanked Richard Griffin for his presentation. "