Residents Action on Fylde Fracking

Please help to stop Moorside nuclear development in Cumbria

The 2nd Moorside Consultation for the *biggest nuclear development in Europe* finishes on 30th July.

Too Big and Too Nasty to Fight ..is the View of the Proposed Moorside Plan from so many good people like the Director of Cumbria Wildlife Trust who feel utterly defeated by the nuclear juggernaught coming our way. This is of course what the industry wants you to think. BUT WE CAN DEFEAT THEM, ALL IT TAKES IS YOU. Thousands of people have already joined the Resistance

We advise that as many people as possible write, phone, email to tell NuGen in your own words that : I do not recognise this Consultation as valid….

Email: info@nugeneration.com or go through their CONsultation page here.

Our letter is below for ideas. Even one or two lines on a Lakeland postcard to FREEPOST – MOORSIDE HAVE YOUR SAY Just say a strong NO NO NO. If you have time send copies of your letter to your MP, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, National Trust, and as many groups as you can think of. This obscene development would impact all of us.

Below is a  sample letter and a longer response from Radiation Free Lakeland to use as a basis for your letter..make it as large or as small as you like.

 

Dear NuGen,

I do not recognise the validity of your consultation process as it does not include the option of halting the proposal which if it is allowed to continue will be extremely damaging to public health, the environment and economic development in Cumbria, the north of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Greenland, Iceland, The Arctic and Norway, which have all already been subjected to toxic and radioactive contamination from Sellafield in Cumbria, and beyond.

The building of three, giant, nuclear reactors in Cumbria is not needed nor wanted. A straigthforward yes / no, online poll in the local paper indicated that 85% of 1268 voters said NO to New Nuclear in Cumbria.

This development involves unproven technology and a company, Toshiba who are unable to halt
the flow of toxic radioactive contamination into the ocean years after the Fukushima catastrophe.

Online poll: https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/85-of-cumbrians-say-no-to-nuclear-nightmare-while-nugen-peddle-their-fairytale-in-beckermet/ 

Yours sincerely,

Name:

Address:

 

CONSULTATION RESPONSE FROM RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

2nd NuGen Consultation

*Help Us Shape Our Plans* towards the building of Moorside.

Background

Radiation Free Lakeland does not recognise the first or second NuGen Consultation as being valid. This Consultation rests upon the shoulders of previously unjust and predetermined consultations. These have led to the UKs National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power and the ditching of any scrutiny through a public inquiry by making nuclear power a Nationally Significant Infrastructure project.

The May 2007 Energy White Paper stated that *Nuclear power supplies 7.5% of total UK energy supplies.* When the reality is 3.6% energy contribution. The White paper talks of Home Grown, Security of Supply again this is a nonsense with the uranium for Moorside planned to come from Kazakhstan where Toshiba (60% of NuGen) own uranium interests. The “nuclear supplies 7.5% of total UK energy supplies” lie was repeated and published in double page adverts by NuGen during the first Consultation.

Spiking Dissent

A consultation that seeks to spike dissent and narrow the game down to *helping us shape our plans* is not valid. When the most informed and well-educated members of a community feel that the consultation holds *no option to stop this happening* then we can be sure that at least tens of thousands of people have been well and truly spiked. Cumbria Wildlife Trust have almost 15,000 members. Those thousands of spiked people are the very people who would be most concerned to protect Moorside’s Site of Special Scientific Interest, the River Ehen, three County Wildlife sites, Shingle beach, A large section of the St Bees to Ravenglass marine Conservation Zone, Trees, Woodland and at least 2km of ancient hedgerow. This makes NuGen’s CONsultation a sham. To reinforce this message and add a shade of green, NuGen have “teamed up” with Cumbria Wildlife Trust at Gillerthwaite Mire, Ennerdale. We note with alarm that this is exactly the same area that has previously been eyed up for geological dumping of heat generating waste. NuGen’s Environmental Sustainability Manager, Alexandra Brennan, said: NuGen is committed to protecting the environment close to our Moorside Project, which is home to some very special, important and increasingly rare habitats – the peatland at Gillerthwaite Mire is a really good example and that’s why we jumped at the opportunity to volunteer our time and help with this work….

We wonder how much money has already changed hands and how many *replacement habitats*  are promised to CWT? Tens of £thousands have been paid to CWT from SITA, whose parent company is ENGIE (40% NuGen).

Displace and ReplaceIn Ennerdale, farmers are strictly regulated as to how they can use the river Ehen and rightly so. However, this regulation is meaningless. When the river reaches its lower reaches alongside the Irish Sea it is now being used as a dumping ground for NuGen’s 300 Exploratory Borehole wastes. The West Cumbria Rivers Trust who are coordinating the £300m plan here in Cumbria to save the freshwater mussel have told us that : we are not a lobbying organisation, and in addition, we do not have any funds available ..We are aware of the Moorside development and their plans, and being such a large scale project in this area, we have been responding where we can, with our very limited resources, as a stakeholder to the various environmental assessments and shaping of the scope of the assessments as the development progresses. We feel our knowledge and resources are best placed within ensuring the development proposal as it progresses, has the best possible strategies for reducing runoff and not impeding migratory fish rather than a blanket campaign against the development in general….

So, armed with the advice from complicit conservation groups what do NuGen say they are going to do about the Receptor freshwater pearl mussels?  :it would be necessary to mitigate any detrimental effects by relocating individual mussels. NuGen also say they will :provide enhanced/replacement habitats for species that will be displaced.

This is of course nonsense and the conservation groups advising NuGen in their heart of hearts must know that it is nonsense. Habitats such as the River Ehen, the floodplain of the Ehen, the Irish Sea, Duddon and Morecambe Bay Estuaries are irreplaceable. Alongside the mussels, Displacement of badgers, otters and other diverse wildlife is being promoted. In the case of badgers and so much else the displacement has already started with the drilling of the 300 Exploratory Boreholes on a staggering 552 hectares of varied habitat. We have heard that farmers neighbouring this greenfield site are non-too pleased to receive the “displaced” badgers. Farmers themselves are also being displaced with the existing Petersburgh Farm airbrushed out of the latest NuGen consultation site maps. It seems that farmers, otters and the fresh water pearl mussels are whether they like it or not, also Helping to Shape the Moorside plan.

Human Right to Health

The government and industry insists that the DOSE from radioactive emissions from nuclear power plants is not enough to have caused the well documented 10 fold excess of childhood leukaemia’s here in Cumbria. Instead the government and the media have subjected Cumbria to headlines trumpeting the “population mixing” theory as the cause of childhood leukaemia. NuGen enjoys full government support in Cumbria with the plan to import over 4000 temporary workers to build the biggest nuclear plant in Europe. Beckermet, the village in which Moorside is situated is a village of 1619 people. Cumbrians suffer a double whammy in that the government refuse to acknowledge that radioactive emissions are responsible for increased leukaemia’s but also refuse to take responsibility for their Population Mixing theory.

Dr Paul Dorfman served as Secretary to the UK governmental scientific advisory Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE) who reported on the issue of childhood leukaemia clusters. He has told Radiation Free Lakeland that: Regards future risk of childhood ill-health in Cumbria – I, like you, am of the clear opinion that the acknowledged significant increase in childhood leukaemia in Cumbria is associated with radiation releases from nuclear power plant. However, there is no question but that the view of the key UK governmental radiation risk scientific advisory body – the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) – is that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is most likely associated with a ‘population mixing’. In other words, COMARE, and hence the UK government state that the Cumbrian childhood leukaemia excess is due to a novel virus brought in by a large number of construction workers which then goes on to infect a relatively isolated local population who do not have a defense against this virus. In this context, the UK government must take responsibility for this view. Thus the UK government must inform the local community to expect a potential increase in risk of childhood leukeamia following the construction of the planned nuclear facility at Moorside.

We have asked Tim Farron MP to press the Secretary of State again on this, so far the answers have been to brush away and ignore concerns.

Conclusion

Although the area is huge we have been informed by former US nuclear regulator Arnie Gundersen that three AP1000 units: simply will not fit. He has told us that: Construction needs and siting of the switchyard and siting the intake and discharge piping cannot be sandwiched into that small site. More land is required, driving costs up.

The network of roads will make emergency evacuation planning difficult. The sea and the mountains force evacuation southward. We note that the Copeland Local Plan for 2001 to 2016 says there should be NO NEW HAZARDOUS DEVELOPMENT or POPULATION INCREASE NEAR SELLAFIELD

Cooling towers are still an Option. But the towers would pull water from the Irish Sea and the drift from the towers would contain radiological contamination from Sellafield. Off shore cooling would mean heated discharges directly into the Irish sea through pipes perhaps three miles off shore, which stirs up benthic contamination as well as radionuclides.

NuGen were coy about the transmission corridor. This cannot be a single line of pylons through Cumbria as many of those campaigning against the pylons believed. Instead there would be two corridors at least 10 miles apart. Two separate transmission corridors would be needed from three AP1000 reactors for “safety.”

Constructing three units in six years has never been successfully achieved even with “modular” construction and no AP1000 reactors have ever been fired up anywhere. The construction schedule is a fantasy, as are the costs. BUT the financial costs are the least of it. The real costs would be to health, to the environment and to the well-being and the future of Cumbria and all our neighbours across the Irish Sea.

NuGen ask us to : Help Shape Our Plans

The only shape we can logically offer is…..

Stop Moorside

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby, On behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

(address supplied)

 

References

National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power is flawed http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmenergy/231/231we93.htm

Nuclear UK Energy Supplies: Lies Damned Lies and Statistics http://www.theecologist.org/campaigning/2884401/lies_damned_lies_and_energy_
statistics_why_nuclear_is_so_much_less_than_it_claims_to_be.html

Moorside is too big and nasty to fight say Cumbria Wildlife Trust
https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/moorside-is-just-too-big-and-too-nasty-to-fight-say-cumbria-wildlife-trust-come-on-stop-moorside-demo-this-saturday-23rd-july-in-whitehaven-10am-till-noon/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

The Ennerdale Granite
http://www.davidsmythe.org/nuclear/ennerdale%2031oct12.pdf

NuGen Lends a Hand for World Environment Dayhttp://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/news/2016/06/07/nugen-volunteers-lend-hand-world-environment-day

SITA (ENGIE) and Foulshaw Moss http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/NEWS/11694997.Cumbria_Wildlife_Trust
_awarded___60_000_to_create_40_hectares_of_reedbed_at_Foulshaw_Moss

Toshiba in Kazakhstan
http://www.neimagazine.com/news/newstoshiba-in-kazakhstan-uranium-project-

Copeland’s Local Plan 2016
https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/planning-for-tomorrow-with-nugens-fergus-mcmorrow/

 

Additional Info:

Confuse the Public with a Consultation

A pile of documents, some with over one hundred and twenty pages, all full of jargon, technical drawings and acronyms (DCO, GDA, NPPF, NPS EN-6, NN NPS,LEP, TTWA, AOD, BLF, MOLF, and so many more – most without explanation!) does not, in our opinion, have any resemblance to a consultation. The whole edifice is based on the premise that the proposed construction will inevitably go ahead, and the text is designed to convey only that. Whether the documentation is in any way suitable for a sensible debate with people who are more at home dealing with more mundane things is doubtful.

Does anyone from the public understand what a Harbour Empowerment Order is? They are expected to.

Sellafield’s Own Environmental Survey Says That Nuclear is Not CO2-Free

According to a sustainability appraisal that was undertaken in 2012 by Sellafield and NDA (the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority), the Sellafield nuclear site emitted 258,000 tonnes of CO2 and equivalents, a significant amount arising as a result of the consumption of 397,000 MW/h of energy, compared to 281,000 tonnes of CO2, and 411,000 MW/h of energy in 2011. [From that we arrive at 539,000 tonnes of CO2 and 808 MWh of electricity. It is not clear whether those figures include the resources used by the Fellside power generating plant which produces electricity for Sellafield.] Sellafield stopped generating electricity in 2003, but still produces all this CO2.

NuGen’s site will require permanently available emergency power generation. What will happen if this fails?

Both sites are located between 5 m and 50 m Above Ordnance Datum (AOD) along the Cumbria coastline. They are generally protected from coastal flooding by cliffs, the shingle spit of the Ehen and a railway embankment. However, coastal erosion and sea level rise has the potential to affect the southern end of the Sellafield site within the next 100 years if existing defences are not maintained.

Given the proposed longevity of the NuGen site, is it unreasonable to expect similar inundations will affect that site, too?

An estimated 1,600 m3 of soil is contaminated with radioactive material to Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) levels at Sellafield. This contamination reflects the industrial activities that have taken place on the site. We believe it is likely that the Moorside site must be similarly contaminated.

As well as the estimated 1,600 m3 of soil contaminated to ILW levels there is also estimated to be just over 1,000,000 m3 of soil contaminated to LLW levels. There is also estimated to be some 11,800,000 m3 of soil contaminated with radioactive material which will require management as High Volume Very Low Level Waste (HVVLLW). [So, nearly 13,000,000 cubic metres of contamination, not to mention the aquifer that is carrying leached radioactivity into the sea.]

Since 2006, the application of enhanced beach monitoring near Sellafield using the techniques developed for Dounreay has identified a number [over 1750 to March, 2013] of contaminated finds on local beaches. Arrangements are in place to monitor for these items and recover those which are found. The greater majority of these will never be found by the beach monitoring system. In fact more radioactive materials will already be arriving on the beaches as a result of NuGen’s “exploratory” boreholes disturbing decades of Sellafield’s reprocessing discharges.

The beach at Dounreay was closed to the public. Despite more radioactive particles being found on Cumbrian beaches, they are still open to the public and no warning notices are in place. Cumbria Wildlife Trust encourage youngsters to spend hours making sandcastles at St Bees during fund raising days.

In 2012, some 6.02 million m3 of water was abstracted from a number of sources. During this period the net amount of water used by the Sellafield site was 3.48 million m3. NuGen intend to apply to add their needs to this abstraction. Sellafield pay no commercial rates for this water.

NuGen’s requirement would be for a billion (1,000,000,000) gallons a day of cooling water.

“There should also be specific measures to minimise impact to fish and aquatic biota by entrainment or by excessive heat or biocidal chemicals from discharges to receiving waters.” Fat chance!

Kitchen sink chemicals? We think not

Anyone who has been to a Cuadrilla roadshow or talk will have heard their personnel scoff at concerns residents may have about the chemicals used in the fracking process. We have been constantly told that the chemicals they plan to use can all be found under your kitchen sink.

We have received the following information about Broadford Bridge in West Sussex which lists the chemicals the drilling company is permitted to use – unsurprisingly they’re not your average domestic chemicals at all. The information comes, via Julie Wassmer, from Martin Dale, author of Balcombe and Beyond.

 

“Broadford Bridge is being touted as a conventional exploration well, but in a quarterly return to the Securities and Exchange Commission (a legal requirement for American companies, which have to sign a statement under threat of severe criminal penalties that what is stated within the returns is 100% accurate) in March 2014, this was stated:

“A complete suite of logs and cores is planned to be collected from the Kimmeridge Clay and Liassic formations, which we believe will provide technical data, icluding thickness, oil maturity, formation pressure, and rock brittlesness, to be able to assess the potential for unconventional development of these formations”.

Chemicals permitted for use at Broadford Bridge:
• Barium Sulfate
• Calcium Chloride
• Calcium Hydroxide
• Carbohydrate
• Polyanionic Cellulose
• Crystalline Silica Quartz
• Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether
• Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether
• Fatty Acid, Tall-Oil with Diethylenetriamine, maleic, anhydride, tetraethylenepentamine and triethylenetriamine
• Hydrocarbons C11 to C14, N-Alkanes, Isoalkanes, Cyclics
• Hydrotreated Light Petroleum Distilate
• Polymer in an Aqueous Emulsion
• Sodium Carbonate
• Sodium Hydroxide
• Xanthan Gum
• Calcined Petroleum Coke
• Calcium Carbonate
• Crystalline Silica Cristoballite
•Crystalline Silica Tridymite
• Methanol
• Mica
• Morpholine Process Residues
• 5-Methyl Oxazolidine
• Nitrilotriacetic Acid, Trisodium Salt Monohydrate
• Silica Gel
• Sodium Bicarbonate

The total number of health warnings stated in the Material Safety Data Sheets are:
• 1 count of “Highly flammable liquid and vapour”
• 1 count of “May be corrosive to metals”
• 8 counts of “Explosive”
• 1 count of “Toxic if swallowed”
• 4 counts of “Harmful if swallowed”
• 3 counts of “May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways”
• 1 count of “Toxic in contact with skin”
• 2 counts of “Harmful in contact with skin”
• 2 counts of “Causes severe burns and eye damage”
• 7 counts of “Causes skin irritation”
• 3 counts of “May cause an allergic skin reaction”
• 4 counts of “Causes serious eye damage”
• 8 counts of “Causes serious eye irritation”
• 1 count of “Toxic if inhaled”
•3 counts of “Harmful if inhaled”
• 3 counts of “May cause respiratory irritation – single exposure”
• 1 count of “Causes damage to organs – single exposure”
• 10 counts of “Causes damage to organs through prolonged and repeated exposure”
• 1 count of “May damage fertility or the unborn child”
• 9 counts of “May cause cancer”
• 1 count of “Suspected of causing cancer”

A further 9 products permitted for the site have neither their composition disclosed, nor any safety data – these are the so-called trade secrets. In other words, neither we, the councils nor the EA have any knowledge about these substances that they have permitted for use in fairly close proximity to residential properties, equestrian facilities and that all must be transported within 10 feet of a childrens’ nursery!

Freedom of Information requests on Broadford Bridge reveal that:

– There will be NO air monitoring of the site at all by the EA (FOI received January 2015)
– The HSE stated that “Environment Agencies are the main regulator for chemicals used on onshore wells in Great Britain”, and that it is not their responsibility to check the MSDSs for the chemicals being approved. However, a follow up FOI to the EA revealed that they DO NOT check the MSDSs either! In other words, the chief regulator for chemicals in the UK do not consult the MSDSs for the chemicals and products that they permit!
– Another FOI to the EA revealed that they were not even aware that several pages from the MSDSs were missing during the public consultation in 2014!”

“Best regulations in the world”; “gold standard regulations”. The industry continues to lie to and patronise the very people whose health will be affected and destroyed by this filthy industry.

Rapid Response training 30 July, Ribby Hall, Wrea Green

 

rapidresponseposter

 

 

This session is exclusively aimed at giving anti-fracking groups and their supporters some crucial campaigning and action skills that are likely to be extremely useful in the coming weeks and months. With a decision on Cuadrilla’s two major appraisal sites due to be made in the very near future, we have a small window of opportunity for gaining new skills, planning and prepping for what may be the biggest fracking fight the UK has faced to date.

RSVPs essential to reserve places: outreach@frack-off.org

Screening of ‘A River’ 29 July in Preston

There will be a screening of the film A River on Friday 29 July at 7.00 pm at The Mystery Tea House, 23 Cannon Street, Preston PR1 3NR. Tickets can be booked here.

A River is about the beautiful river Afan in south west Wales. The Afan flows through the Afan forest park and converges with the Pelenna under the Viaduct in the picturesque village of Pontrhydyfen, the birth place of Richard Burton.

The film plots the history of the river and its extraordinary recovery from pollution caused from over a century of industrial mining.

The film looks at the uncertain future of the river and the fresh threat of pollution from the unconventional gas and oil industries moving back into the area.

Narrated by actor Michael Sheen, the film is set against a backdrop of music contribution from Robert Del Naja & Euan Dickinson of Massive Attack.

Cumbria County Council passes plans to stack shipping containers of nuclear waste ever higher beside the Irish Sea

kendal

Today, Pam and Ian from RAFF, and Sandra and Martin from Singleton went up to Kendal to offer our support to Radiation Free Lakeland. Cumbria County Council was meeting to consider the planning application by LLW Repository Ltd to expand the nuclear waste dump at Drigg on the Cumbrian coast. We joined a handful of local campaigners who handed in a petition of over 2,000 signatures.

The Drigg nuclear waste site is home to shipping containers storing ‘low level’ nuclear waste. Its history dates back to 1957 when it was granted permission to store radioactive waste from Windscale. It now takes waste from all over the country. LLW Repository wants to expand the number of containers. Radiation Free Lakeland say that the waste isn’t low level and that some containers on the site are already rusting  and are potentially leaking. They also raised concerns about rising sea levels, flooding, the decommissioning of Sellafield (higher grade waste), the aquifer – many properties depend on boreholes for their water, pollution of the Irish Sea, and more.

The council proceedings were depressingly familiar with some councillors seemingly having made their mind up before listening to the objections. The Environment Agency provided a detailed presentation; it appears that the EA will rely on LLW Repository to do their own testing and reporting of results. Sounds familiar? Once again it appears there is to be little inspection and that safety will be dependent on the word of the company rather than an independent regulatory body.  Even more familiar was a well known face sitting next the the Chairman – Lancashire County Council’s ex Planning Officer Stuart Perigo! According to the CCC website he is Interim Manager of Development Control and Countryside Management.

Unsurprisingly, the plans were passed.

It was a privilege to support Radiation Free Lakeland. They have little support from any of the NGOs we have been fortunate to enjoy and it does seem that this remote part of the NW coast has been forgotten. The area is  facing a much larger threat – the possibility of becoming home to the biggest nuclear development in Europe. Moorside nuclear power station is a proposal to build three AP1000 nuclear plants near Sellafield. The plan by NuGeneration, which is the British subsidiary of Toshiba-owned Westinghouse Electric Company, has the station coming online from 2024.

There will be a Stop Moorside demo on 23 July at 10:00–12:00 at Whitehaven Civic Hall
Whitehaven. Please try and support our neighbours in Cumbria. Join with the thousands of people who already say NO to Moorside. Bring Banners, Bring Yourselves, Bring your Children, Bring Music. The plan for New Nuclear Build next to Sellafield’s already dangerous Plutonium wastes is outrageous. More information here.

#StopMoorside petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-moorside-biggest-nuclear-development-in-europe

The CONsultation https://nugenconsultation.com/have-your-say/

 

 

Damning reports question future viability of fracking industry

Two recently published reports seriously question the viability of the UK shale gas industry.

The late and long awaited report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) was finally made public on 7 July. Make no mistake, despite the spin put on this report by the BBC and other media outlets, this is a damning report that warns the government that the UK’s fracking regulations may be inadequate to prevent environmentally damaging methane leaks from shale gas production, ie fracking is not compatible with UK climate targets.

No wonder the government sat on it until the Planning Inspector Wendy McKay had made her recommendations to Secretary of State Greg Clarke; no wonder its publication was delayed until North Yorkshire Council had made a decision to give the go-ahead to fracking in Ryedale. If this information had been made available beforehand, it may very well have influenced both decisions.

Its deliberate delay is another example of our government’s attempts to manipulate decision making in favour of the UK shale gas industry.

The CCC report concluded that shale gas production on a significant scale would breach the nation’s targets for emissions cuts unless three tests are passed.

First, strict regulations are required to ensure leaks of methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, are kept to a minimum. Second, shale gas must replace imported gas – not be burned in addition and, third, emissions from the production of shale gas itself must be offset by more carbon cuts elsewhere.

Current fracking regulations are inadequate to meet the first test. There are currently few regulations and little inspection – this is largely a self-regulating industry with all the pitfalls that involves. Offsetting the emissions from fracking will be difficult and expensive especially without carbon capture and storage (CSS). Meeting the UK’s legally binding climate targets will be challenging enough without accounting for the emissions of a shale gas industry – a factor the government hasn’t added to the equation as yet. The government cancelled a £1bn CCS programme in November last year, and without CCS, the nation’s gas use will have to fall 80% by 2050, compared with 50% with CCS, as as the government have no policies in place to meet more than half the emission cuts required by law by the planned date.

Labour’s Barry Gardiner, the shadow energy and climate change secretary, said: “The CCC report lays out three fundamental tests [but] the government has decided to do precisely nothing to increase protection for the public or to deliver security for our climate targets. On this basis, it is currently neither safe nor reasonable to approve any fracking in Britain.’

Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, said: ‘The idea that fracking can be squared with the UK’s climate targets is based on a tower of assumptions, caveats and conditions on which there is zero certainty of delivery. The government now faces a clear choice between promoting this climate-wrecking industry or backing clean, homegrown, reliable renewable energy and smart technologies instead.’

More evidence that fracking is bad for health

The health charity Medact has published an updated report on the public health impacts of fracking. This new report, Shale Gas Production in England – an updated public health assessment reaches broadly the same conclusions as Medact’s 2015 report Health and Fracking, however it is now supported by a much larger body of evidence published in the year since the first report was produced. In the last year over 350 academic papers of various sorts have been published, examining the impacts of high volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) for shale gas on air and water quality, health, climate change, social wellbeing, economics, noise and light pollution, and seismic events.

You can download he whole report here

David McCoy, the report’s lead author also provided expert witness testimony at the Lancashire planning public inquiry earlier this year. He states: ‘The biggest threat posed by shale gas is via global warming, but there are also direct risks to the health and wellbeing of local populations. What is striking is the lack of an integrated social, economic, environmental and health impact assessment of fracking’.

Medact’s own summary says:

‘Hazardous pollutants are produced at all stages of the shale gas production process. The range of pollutants are outlined in the report. Based on current evidence it is not possible to conclude that there is a strong association between shale gas related pollution and negative local health effects. However, there is clearly potential for negative health impacts. In particular, there are risks of (i) adverse reproductive outcomes due to exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, (ii) risk of respiratory effects resulting from ozone and smog formation, (iii) stress, anxiety and other psycho-social effects arising from actual and perceived social and economic disruption.

‘A special consideration in England as compared with the US is that there may be a greater risk of well integrity failure due to the heavily faulted nature of the geology.

‘Evidence is strongest regarding the risk that shale gas will accelerate climate change. Recent evidence of a rise in global atmospheric methane concentrations, which poses a global warming threat, points to recent oil and gas production in the US as one of the causes.

Climate change has been described by the Lancet journal as the greatest threat to health of the 21st century. Dr. Nick Watts, Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown to 2030: Global Health and Climate Action says, “it is clear that rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector is an important first step in protecting the health of the British public from the impacts of climate change. In the short term, a swift phase-out of unabated coal-fired power from the national energy mix will work to reduce the burden of disease from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. In the longer term, investment in solar and wind energy must be the ultimate goal in order to meet our international climate change commitments.”’

Here we have expert opinion from two bodies – the Committee on Climate Change and Medact, both warning of the effects of fracking on climate change and public health. On the other side we have a government with no long-term strategy in place, no desire to improve regulations and little regard for public well being. A change of leadership is unlikely to bring much solace. Current Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom is a huge supporter of shale gas. She said: ‘Shale gas is a fantastic opportunity, which could create thousands of jobs and a secure homegrown energy source that we can rely on for decades to come.’ Theresa May has been largely silent on the issue of climate change but her voting record mirrors that of the government. You can read more about both’s attitudes, statements, pay-offs and the like here.

Lock the gate on Drigg: the UK’s nuclear waste site

Cumbria needs our help: join members of RAFF on 15 July in Kendal as Cumbria County Council votes on extending the nuclear waste site at Drigg. If you can’t make it then please send your objections to Cumbria County Council (see below)

On 15th July 2016 in Kendal Cumbria County Council will be considering plans to extend the capacity and possibly the lifetime of Drigg Nuclear Dump on the West Coast of Cumbria. We the undersigned ask that you Lock the Gate on Drigg.

Why is this important?

To describe the UKs nuclear waste site as a “Repository” is putting a spin on the UKs main nuclear dump for “low level” waste. There is “controlled discharge direct to the Irish Sea” not to mention run off to the Drigg Stream and River Irt. Discharges to the air of radioactive gases are ongoing. According to the British Geological Society the Drigg site is above a regional aquifer. It is also “likely to be destroyed by coastal erosion” in 500 to 5000 years (computer modelling can be wrong either way) . Much of the waste is long lived and high risk.
Below are a few of the reasons why it is important that Cumbria County Council Lock the Gate on Drigg:

“Planning Application 4/11/9007 Low Level Waste Repository Site Optimisation and Closure Works” was withdrawn and a new application has gone in claiming to be more “modest”: Planning Application PL\1508\05 (4/15/9012):The phased construction of additional vaults, higher stacking of containers..capping..

1.The original planning application set the date for “closure” at 2079. So Drigg would continue to accept nuclear waste until that time. Mission creep under this new plan means it still could. “Capping” is misleading. To cap” a nuclear dump is akin to putting a cap on a fizzy lemonade bottle while there are holes in the bottom of the bottle. The site will continue to leach aqueous emissions to groundwater and gaseous emissions to air.

2. LOW LEVEL: This suggests that the waste at Drigg is low risk and short lived. Neither is true. As the University of Reading has pointed out: “The Drigg site uses two disposal systems: 1) An original system operated from 1959 to 1988 comprising a series of parallel trenches excavated into glacial clays, back filled with LLW and covered with an interim water resistant cap. 2) Current disposal of compacted waste placed in steel ISO-freight containers, with void space filled with highly fluid cement based grout. These containers are then disposed of in a series of open concrete vaults. Radionuclides with highest activities in the inventory include 3H, 241Pu, 137Cs, 234U and 90Sr, 238U and 232Th.
http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/16608/1/mrspaper.pdf

3. RADIOACTIVE FLY TIPPING: The chemical and nuclear dump site has moved on from the years 1940 to 1988 when chemical and radioactive waste was tumble tipped into trenches. Now the waste is compacted into steel shipping containers filled with cement. Incredibly the containers are stacked high. In 2013 the LLW management wrote: “in containers at the tops of stacks, the external capping grout has 
undergone extensive physical degradation and settlement; the lids are not full of grout, and the grout is generally heavily cracked. The state of the capping grout in underlying layers is better; most containers only show sparse cracking and typical settlement in the lid is approximately 15 mm. Standing water, sometimes contaminated with low levels of radioactivity, is present in approximately half of the containers at the tops of stacks. ..In containers at the tops of stacks, organic matter has accumulated beneath many open grout ports, with vegetation growing from some grout ports. ..Corrosion, sometimes fully penetrating, is present in some container lids at the tops of stacks…”
http://llwrsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/30-RP-LLWRGR-PROJ-0139-Vault-8-Container-Issues-Project-MAS.pdf

4. FLOODWATER AND SEA INUNDATION: “The Environment Agency has given a formal view that “the potential for disruption of the site is an acceptable risk” By “disruption of the site” they mean inundation by sea and flood. This is a far cry from the Environment Agency’s previous criticism in 2005: “BNFL (Now the NDA) has not yet demonstrated that the wider benefits to the UK from continued LLW disposal on this site outweigh the potential future impacts” We would hope that Cumbria County Council agree with the Environment Agency’s 2005 findings that that the real and present threat of inundation of the Drigg site by flood or by sea is not an acceptable risk to the people of Cumbria or to our international neighbours.
5. THE COLLAPSE in 1985 of the largest black-headed gull breeding colony in Europe on the Drigg dunes has never been satisfactorily explained. The official explanation is that a fox did it!
https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/disappearing-trick-birds-and-nuclear-waste/

6. CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA is officially blamed on “population mixing” due to the influx of workers firstly to the 1940 explosives factory (Royal Ordnance Factory) at Drigg and then the ROF at Sellafield. The irony of this incredible argument is that the plan for 3 new nuclear reactors at ‘ Moorside’ a few miles from Drigg (‘Moorside’ is at the village of Beckermet) would involve a boom and bust influx of thousands of workers along with a further tsunami of nuclear wastes and ever more Driggs.
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-moorside-biggest-nuclear-development-in-europe

How it will be delivered

By hand to Cumbria County Council on 15th July at 9am at County Offices Kendal.

The more people there to oppose this plan the better. Email Cumbria County Council with your objections/to speak at the meeting: http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=124&MId=8709

Medact to launch Health and Fracking Update

Medact are launching an update of its 2015 report Health and Fracking.  Since the release of the first teport over 350 new peer reviewed studies have been published, with significant implications for health locally, and climate change globally.

Dr David McCoy. Director of Medact, and Professor John Middleton, in-coming President of the Faculty of Public Health, will present the findings of an updated analysis of available evidence, and be available for questions.

  • This is an update of Medact’s 2015 report Health and Fracking.
  • Since the first report was released Medact’s director David McCoy has provided expert witness testimony to the public inquiry into fracking in Lancashire.
  • The launch will take place in the same week that the Secretary of State Greg Clark will receive a recommendation from Wendy McKay, the inspector who chaired the inquiry into fracking in Lancashire, on whether to overrule the local planning decision regarding Cuadrilla’s application to explore for shale gas.
  • Medact is currently awaiting release of a report by the Committee on Climate Change about the implications of fracking for climate change.

The event is free to attend but spaces are limited so please register here.

Local campaigner Tina Rothery reads out statement in court

Local Nana and campaigner Tina Rothery has appeared at Blackpool Magistrates Court, following two years of legal pursuit and a fine of £55,000. Cuadrilla and other ‘claimants’ have grouped together to target her following the large Reclaim the Power protest that was held on the field earmarked for fracking in Little Plumpton, on the Fylde Coast in 2014. The protest drew over 1,000 environmental campaigners who occupied a field for nearly three weeks.

Tina is refusing to pay the fine. Here is the statement she gave in Blackpool Magistrates court in June 2016.

With respect to the District Judge and the courts I have huge admiration for a system of justice that is fair but I feel in this case that our law courts are not being used to seek justice but instead being applied like a weapon and a threat against peaceful protest.

The fact that Cuadrilla has the finances, power and vindictiveness to pursue this throughour courts is an abuse of one of the most valued aspects of our democracy. 


So please accept my aplogies if this seems rude but as this case has nothing to do whatsoever with justice, I will not be complying with any requests  for information or payment.


I make this statement on behalf of myself and an entire movement who will not be bullied.

The next stage is for the lawyers ( Eversheds ) to respond with how they would like to proceed – pursue Tina for contempt of court and these costs or accept that this is an unjust use of our legal system and clear victimisation of peaceful protest, aimed at deterring further actions by communities in defence of the health and well-being of their children against this dangerous industry.

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