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Divers enter Sellafield’s nuclear pool for first time in 65 years

A GROUP of specialist divers have entered Sellafield’s nuclear pool for the
first time in over 60 years. Divers have been carrying out vital clean-up
and decommissioning work in the oldest legacy storage pond on the
Sellafield site.

The last time a human entered Sellafield’s Pile Fuel
Storage Pond was in 1958, when records show a maintenance operator and
health physics monitor carried out a dive into the newly constructed pond
to repair a broken winch.The pool went out of use in the 1960s but now
divers have returned as part of work to decommission and clean up the site.

Carlisle News & Star 1st April 2023


April 5, 2023 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

At Sellafield nuclear site workers ready to go on strike

 Hundreds of Sellafield cleaners have voted to strike in anger at a broken
pay promise More than three hundred workers employed by Mitie at the
nuclear power plant have said they are ready to take industrial action.

Bosses had promised to up workers’ pay from November last year to help
with the cost of living crisis. Now they have gone back on their word and
say a pay rise will only be paid from April – six months later. Workers
and GMB representatives will meet in the coming days to discuss strike

 GMB 14th Feb 2023

February 15, 2023 Posted by | employment | Leave a comment

Dishonesty: British authorities knew it was wrong to proceed with the thermal oxide reprocessing plant (Thorp) at Sellafield.

Letter William Walker: In 1993, a government official told me that “it
was sometimes right to do the wrong thing”. For reasons of political
expediency, it was right to give political consent for the operation of the
thermal oxide reprocessing plant (Thorp) at Sellafield.

This huge facility, not mentioned in Samanth Subramanian’s fine long read, had been built over
the previous decade to reprocess British and foreign, especially Japanese,
spent nuclear fuels. Abandoning it would be too embarrassing for the many
politicians and their parties that had backed it, expensive in terms of
compensation for broken contracts, and damaging to Britain’s and the
nuclear industry’s international reputation.

It was wrong to proceed, as
the government well knew, because the primary justification for its
construction – supply of plutonium for fast breeder reactors (FBRs) – had
been swept away by the abandonment of FBRs in the 1980s (none were built

Because returning Thorp’s separated plutonium and radwaste to
Japan would be difficult and risky.

Because decommissioning Thorp would
become much more costly after its radioactive contamination.

Because there was a known win-win solution, favoured by most utilities – store the spent
fuel safely at Sellafield prior to its return to senders, avoiding the many
troubles that lay ahead.

Guardian 22nd Dec 2022

December 23, 2022 Posted by | history, politics, reprocessing, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Dismantling Sellafield: the epic task of shutting down a nuclear site

Nothing is produced at Sellafield anymore. But making safe what is left behind is an almost unimaginably expensive and complex task that requires us to think not on a human timescale, but a planetary one

Guardian, by Samanth Subramanian 15 Dec 22,

“……………………………………………………………………….. Laid out over six square kilometres, Sellafield is like a small town, with nearly a thousand buildings, its own roads and even a rail siding – all owned by the government, and requiring security clearance to visit………. having driven through a high-security gate, you’re surrounded by towering chimneys, pipework, chugging cooling plants, everything dressed in steampunk. The sun bounces off metal everywhere. In some spots, the air shakes with the noise of machinery. It feels like the most manmade place in the world.

Since it began operating in 1950, Sellafield has had different duties. First it manufactured plutonium for nuclear weapons. Then it generated electricity for the National Grid, until 2003. It also carried out years of fuel reprocessing: extracting uranium and plutonium from nuclear fuel rods after they’d ended their life cycles. The very day before I visited Sellafield, in mid-July, the reprocessing came to an end as well. It was a historic occasion. From an operational nuclear facility, Sellafield turned into a full-time storage depot – but an uncanny, precarious one, filled with toxic nuclear waste that has to be kept contained at any cost.

Nothing is produced at Sellafield any more. Which was just as well, because I’d gone to Sellafield not to observe how it lived but to understand how it is preparing for its end. Sellafield’s waste – spent fuel rods, scraps of metal, radioactive liquids, a miscellany of other debris – is parked in concrete silos, artificial ponds and sealed buildings. Some of these structures are growing, in the industry’s parlance, “intolerable”, atrophied by the sea air, radiation and time itself. If they degrade too much, waste will seep out of them, poisoning the Cumbrian soil and water.

To prevent that disaster, the waste must be hauled out, the silos destroyed and the ponds filled in with soil and paved over. The salvaged waste will then be transferred to more secure buildings that will be erected on site. But even that will be only a provisional arrangement, lasting a few decades. Nuclear waste has no respect for human timespans. The best way to neutralise its threat is to move it into a subterranean vault, of the kind the UK plans to build later this century.

Once interred, the waste will be left alone for tens of thousands of years, while its radioactivity cools. Dealing with all the radioactive waste left on site is a slow-motion race against time, which will last so long that even the grandchildren of those working on site will not see its end. The process will cost at least £121bn.

Compared to the longevity of nuclear waste, Sellafield has only been around for roughly the span of a single lunch break within a human life. Still, it has lasted almost the entirety of the atomic age, witnessing both its earliest follies and its continuing confusions. In 1954, Lewis Strauss, the chair of the US Atomic Energy Commission, predicted that nuclear energy would make electricity “too cheap to meter”. That forecast has aged poorly. The main reason power companies and governments aren’t keener on nuclear power is not that activists are holding them back or that uranium is difficult to find, but that producing it safely is just proving too expensive.

… The short-termism of policymaking neglected any plans that had to be made for the abominably lengthy, costly life of radioactive waste. I kept being told, at Sellafield, that science is still trying to rectify the decisions made in undue haste three-quarters of a century ago. Many of the earliest structures here, said Dan Bowman, the head of operations at one of Sellafield’s two waste storage ponds, “weren’t even built with decommissioning in mind”.

As a result, Bowman admitted, Sellafield’s scientists are having to invent, mid-marathon, the process of winding the site down – and they’re finding that they still don’t know enough about it. They don’t know exactly what they’ll find in the silos and ponds. They don’t know how much time they’ll need to mop up all the waste, or how long they’ll have to store it, or what Sellafield will look like afterwards. The decommissioning programme is laden “with assumptions and best guesses”, Bowman told me. It will be finished a century or so from now. Until then, Bowman and others will bend their ingenuity to a seemingly self-contradictory exercise: dismantling Sellafield while keeping it from falling apart along the way.

To take apart an ageing nuclear facility, you have to put a lot of other things together first. New technologies, for instance, and new buildings to replace the intolerable ones, and new reserves of money. (That £121bn price tag may swell further.) All of Sellafield is in a holding pattern, trying to keep waste safe until it can be consigned to the ultimate strongroom: the geological disposal facility (GDF), bored hundreds of metres into the Earth’s rock, a project that could cost another £53bn. Even if a GDF receives its first deposit in the 2040s, the waste has to be delivered and put away with such exacting caution that it can be filled and closed only by the middle of the 22nd century.

Anywhere else, this state of temporariness might induce a mood of lax detachment, like a transit lounge to a frequent flyer. But at Sellafield, with all its caches of radioactivity, the thought of catastrophe is so ever-present that you feel your surroundings with a heightened keenness. At one point, when we were walking through the site, a member of the Sellafield team pointed out three different waste storage facilities within a 500-metre radius. The spot where we stood on the road, he said, “is probably the most hazardous place in Europe”.

Sellafield’s waste comes in different forms and potencies. Spent fuel rods and radioactive pieces of metal rest in skips, which in turn are submerged in open, rectangular ponds, where water cools them and absorbs their radiation. The skips have held radioactive material for so long that they themselves count as waste. The pond beds are layered with nuclear sludge: degraded metal wisps, radioactive dust and debris. Discarded cladding, peeled off fuel rods like banana-skins, fills a cluster of 16-metre-deep concrete silos partially sunk into the earth.

More dangerous still are the 20 tonnes of melted fuel inside a reactor that caught fire in 1957 and has been sealed off and left alone ever since. Somewhere on the premises, Sellafield has also stored the 140 tonnes of plutonium it has purified over the decades. It’s the largest such hoard of plutonium in the world, but it, too, is a kind of waste, simply because nobody wants it for weapons any more, or knows what else to do with it.


………………………………… I only ever saw a dummy of a spent fuel rod; the real thing would have been a metre long, weighed 10-12kg, and, when it emerged from a reactor, run to temperatures of 2,800C, half as hot as the surface of the sun. In a reactor, hundreds of rods of fresh uranium fuel slide into a pile of graphite blocks. Then a stream of neutrons, usually emitted by an even more radioactive metal such as californium, is directed into the pile. Those neutrons generate more neutrons out of uranium atoms, which generate still more neutrons out of other uranium atoms, and so on, the whole process begetting vast quantities of heat that can turn water into steam and drive turbines.

During this process, some of the uranium atoms, randomly but very usefully, absorb darting neutrons, yielding heavier atoms of plutonium: the stuff of nuclear weapons. The UK’s earliest reactors – a type called Magnox – were set up to harvest plutonium for bombs; the electricity was a happy byproduct. The government built 26 such reactors across the country. They’re all being decommissioned now, or awaiting demolition. It turned out that if you weren’t looking to make plutonium nukes to blow up cities, Magnox was a pretty inefficient way to light up homes and power factories.

For most of the latter half of the 20th century, one of Sellafield’s chief tasks was reprocessing. Once uranium and plutonium were extracted from used fuel rods, it was thought, they could be stored safely – and perhaps eventually resold, to make money on the side. Beginning in 1956, spent rods came to Cumbria from plants across the UK, but also by sea from customers in Italy and Japan. Sellafield has taken in nearly 60,000 tonnes of spent fuel, more than half of all such fuel reprocessed anywhere in the world. The rods arrived at Sellafield by train, stored in cuboid “flasks” with corrugated sides, each weighing about 50 tonnes and standing 1.5 metres tall.

………….. at last, the reprocessing plant will be placed on “fire watch”, visited periodically to ensure nothing in the building is going up in flames, but otherwise left alone for decades for its radioactivity to dwindle, particle by particle.

ike malign glitter, radioactivity gets everywhere, turning much of what it touches into nuclear waste. The humblest items – a paper towel or a shoe cover used for just a second in a nuclear environment – can absorb radioactivity, but this stuff is graded as low-level waste; it can be encased in a block of cement and left outdoors. (Cement is an excellent shield against radiation. A popular phrase in the nuclear waste industry goes: “When in doubt, grout.”) Even the paper towel needs a couple of hundred years to shed its radioactivity and become safe, though. A moment of use, centuries of quarantine: radiation tends to twist time all out of proportion.

On the other hand, high-level waste – the byproduct of reprocessing – is so radioactive that its containers will give off heat for thousands of years. …………………………….

Waste can travel incognito, to fatal effect: radioactive atoms carried by the wind or water, entering living bodies, riddling them with cancer, ruining them inside out. During the 1957 reactor fire at Sellafield, a radioactive plume of particles poured from the top of a 400-foot chimney. A few days later, some of these particles were detected as far away as Germany and Norway. Near Sellafield, radioactive iodine found its way into the grass of the meadows where dairy cows grazed, so that samples of milk taken in the weeks after the fire showed 10 times the permissible level. The government had to buy up milk from farmers living in 500 sq km around Sellafield and dump it in the Irish Sea.

From the outset, authorities hedged and fibbed. For three days, no one living in the area was told about the gravity of the accident, or even advised to stay indoors and shut their windows. Workers at Sellafield, reporting their alarming radiation exposure to their managers, were persuaded that they’d “walk [it] off on the way home”, the Daily Mirror reported at the time. A government inquiry was then held, but its report was not released in full until 1988. For nearly 30 years, few people knew that the fire dispersed not just radioactive iodine but also polonium, far more deadly. The estimated toll of cancer deaths has been revised upwards continuously, from 33 to 200 to 240. Sellafield took its present name only in 1981, in part to erase the old name, Windscale, and the associated memories of the fire.

The invisibility of radiation and the opacity of governments make for a bad combination. Sellafield hasn’t suffered an accident of equivalent scale since the 1957 fire, but the niggling fear that some radioactivity is leaking out of the facility in some fashion has never entirely vanished. In 1983, a Sellafield pipeline discharged half a tonne of radioactive solvent into the sea. British Nuclear Fuels Limited, the government firm then running Sellafield, was fined £10,000. Around the same time, a documentary crew found higher incidences than expected of leukaemia among children in some surrounding areas. A government study concluded that radiation from Sellafield wasn’t to blame. Perhaps, the study suggested, the leukaemia had an undetected, infectious cause.

It was no secret that Sellafield kept on site huge stashes of spent fuel rods, waiting to be reprocessed. This was lucrative work. An older reprocessing plant on site earned £9bn over its lifetime, half of it from customers overseas. But the pursuit of commercial reprocessing turned Sellafield and a similar French site into “de facto waste dumps”, the journalist Stephanie Cooke found in her book In Mortal Hands. Sellafield now requires £2bn a year to maintain. What looked like a smart line of business back in the 1950s has now turned out to be anything but. With every passing year, maintaining the world’s costliest rubbish dump becomes more and more commercially calamitous.

The expenditure rises because structures age, growing more rickety, more prone to mishap. In 2005, in an older reprocessing plant at Sellafield, 83,000 litres of radioactive acid – enough to fill a few hundred bathtubs – dripped out of a ruptured pipe. The plant had to be shut down for two years; the cleanup cost at least £300m. …………………………………………………………………………….

Waste disposal is a completely solved problem,” Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, declared in 1979. He was right, but only in theory. The nuclear industry certainly knew about the utility of water, steel and concrete as shields against radioactivity, and by the 1970s, the US government had begun considering burying reactor waste in a GDF. But Teller was glossing over the details, namely: the expense of keeping waste safe, the duration over which it has to be maintained, the accidents that could befall it, the fallout of those accidents. Four decades on, not a single GDF has begun to operate anywhere in the world. Teller’s complete solution is still a hypothesis.

Instead, there have been only interim solutions, although to a layperson, even these seem to have been conceived in some scientist’s intricate delirium. High-level waste, like the syrupy liquor formed during reprocessing, has to be cooled first, in giant tanks. Then it is vitrified: mixed with three parts glass beads and a little sugar, until it turns into a hot block of dirty-brown glass. (The sugar reduces the waste’s volatility. “We like to get ours from Tate & Lyle,” Eva Watson-Graham, a Sellafield information officer, said.) Since 1991, stainless steel containers full of vitrified waste, each as tall as a human, have been stacked 10-high in a warehouse. If you stand on the floor above them, Watson-Graham said, you can still sense a murmuring warmth on the soles of your shoes.

Even this elaborate vitrification is insufficient in the long, long, long run. Fire or flood could destroy Sellafield’s infrastructure. Terrorists could try to get at the nuclear material. Governments change, companies fold, money runs out. Nations dissolve. Glass degrades. The ground sinks and rises, so that land becomes sea and sea becomes land. The contingency planning that scientists do today – the kind that wasn’t done when the industry was in its infancy – contends with yawning stretches of time. Hence the GDF: a terrestrial cavity to hold waste until its dangers have dried up and it becomes as benign as the surrounding rock.

A glimpse of such an endeavour is available already, beneath Finland. From Helsinki, if you drive 250km west, then head another half-km down, you will come to a warren of tunnels called Onkalo…………. If Onkalo begins operating on schedule, in 2025, it will be the world’s first GDF for spent fuel and high-level reactor waste – 6,500 tonnes of the stuff, all from Finnish nuclear stations. It will cost €5.5bn and is designed to be safe for a million years. The species that is building it, Homo sapiens, has only been around for a third of that time.

………. In the 2120s, once it has been filled, Onkalo will be sealed and turned over to the state. Other countries also plan to banish their nuclear waste into GDFs…. more

December 14, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, decommission reactor, technology | Leave a comment

Update on Toxic Culture at Sellafield Nuclear Plant: We Need the Truth — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

A message from Alison McDermott via CrowdJustice Update on Toxic Culture at Sellafield Nuclear Plant: We Need the Truth Dear Supporters, I have now launched a new crowdfunding site to cover the costs of my Appeal. When Whistleblowing Goes Nuclear. ( In essence, my whistleblowing case is still very much alive. I have an appeal listed at […]

Update on Toxic Culture at Sellafield Nuclear Plant: We Need the Truth — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

October 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Operation Sellafield: inside Britain’s deadliest clean-up job

  Few people ever enter the storage silo at Cumbria’s nuclear facility. David
Collins goes behind the scenes to see how engineers are disposing of waste
six times more radioactive than the Chernobyl explosion. Plus, take our
exclusive video tour.

Liz Truss, picking up where her predecessor Boris
Johnson left off, wants to expand Britain’s nuclear industry to tackle
the energy crisis, increasing capacity from 7GW to 24GW by 2050, providing
power to about a quarter of homes.

The Sellafield project I have come to see is a reminder that the nuclear solution can leave a very long-term legacy of logistical problems. Mistakes have been made in Britain’s
nuclear past; the Sellafield clean-up may provide reassurance that we have
learnt from them.

Britain’s first nuclear power station, Calder Hall,
went online here in 1956, powered by a Magnox nuclear reactor. It was
switched off in 2003. Sellafield may be best known to some as the scene of
the Windscale fire, one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, which
raged for three days in October 1957.

Milk from cows for 200 square miles
was contaminated and 260 people developed cancer, with 32 dying as a

No power for the national grid or weapons material is produced at
Sellafield today, its role now perhaps less glamorous but essential: making
nuclear waste safe. This waste includes the leftovers from the four EDF
nuclear power stations at Torness, Heysham, Sizewell and Hartlepool, as
well as radioactive materials from the likes of hospital scanners.

Until 2018, it also dealt with others’ waste: Germany, Spain and the
Netherlands would ship hazardous by-products to Sellafield to be processed
and returned in metal barrels. At one point Sellafield was handling 800
tonnes of foreign waste a year at a lucrative fee of £1 million per tonne.

The Magnox Swarf Storage Silo is essentially a nuclear waste dump, its
contents dating from a time when less thought was given to how the waste
should be handled in the long term. According to a 2020 public accounts
committee report, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the body
responsible for the clean-up of the country’s nuclear waste, has a
“perpetual” lack of knowledge about the condition of the UK’s nuclear
sites due to Cold War-era mismanagement.

Accurate records were simply not kept. “I wouldn’t judge the future on the history of the past,” says
Halliwell. “I don’t condone what’s gone on previously. But if we
demonstrate we can manage these materials successfully, we can offer some
confidence to an expanded nuclear industry, because I fully believe, given
some of the problems we are experiencing at the moment, that we need a
buoyant nuclear industry for electricity generation.”

The government wants to build more reactors — mostly Small Modular Reactors, or SMRs.
These are basically mini nuclear power stations, with reactors capable of
generating about one third of the capacity of a traditional nuclear power
reactor. Rolls-Royce is developing a type of SMR with help from government
funding. It believes they are clean, low-cost and easier to set up than a
traditional nuclear plant. Sellafield is bidding to build one of the
new-generation mini reactors on its own site, continuing its legacy of
being at the forefront of Britain’s nuclear history.

 Times 24th Sept 2022

September 26, 2022 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Sellafield, Britain’s most dangerous building, in the decades-long process of getting its nuclear waste cleaned up.

Britain’s most dangerous building is finally to be made safe after
engineers began removing nuclear waste from an ageing silo left over from
the arms race of the Cold War. Sellafield, at the edge of the Lake District
in Cumbria, has taken the first steps in a project described as the nuclear
industry’s equivalent of putting a man on the moon.

It has spent the past
two decades searching for a solution to the seemingly intractable problem
of cleaning up 10,000 cubic metres of radioactive sludge housed inside a
concrete silo. Known as Magnox, the silo was built in the late 1950s to
receive waste from Britain’s atomic weapons development programme, as
well as its growing fleet of nuclear reactors.

Today it holds roughly 80
per cent of all of Britain’s nuclear waste. For decades the waste has
been dissolving into a highly dangerous and potentially explosive mix
within a building no longer fit for purpose, leading to it being described
as the “most hazardous building in western Europe” – a description
Sellafield itself uses.

In 2005 a leak containing 20 metric tons of uranium
and 160kg of plutonium was discovered to have escaped from one of the
containers. The Office for Nuclear Regulation, the public watchdog, has
designated the building “an intolerable risk”.

This week, the plant
removed the first batch of waste from one of the silo’s 22 compartments
using a robotic arm specially designed for the task. The radioactive
material is then encased in cement, immobilising it to prevent any leakage,
and placed inside a metal container designed to store it permanently. The
project, which has been 20 years in the making and will take an estimated
further 20 years to complete, costs roughly £2 billion a year. Phil
Hallington, head of policy at Sellafield, described the project as the
nuclear industry’s equivalent of putting a man on the moon.

 Times 16th June 2022

June 18, 2022 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Sellafield Update 2022

nuClear News, May 2922, Executive Summary

Spent fuel from the UK’s first-generation Magnox reactors is still being reprocessed. It was
scheduled to end in 2012 to help the UK meet its international obligations to end the radioactive
pollution of the north-east Atlantic. It’s now scheduled to end later this year.
At the end of 2021, the First Generation Magnox Storage Pond (FGMSP), one of Sellafield’s most
hazardous facilities, and the Pile Fuel Storage Pond (PFSP) still contained 75% of the legacy
spent fuel which has to be removed and placed in interim storage. This degraded fuel won’t be
in interim storage until 2025. It will then have to be conditioned, and eventually transferred to
the proposed Geological Disposal Facility by 2125.

Spent fuel
The Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) has closed, and almost 5,000 tonnes of unreprocessed spent fuel from the UK’s second-generation Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs)
will be stored in ponds at Sellafield until at least 2075. In addition, an estimated 141 tonnes of
exotic fuel will remain in storage once the Magnox reprocessing plant closes, and isn’t expected
to be in a modern interim storage facility until 2028. Sellafield is also contracted to receive and
store spent submarine fuel from the MoD.

The government has yet to decide about possible re-use or disposal of the 140 tonnes of
plutonium stored at Sellafield. Its preferred option is to re-use it in Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) for
nuclear reactors, but some plutonium will be unsuitable for this and will need to be immobilised
and treated as a waste for disposal. Some of the older plutonium packages and facilities are
amongst the highest hazards on the Sellafield site. All plutonium needs to be gradually transferred to a new store, and two more stores are likely to be required – one is expected to be
ready in 2033 and the second in 2040.

High Level Waste
High Level Waste (HLW) Liquors, left over after reprocessing, need to be constantly cooled
otherwise they would start to boil causing radioactivity to escape and contaminate the
surrounding environment. Conversion of these liquors into a solid form and emplacement in
storage is not expected to be complete until 2030. The solid waste will remain in storage until
‘disposal’ by 2104. All HLW belonging to overseas customers should be returned by 2025.
Levels of risk
In 2013 Sellafield was described as posing an “intolerable risk”. Then in 2018 it was reported
that “work to reduce risk and high hazard at Sellafield has taken an encouraging turn for the
better”. Since then, the site has not been much in the news, but there is still a lot of work to do,
as many of the risks remain. And the timescales for carrying out this work are simply
staggering. According to the UK Radioactive Waste Inventory decommissioning won’t be
complete until around 2090 and then all buildings won’t be demolished until 2120 – almost a
century from now. (1)

Continue reading

May 19, 2022 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Beaches near Sellafield contaminated with radioactive particles.

 Radiation Free Lakeland has written to Cumbria Wildlife Trust asking them
to cancel the “Sea-Coastal Foraging Evening” at St Bees on 18th May.
Who doesn’t love to forage for food on the beach? The problem with
beaches near Sellafield (and not so near) is that radioactive particles are
routinely washed onto the beaches and into the abundant wild food found on
our beaches. Sellafield has blighted our coasts and continues to do so with
impunity thanks to the criminal nonchalance promoted by events like the one
organised by Cumbria Wildlife Trust. The risk to health is very real,
especially to the young and the pregnant.

 Radiation Free Lakeland 15th May 2022

May 17, 2022 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

The radioactive ‘Cumbrian mud patch’ would be shaken up by a coal mine at theSellafield site

A tsunami of radioactive wastes now largely inert (apart from tidal processes) would be resuspended in the water column – returning to the shores and to the rest of the world. It takes only 4 years for Sellafield’s seaborne waste to reach the Arctic. The coal mine would cause subsidence and resulting resuspension of nuclear wastes.

*Sellafield** A great article by Paul Brown below – there is however a big elephant in the room regarding this story. The elephant in the room is the Cumbrian Mud Patch – the radioactive silts on the Irish Sea bed resulting from decades of reprocessing. The coal mine due to be decided upon soon by Government (after Planning Inspector Stephen Normington makes his recommendation) would churn up this nuclear crapola on the seabed.

A tsunami of radioactive wastes now largely inert (apart from tidal processes) would be resuspended in the water column – returning to the shores and to the rest of the world. It takes only 4 years for Sellafield’s seaborne waste to reach the Arctic. The coal mine would cause subsidence and resulting resuspension of nuclear wastes. The coal mine would cause earthquakes.

Both these outcomes are not “likely” they are certain. The coal mine CEO is also employed
by government as advisor on the plans for a deep (and not so deep) nuclear dump for heat generating nuclear wastes – you couldn’t make it up. 

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole 12th Feb

February 14, 2022 Posted by | oceans, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

UK close to opening coal mine under Marine Conservation Zone just 5 miles from Sellafield nuclear facility!

 The Coal Mine planning inspector Stephen Normington will, any day now, be
making his recommendation to government (the same government who have
appointed the coal boss as nuclear dump advisor). Then the final decision
will be with Secretary of State Michael Gove on whether or not to open a
new coal mine under the Marine Conservation Zone off St Bees and just five
miles from Sellafield. Concerns, aside from climate, raised by Keep
Cumbrian Coal in the Hole since 2017, regarding seismic, nuclear and marine
impacts have been well and truly ‘talked over’ despite our vehement

 Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole 5th Feb 2022

February 7, 2022 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

Coronavirus cases doubled in a few days at Sellafield nuclear site

 CORONAVIRUS cases at Sellafield have more than doubled in a week as
Omicron continues to spread rapidly throughout the county. Numbers of cases
among those employed on the site rose from 320 in the week to Wednesday 29,
up to 712 in the week to January 5.

 Carlisle News & Star 7th Jan 2022

January 8, 2022 Posted by | health, UK | Leave a comment

Plutonium found on a beach near Sellafield

 While in Cumbria on a visit hosted by Radiation Free Lakeland in 2015,
former United States Nuclear Industry Regulator Arnie Gundersen now nuclear
educator with Fairewinds took samples from the beaches. These samples were
tested back in the US. One of the samples unintentionally collected was
found in Arnie’s coat pocket. It turned out to be plutonium. “Arnie’s
time sampling near Sellafield is part of our worldwide campaign to protect
families and communities from the devasting and lasting impact of radiation
exposure. Currently, we have begun the process of researching and
documenting our Irish Sea data for another peer-reviewed journal

 Radiation Free Lakeland 27th Dec 2021

December 30, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, UK | Leave a comment

Sellafield workers told to return home due to flood warning – (climate change hitting nuclear again?)

 NUCLEAR power plant workers are being told to return home due to heavy
rainfall flooding parts of Cumbria. A spokesman for the West Cumbrian power
plant Sellafield issued a statement online advising people to only travel
if strictly necessary.

The warning comes after the county was battered with
heavy rainfall and flooding. A spokesman for Sellafield said: “Cumbria
Police say the threat of flooding in Cumbria remains high and are advising
people to only travel if strictly necessary and to take pre-emptive action
to protect themselves.

 Whitehaven News 28th Oct 2021

October 30, 2021 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Allowed Earth Shocks from Coal Mine Five Miles From Sellafield Would Be As Great as That from Continous Blasting….Unless…. — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

In amongst the vast acres of NGO and press focus on climate/steel/jobs we managed to get the Inspector’s attention on seismicity near Sellafield. No mean feat considering the Secretary of State has not asked to be informed on seismic impacts or subsidence just five miles from the world’s riskiest nuclear waste site, Sellafield and the […]

Allowed Earth Shocks from Coal Mine Five Miles From Sellafield Would Be As Great as That from Continous Blasting….Unless…. — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

October 4, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment