The supposed custodians of the Lake District (The National Park Authority)
have not made a firm 'No' decision over the plans for an underground nuclear
dump for highly radioactive waste in the Western Lake District. But they
are starting to see concerns over the threat to tourism and the 'brand'
of the English Lakes. See
their views in February 2012
Both Copeland and Allerdale Councils have endorsed the moves to have highly
radioactive spent nuclear fuel buried in caverns. The plans are also linked
to the plan to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, possibly
including one in Cumbria, to be called Moorside.
In January 2013 Cumbria County Council voted not to offer its area as
a volunteer site for an underground dump. The county council argued that
the waste was better stored and monitored in surface facilities, as is
the case at present. But then central government overturned this council
rejection and changed the rules so Copeland and Allerdale can both 'volunteer'
to have the dump and associated community bribes. Now the government has
also enabled any local concerns to be over ruled as the project is now
classed as strategic infrastructure, as with the other unviable taxpayer
funded project HS2.
A report to the government's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in
2008 confidently claimed: "A wide range of generic repository Concepts
is available that can provide safe and secure geological disposal options
to suit any appropriate UK geological environment."
The most likely sites are those with "stable crystalline bedrock"
such as the Eskdale granites underlying parts of Eskdale and Wasdale (pictured.....both
locations are within sight of Sellafield)
The one organisation charged to protect our Lake District, the Lake District
National Park Authority (LDNPA), has signed up to become a partner in
what has been branded and marketed as 'The Vision' for both new
nuclear reactors and an underground dump.
But to quote from LDNPA's latest strategy document: "It is not appropriate
to either support or object to the location of such a site in West Cumbria
at this early stage. More information is needed to make an informed decision.
The best way to get this is to be involved in the selection procedure."
To quote from the LDNPA minerals and waste strategy: "The likelihood
of West Cumbria being put forward as a potential volunteer community is
very high. We cannot underestimate the importance of us being involved
in the decision making process. "
This came as the Park bids for World Heritage status in 2011.
Meanwhile typical of the way our money is used to sweeten the pro-nuclear
message...the West Cumbrian tourism body West Cumbria Tourism was part
funded by Nuclear Management Partners who run Sellafield.
Updates on concerns
shown by former leader of Cumbria County Council
|The Bribes as at
Almost all derived from UK taxpayers....West Cumbria's Energy Coast
Board has £20 million from Nuclear Management Partners.The NMP,
NDA and Sellafield Ltd have pooled their £10 million per year
socio-economic resources into Britain's Energy Coast.
previous bid for a nuclear underground dump by Nirex in the 1980s was
only for intermediate level nuclear waste and even that was ruled out
by the then Tory government after a lengthy public inquiry.
The nuclear industry has retained ownership of the land earmarked by Nirex
for the dump and a farmhouse on the site has blocked up windows to mask
its redundancy awaiting developments
Sellafield does look after the current massive collection of 'legacy'
nuclear waste, some remaining radioactive for over 27,000 years.
Lakestay says that allowing the government to claim spent nuclear fuel
from new reactors can be dumped underground in Cumbria forever not only
gives a false 'green light' for new reactors, but it may also not be the
best option for Britain.
Lakestay says radioactive waste should be supervised above ground (thus
ensuring future jobs and expertise continues) rather than the planned
bury and walk away plan.
Supervising waste above ground will allow future technological breakthroughs
which may enable dangerous isotopes to be changed and make the waste safe.
Jobs at Sellafield will be secure for decades as the Cumbrian site has
to look after the UK waste forever.
scale of the waste excavations to take both legacy waste and all spent
nuclear fuel from a new commercial scale reactors.
The tourist industry and its health benefits to the UK population may
well outweigh the economic benefits to Cumbria of Sellafield
is being made now while the LDNPA says "It is not appropriate to
either support or object to the location of such a site in West Cumbria."
Meanwhile massive 'donations' are being made and promised for being home
to the underground dump. All the payments coming directly or indirectly
from you the taxpayer. Find out more at ....
done to the National Trust for describing the goverment's National Policy
(NPS) as "unfit for purpose".
states: "With regard to waste disposal, we are concerned that this
issue has not been dealt with sufficiently within the NPS and that the
IPC is not required to consider the issue of waste disposal in its consideration
of applications. As no long-term storage disposal solution for nuclear
waste has yet been identified, this means that all nuclear waste from
new generating facilities will have to be stored on-site for a significant
time-period. This has the potential to increase the risk of each site
to the environment, local populations and visitors and the level and nature
of this risk should be calculated and communicated to all local stakeholders
during the consultation process."
And what of the Cumbria Tourist Board? Will they also try and stay neutral?
We asked (July 2009) for their views on a future underground nuclear
dump and/or new nuclear power stations. Below is the response from their
Public Relations department.
tourism and nuclear industries in Cumbria have co-existed for many years
and a number of tourism businesses, such as Muncaster Castle and the Ravenglass
& Eskdale Railway, are successfully operating within close proximity
of Cumbria's current nuclear site at Sellafield.
the last three years, visitors to the Copeland area have grown at a faster
rate than any other part of the county - attracting an additional 7% of
visitors, which in turn resulted in an increase in the number of tourism
jobs in the area.
investment planned for Cumbria's West Coast should be welcomed, especially
in the current economic climate. Investment has the potential to deliver
a prosperous local economy, which will in turn make the area more attractive
to both visitors and locals as we will see improvements to the public
realm (the overall appearance of the place) and development in new facilities;
from accommodation to cultural attractions and facilities.
Tourism does not have the technical authority to comment on any specific
points raised that relate to the day-to-day operation of the Sellafield
site, but any issues that may effect visitors or tourism businesses are
immediately brought to our attention by our major partner, the County
Council who are represented on Cumbria Tourism's Executive Board.
is the case with any major development, we will closely monitor the impact
of potential nuclear new builds on both visitor enjoyment and our tourism
businesses and, along with the public, will have an opportunity to put
our (and our membership's) views forward as part of the Government's consultation
REACTION of Cumbrian Artist, Julian Heaton Cooper.
"I agree there is a great risk of the English Lake District being
'volunteered' for a future underground nuclear dump and organisations
such as the National Park Authority need to take a far more robust attitude
than appears to have been the case so far. It is no use custodians of
the Lake District staying neutral over the possibility of highly radioactive
waste, that is active for 27,000 years, being buried beneath the Western
Lakeland. Lakestay are quite right to highlight these concerns."
What may be coming
to Cumbria has already started in France:
In a €1-billion (US$1.3 billion) underground laboratory, the French
National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ANDRA) is testing the soundness
of the rock and the technologies to contain the waste. ANDRA scientists
are convinced that the rock formations can safely house highly radioactive
waste, and plan an industrial-scale facility that would open deep below
a 30-square-kilometre site in NE France by 2025. It would be among the
world's first geological repositories for high- and medium-level long-lived
nuclear waste and the largest. By contrast, development of the
United States' only proposed long-term repository, at Nevada's Yucca Mountain
site, has stalled again and looks set to be abandoned after two decades
of work and more than $10 billion in investment
Nuclear Dumping Plan for Cumbria
It is not just high and intermediate level nuclear waste the industry
needs to try and dispose of. By re branding some types of low level nuclear
waste as VERY LOW level waste, the industry hopes to get it buried in
the domestic and trade landfill dump at Lillyhall. Thus ironically the
more householders take the time to recycle their domestic waste the more
space they free up for burial of radioactive contaminated waste.
Mike Travis of EnergySolutions, was quoted in Feb 2010 stating:The
Environment Agency is broadly happy with it, the county council says we
do not need planning permission.
This is because in the past Lillyhall has already received similar types
Its all quite legitimate, said Mike Travis, because
under existing legislation there are 3,000 tones of what we call NORM
waste there naturally occurring radioactive material.
The legislation changed in 2007 with the re-issuing of government
policy on radioactive waste management so to comply we have to apply for
an environmental safety case and receive an authorisation.
the so called Environment Agency granted consent for low level nuke waste
to be buried in the domestic landfill site at Lillyhall and the nuke industies
desperate endless need for places to dispose of waste will also target
another Cumbrian location. More
Estimate: June 2010 in the Commons..Charles Hendry stated:
NDA's total discounted lifetime cost estimate for the establishment of
the geological disposal facility for higher activity wastes is £4.3
billion, of which NDA's share as shown in its Annual Report and Accounts
is £3.7 billion with the remainder being funded by other waste producers.
This investment will be incurred over a period of many decades and includes
costs for research, design, construction, operation and final closure.
June 4 2010:
News and Star reports...A geological survey of west Cumbria has begun
to screen out areas unsuitable for an underground repository.
UK independent geological experts The British Geological Survey (BGS)
has been commissioned by the Government to carry out a study of the geology
of the area as part of the early stages for locating a site for a disposal
facility for higher activity radioactive waste.