International Radioactive Waste Action Day

Tagged as: anti-militarism cumbria environmentalism nuclear social_struggles waste
Neighbourhoods: america canada cumbria

International Radioactive Waste Action Day is 29th Sept. The date was chosen to commemorate the worst known radioactive waste disaster -- a reprocessing storage tank explosion, following loss of cooling water, in the Ural Mountains of Siberia on Sept. 29, 1957 . An entire region contaminated, hundreds immediately killed and the poisoning and death of many more since, due to the lingering radioactive contamination of a vast area of the environment.


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Cumbrian group Radiation Free Lakeland have sent a message to Lakeland Leaders including Cumbria County Council, The Bishop of Carlisle, Cumbria Tourism and the Lake District National Park Authority asking that they take two actions to ensure Cumbria has a viable future. The attached Map, "A Pictorial View of the Lakes Nuclear  Sacrifice Zone?" will be hand delivered to the Leaders on 29th Sept. 

Action 1 - Stop Radioactive Wastes going into Landfill 
Action 2 - Oppose the Geological Disposal of High Level Nuclear Wastes 

Cumbria County Council and nuclear industry representatives are discussing how they can best accommodate the new deregulation of the nuclear industry which now allows nuclear waste into landfill. Lillyhall landfill in West Cumbria is already recieving nuclear waste from Chapel Cross nuclear plant in Scotland. The Cumbrian landfill operator has applied to take even higher level wastes. Keekle Head a former mine, quarry and near the source of the important River Keekle is earmarked to take similar dangerous wastes to those that are currently stored at Drigg. 

A spokesperson for Radiation Free Lakeland said "instead of looking at how best to accommodate the new law which allows "exempt" nuclear waste into landfill - our leaders should be insisting that Chris Huhne reverses this law which runs counter to health and the environment. The nuclear industry is being dangerously deregulated." 

Nuke Landfill – Unexpected Doses Possible 

This Summer the Government reported that even if radioactive wastes were legally dumped in landfill, people still may be contaminated in ways that hadn’t been thought of. This means that any claims that the future doses from Nuke Landfill have been carefully calculated – simply cannot be trusted. 
Guidance (page 14) para 2.32 Draft Guidance on Exemptions Framework under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (Schedule 23 to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2011) 11th August 2010 

If the dose from lower level radioactive wastes dumped in landfill cannot be trusted the resulting contamination from geological disposal of high level wastes could result in Cumbria's permanent blight. 

These two actions to : 
Stop the dumping of nuclear waste in landfill and 
Oppose geological disposal of high level wastes- 
would ensure that Cumbria has the chance of a viable future. 
All the compensation in the world is not enough ......... 

---------------------------- Original Message ---------------------------- 
Subject: Sept 29th - Cumbria Radioactive Waste Action Day 
Date: Mon, September 27, 2010 12:00 pm 

RAdiation Free Lakeland 

Mr Ian Stephens 
Cumbria Tourism 
Windermere Road 
LA8 9PL 27th Sept 2010 

Dear Mr Stephens, 

Sept. 29th is International Radioactive Waste Action Day! 

Radiation Free Lakeland are supporting this initiative and we are writing to you as the chief executive of Cumbria Tourism to ask if you would consider taking two actions to ensure Cumbria has a viable future. We are also writing to Cumbria County Council, The Lake District National Park Authority and the Bishop of Carlisle to urge them to support International Radioactive Waste Action Day. 

Action 1 - Stop Radioactive Waste going to Landfill 

Lillyhall, near Workington is receiving radioactive asbestos from Scotland, bagged up in skip lorries. The existing planning consents for Lillyhall are specific to composting and "inert" material processing. There were no objections at the time of the original consent for the landfill but there was no mention of radioactive asbestos being tumble tipped into same landfill that sells compost. Radioactive waste in large volumes is going into Cumbrian landfill today because of the (quietly introduced) deregulation of radioactive wastes. Lillyhall is "the first." Other landfill sites in Cumbria will follow unless this deregulation 'exempt' law, which runs counter to the protection of human health and the environment, is scrapped. 

Please Write to Secretary of State Chris Huhne to urge immediate reversal of the 2007 ‘law’, which reclassifies radioactive wastes, allowing them out of sight out of mind and into landfill. (briefing document sent via email) 

Action 2 – Oppose Geological Disposal of High Level Nuclear Waste 

The 'Partnership' process is aimed solely at steering 'volunteer' communities into the acceptance of deep disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. The safer option of above ground and retrievable waste management is not even on the agenda. If the 'volunteer' process fails then the government "will look at other options" to force 'disposal', [DECC – New Build RadWaste Summary (Nov ’09) – para 106 page 23] We take this to mean forcing an underground high level nuclear dump (or more than one dump) on communities. The ‘geological disposal’ plan is looking to include New Build wastes, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change is keen to give the appearance of having 'solved the problem of nuclear waste 'in order to go ahead with new build. In March of this year Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates identified over 100 problems with disposal, and a report published this month by Dr Helen Wallace, for Greenpeace International confirms that deep disposal of radioactive wastes has the “potential for significant radiological releases through a variety of mechanisms”. 

The media and others are describing Cumbria as having “volunteered” as host for a deep disposal site. This is disingenuous, Cumbria County Councillors were denied a vote, with the decision being taken by less than 5 people in the Cabinet. In November Allerdale Councillors will be discussing a proposal to withdraw their “expression of interest” In geological disposal. 

Dr Rachel Western an expert in the chemistry of nuclear wastes has said: 

“Given the possible implications of the project for the Cumbrian economy and the well-being of Cumbrians it is imperative that Allerdale ensures that is not shepherded into a nuclear waste burial scheme that results in the area becoming permanently blighted". 

Radiation Free Lakeland has formally registered a firm commitment to an expression of opposition to geological disposal of nuclear wastes, to ensure a viable future for Cumbria. 

Please write to Secretary of State, Chris Huhne with Cumbria Tourism’s opposition to the geological disposal of nuclear wastes. Deep disposal of radioactive waste is not the best way to protect Cumbria from the dangers that these wastes present. ( “Rock Solid” report by Dr Helen Wallace sent via email) 

Radiation Free Lakeland 


more info 

Actions are taking place worldwide 



International Radioactive Waste Action Day


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