Cumbrian Nuclear Safety Group Urges a United Nations Investigation Into Waste Dump

Marianne Birkby | Radiation Free Lakeland

Cumbrian Nuclear Safety Group Urge a United Nations Investigation into Moorside. Moorside is the site of the proposed new nuclear build billed as “the biggest nuclear development in Europe, ” which happens to be right next to the Sellafield reprocessing plant and plutonium stockpiles.

Radiation Free Lakeland have written to the United Nations following the findings that the Hinkley new new build underway in Somerset is in violation of the European Transboundary Environmental Impact Convention (Espoo Convention).

The Cumbrian group question the UN saying: if Hinkley is in breach of the Espoo Convention then surely continued reprocessing at Sellafield and the plan for new build is too? Spokesperson Marianne Birkby says: “the one thing we are told that you do not do with a nuclear dump is disturb it, and yet that is exactly what is happening now with Moorside boreholes onbland and offshore stirring up the decades old “legacy” of nuclear wastes from Sellafield’s reprocessing, it is not just our European neighbours in the path of Sellafield’s toxic ‘legacy’, the resuspended nuclear wastes will travel as far as the Arctic in just four years.

The full letter to the United Nations Economic and Social Council below….

Radiation Free Lakeland are a volunteer group concerned with nuclear safety in Cumbria and we heartily welcome the United Nations use of the Espoo Convention which is a treaty about risks that come from pollution crossing national boundaries (wind and water), and the right of neighbouring countries to have a democratic voice about trans-boundary pollution.

The key finding of the UN Economic and Social Council is that Britain failed to notify neighbouring states and the general public of the threat of trans-boundary nuclear pollution from Hinkley Point C in the event of a major accident.

We have to ask the following questions: if Hinkley is in breach of the Espoo Convention then surely continued reprocessing at Sellafield and the plan for new build is too?

Much of the nuclear waste discharged from Sellafield does as was intended and disperses out to neihbouring countries. Radioactive waste from Sellafield being well documented in the environment from Scotland to the Arctic. Incredibly Sellafield’s radioactive waste takes just 4 years to reach the Arctic. However, much of the waste from reprocessing never reaches our European neighbours, instead it accumulates in our estuaries and on the silts of the Irish Sea bed off Sellafield.

As the British Geological Survey have pointed out: “The estuaries with their tidal dominance, are filling with sediment from seawards with little landward input from rivers. They therefore remain a sink for Sellafield’s particle- associated contaminants” So, a large proportion of all the waste ever discharged from Sellafield is sitting trapped within the silt and clay of the Irish Sea bed. The one thing that should not be done with a nuclear dump is disturb it. Let sleeping dumps lie.

Is the plan for the biggest nuclear development in Europe, next to Sellafield already in breach of the Espoo convention?

Hundreds of boreholes are being drilled right now on land and sea directly in the shadow of Sellafield’s accidental and routine discharges. There has been no scrutiny or debate on this as new nuclear build is now a “Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ which means that the normal planning laws are waived. The onshore boreholes were rubber stamped by one delegated Copeland Council officer.

The “slightly radioactively contaminated’ ground water from the onshore boreholes on the Moorside site is being pumped to the River Ehen which then flows to the Irish sea. Higher up the river, farmers at Ennerdale are under strict restrictions as to how they can use the river and yet when it reaches the Moorside site, the Ehen is used as a radioactive sewer.

The drilling rigs have just moved into place in the Irish Sea off Sellafield for the offshore drilling and blasting. It was hard to find any point at which people could object but we found out late in the day that this offshore borehole drilling activity needed a license from the Marine Management Organisation. Despite hundreds of letters, including a letter representing the thousands of people already opposing Moorside, NuGen were given the go ahead with drilling and inevitable resuspension of
Sellafield’s nuclear wastes.

Who was consulted?

Not Cumbrian Councillors, the Cumbrian public, The Isle of Man, Scotland nor Any European neighbours.

Please can you investigate this as The Biggest Nuclear Development in Europe appears to be going under the radar in every way.

Thank you
yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

(address supplied)


Letter of Objection to the Marine Management Organisation / Moorside
Boreholes –
Radiation Free Lakeland

Radioactivity and Pollution in the Nordic Seas and Arctic

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