Simon Reeves Inadvertently Shows What the Above Ground ‘Facilities’ for a Deep Nuclear Dump Would Look Like….

And the Government Advisor on the Digging of the BIG HOLE for DEEP NUCLEAR DUMP ?….Drumroll…….Mark Kirkbride CEO of the Cumbria Coal Mine – not that the national press are telling anyone tho

RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

A Tale of Two Images!

On the same day that Copeland Working Group’s Newsletter Shows the Neat Graphic of a GDF, the presenter Simon Reeves inadvertently shows what a deep geological nuclear dump would actually mean for the “willing community” who would sell their soul to host the above ground “facilities.” Spoiler alert -the reality would be nothing like the neat clean graphic!

Latest Newsletter from Copeland Working Group – looks good!

Simon Reeves visits the Civil Nuclear Police at Sellafield – coming to a “willing community” near you?

View original post

Coal Mine Boss/Govnt GDF Advisor Lays Off Staff to “Cut Costs” Ahead of Mine Inquiry. Questions of Epic Cronyism Remain Unanswered.

Coal Mine in “Search Area” for a deep nuclear dump (GDF) – Mark Kirkbride CEO of WCM is key member of CoRWM advising Govnt on GDF – Govnt say areas where coal can be found are “unsuitable” for GDF – but there it is slap bang in the middle of “search area”

The following is a letter to MP Tim Farron, following a reply from Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, to our unanswered questions.

Dear Tim,

Thank you for sight of the reply from Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change. 

It was good to hear the Minister say that “I would like to reassure your constituents that Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM), the developer of the GDF, has absolutely no plans to consider coal mines for the geological disposal of radioactive waste, because they are simply not suitable. ” We agree that no one in their right mind – even those focussed on “Delivery” of a Geological Disposal Facility would consider putting a GDF in the vicinity of a coal mine, let alone putting heat generating nuclear waste into a coal mine.   This said we have to ask: Why is the coal mine slap bang in the middle of the Cumbria Irish Sea “search area” for a GDF when this subsea methane rich and faulted area is clearly “not suitable” for a GDF ?

CRONYISM – THE MOST BLATANT EXAMPLE EVER IN UK HISTORY?

This question of the relationship between the GDF and the Coal Mine has added piquancy given that the said Coal Mine is the business interest of Mark Kirkbride who is advising the Minister on the GDF having been appointed to a number of key positions on the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.   The Minister does not address the thorny issue of coal/nuclear/private/public cronyism in her reply to you.

To reiterate: In 2011 the same year Charles Hendry MP was prematurely congratulating Cumbria Council on their ‘steps towards geological disposal of hot nuclear wastes’, he was also cutting the ribbon on one Mark Kirkbride’s venture as CEO at Itmsoil a Sussex based International company specialising in instrumentation measuring stress in large scale construction projects.  Mark Kirkbride’s Itmsoil company went into Administration in 2014 in order to give ”protection from creditors.”    Charles Hendry was the predecessor of  Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, he was doing her job with the same responsibility for both the GDF and the Coal Authority.   

FINANCIALLY VIABLE ?

The Minister states that the Coal Authority has to be satisfied that the coal mine must prove its financial viability before  licences can be issued.  We have previously made the point that the coking coal from this mine would not be the premium quality product first vaunted by WCM but would be of a high ash and high sulphur content and most likely unsaleable (as coking coal).

The latest accounts from West Cumbria Mining clearly state that the company is financially unviable.   Staff have been laid off, the office in Haywards Heath has closed, the secretive financial backer is prepared to stand the cost until the end of the planning process and a third party funder says they are prepared to fund development, whatever that development is as we have not been given sight of it. 

In fact No one has had sight of the latest licence applications from WCM as the Coal Authority is deferring to Mark Kirkbride’s wish not to make his development plans public.  Given the relationship between WCM, CoRWM and with BEIS who have ultimate responsibility for both the Coal Authority and CoRWM this is an example of epic cronyism   WCM have made much of employment of the local workforce but the Directors have a past record of using administration tactics to avoid paying creditors and then rise phoenix like into another incarnation.  The amount of money spent by WCM on political lobbying (New Century Media/Tony Lodge – cosy visits by Mark Kirkbride with MP Trudy Harrison to BEIS)  is in the £millions. It is clear that PR and political and financial chicanery is more important than keeping the WCM office staff on.  

The paperwork has already been put into place by WCM to ensure that when it all goes pear shaped (or to plan?)  WCM’s land and assets go to EMR Capital who are acting on behalf of other parties.

Further Questions include:

  1. Why is Mark Kirkbride’s coal mine included slap bang in the middle of the Irish Sea “search area” for a GDF when as the Minister has confirmed this subsea methane rich and heavily faulted area is clearly “not suitable” ?   
  2. Why has the Coal Authority not stepped in already Blocked the Licences and prevented an expensive public inquiry for a development that local planners no longer support and is financially insecure?  WCM’s  latest accounts indicate financial insecurity with staff lay offs to “cut costs.”  The coal mine with its high ash and high sulphur coal is no longer/never was financially viable. 
  3. Finally and perhaps most importantly but most ignored,  Sellafield’s infrastructure just five miles away is at serious risk from this coal mine (notwithstanding the nonchalance of the Office for Nuclear Regulation). On the Sellafield site, the Magnox Swarf Silo  for example has unknown leaks from unknown cracks in the concrete containment which is partly beneath ground.  Sellafield have last month asked for help in finding and mitigating the leak of 550 gallons per day of radioactive liquor into groundwater beneath the site from unknown cracks. Fracking was halted because of earthquake risk and yet the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering have stated that coal mining induced earthquakes are of a magnitude greater than fracking : “Seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing is likely to be of smaller magnitude than the UK’s largest natural seismic events and those induced by coal mining”.  Sellafield is on the Lake District Boundary Fault and WCM plans to abstract profligate amounts of ground water from their newly voided mine via the Byerstead Fault – no one knows how these faults relate to each other.   Why aren’t lessons being learnt in the Sellafield area from the fracking experience in the Blackpool area when coal mine induced seismicity is of a magnitude greater than that of fracking?

Many thanks for persisting with our questions to Ministers.

With best wishes,

Marianne

Radiation Free Lakeland

Campaigns include Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole and Lakes Against Nuclear Dump

Additional Notes
WCM on the Rocks – or Ready for Next Venture?https://keepcumbriancoalinthehole.wordpress.com/2021/07/11/west-cumbria-mining-on-the-rocks-or-divesting-in-readiness-for-next-venture-a-big-hole-costing-1-7-billion/

Sellafield Leaks – Ongoing – https://www.gamechangers.technology/challenge/Leak_prevention_or_minimisation
WCM

06 Jul 2021
View / Download(PDF file, link opens in new window)
06 Jul 2021Group of companies’ accounts made up to 30 June 2020View PDF Group of companies’ accounts made up to 30 June 2020 – link opens in a new window – 32 pages(32 pages)

Letter from the Minister

Dear Tim,

The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP

Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
1 Victoria Street
London

SW1H 0ET

T +44 (0) 20 7215 5000 E enquiries@beis.gov.uk W http://www.gov.uk

Our ref: MCSL2021/15192 Your ref: TF126325

6 July 2021

Thank you for your email dated 11 May, to the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, on behalf of your constituents, regarding the West Cumbria Mine. I am responding as this matter falls within my Ministerial portfolio.

There is a good deal of information about the Coal Mining licensing process, including the different types of licences and permits, available on the pages of GOV.UK. Including here: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/surface-and-underground-coal-mining- licences/guidance-notes-for-underground-coal-mining-licences.

The Coal Authority’s duties about licensing are set out in statute – in the 1994 Coal Industry Act – and to operate a coal mine an operator needs relevant rights and permissions including planning permission, a licence from the Coal Authority and to notify the Health and Safety Executive.

In general terms planning permission covers local social, economic and environmental aspects – i.e. is this the right place for this activity? whereas, a coal mining licence considers practicalities – can the mine operate in a way that is effective and financially underpinned to ensure that any land or property impacted can be compensated and the mine eventually closed in a safe and appropriate way. The Health and Safety Executive considers whether the operations can be undertaken safely.

When assessing an application for a coal mining licence, the Coal Authority are required to consider:

  • Whether the applicant can finance coal mining operations and related liabilities
  • The nature of the land or property that may be impacted by subsidence and that damage can be properly compensated by the operator.
  • That the operation will be carried out by properly experienced people In the case of West Cumbria Mining, this is what the Coal Authority will be assessing in consideration of the operator’s application to extend the term of their conditional licences. A conditional licence does not allow coal mining operations to commence (the purpose of a conditional licence is explained in the link above). As you are aware, planning permission for this mine is subject to an inquiry and it would not be appropriate to comment on the outcome of that but as outlined above, the Coal Authority assesses applications to it based on the duties set out in its enabling legislation.

To disclose the financial matters and commercial activity of the mine operator would be a breach of confidence to the clauses within their licence and their commercial interests. The Coal Authority also has a duty under S59 of the Coal Industry Act 1994 to ensure that it maintains confidentiality in respect of the business affairs of any individual or a business. Whilst the Coal Authority may be asked to input on aspects such as the history of the site or the quality of the coal, its processes are distinct and separate to that of planning and therefore any planning enquiry.

Given the Coal Authority’s duties under s59 of the Coal Industry Act, the Coal Authority have advised they would not disclose details of the application without the applicant’s consent.

Your constituents are also concerned that the coal mining licence applications are in some way linked to the process to find a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

I would like to reassure your constituents that Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM), the developer of the GDF, has absolutely no plans to consider coal mines for the geological disposal of radioactive waste, because they are simply not suitable.

The process to identify a site for a GDF is based on positive support from a willing community together with a suitable site. No sites have yet been selected. Two Working Groups (the first formal step in the process) have been formed in West Cumbria – in Allerdale and in Copeland – with more expected to be announced in England later this year. It is the Working Groups which will identify the initial search areas for a location for the GDF. The site selection process will stretch over several years and the decision to go ahead at a prospective location will ultimately be subject to a test of public support. It can only proceed if the community wishes it to proceed.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write. I hope you will find this reply helpful. Yours sincerely,

THE RT HON ANNE-MARIE TREVELYAN MP

Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change

West Cumbria Mining On the Rocks Or Divesting in Readiness for Next Venture – a Big Hole costing 1.7 BILLION ?

West Cumbria Mining have just published their annual report and it makes for interesting reading.

The much vaunted “local” company funded by EMR Capital based in the Cayman Islands have made their staff (not the directors) redundant, the office in Haywards Heath has closed, the secretive owner is prepared to stand the cost until the end of the planning process and a third party funder has been located who says they are prepared to fund development (Whatever that development is as No one has had sight of the latest licence applications from WCM)

Extract from West Cumbria Mining’s newly published Annual Report

The accounts (1.3) note that there is material doubt about the future…

However, Mark Kirkbride CEO of West Cumbria Mining has already smoothly moved into the more lucrative game of Geological Disposal – otherwise known as the plan to dump heat generating nuclear wastes deep underground. Kirkbride is now the key advisor at the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management providing costings for government for a hole of much larger proportions than the coal mine. Kirkbride Cost for opening a coal mine £160Million – Kirkbride Cost for opening a hole for Geological Nuclear Dump – £1.7 BILLION.


Image Copeland “Search Area” for GDF – overlaid with West Cumbria Mining’s coal mine plan – who in their right mind would think of putting a deep nuclear dump anywhere within the same area as a coal mine? The Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy have appointed Mark Kirkbride CEO of West Cumbria Mining to advise them on their deep nuclear dump plan. Both plans – coal and deep nuclear dump are beyond reckoning.

Tim Farron MP Calls for Inspector into Coal Inquiry to Have Sight of Secretive Licences – Coal Boss/GDF Advisor Refuses Public View – Why?

Top image is Copeland Search area for Consideration for Geological Disposal Facility

Bottom image is West Cumbria Mining licence application areas for under the Irish Sea – the black bits are known land and sea coal reserves.  Details of the latest applications from the developers are being withheld from public view.  

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much to everyone for donating to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole – a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign.  Further Donations mean that we will be able to  continue to have the expert advice of lawyers Leigh Day to call upon.  

The Coal Authority are refusing to give the public sight of the latest licence applications from West Cumbria Mining despite our repeated calls for them to do so

At Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole’s request Tim Farron MP has sent  a letter to the Coal Authority urging them to at least ensure the Planning Inspector at the forthcoming Inquiry has sight of the licences.

The inquiry is, I believe, flawed in many other respects.  Not least because the County Council have now withdrawn their planning approval for the mine.  We wonder if there are any other cases of a public inquiry having been held into an approval decision that no longer stands?   The Coal boss Mark Kirkbride has been appointed to advise the government on “Delivery” of a deep geological nuclear dump for the UK’s heat generating nuclear wastes.   NO-one in their right mind would think of burying heat generating nuclear waste in or under a coal mine however, the proposed coal mine is slap bang in the middle of the subsea “search area” for a GDF. 

The coal mine development will now be ultimately decided upon by  government – the same government who have appointed the coal boss to advise them on nuclear dump plans.  Crazy creepy or what?

It is remarkable to put it mildly that non of this blatant cronyism has been reported in the media or raised any NGO eyebrows given the huge public interest in this coal mine (the public interest is largely thanks to the help of all who have donated to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole).

I have copied our latest press release, (ignored by the press) to the Society of Editors to ask if there is a reason for the silence – maybe it just isn’t newsworthy? (!!)

With all best wishes

Marianne

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole – a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign

Our associated campaign Lakes Against Nuclear Dump can be seen here https://www.lakesagainstnucleardump.com/

sent by email 5th July 

Dear Society of Editors,

We have been directed to you following a FOI to the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee following the worrying lack of reporting on the appointment of the CEO of Cumbria Coal mine to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.  There has been acres of press on the climate impacts of the Cumbria Coal Mine in contrast to nothing (apart from in the Isle of Man) on the cronyism surrounding the appointment of the coal boss Mark Kirkbride to CoRWM.

Our latest press release to national and local press is below.  So far we have had no response.  If this has not got a DA notice on it then we wonder why the silence on this serious issue.

If you can shed any light on why there appears to be a media black out we would be very grateful.

with kind regards

Marianne Birkby on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

FOI to MOD

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/west_cumbria_mining_connections#incoming-1770677

Press Notice sent out today…

PRESS NOTICE

CUMBRIA COAL MINE’S LICENCE APPLICATIONS SHROUDED IN “ALICE IN WONDERLAND” SECRECY.

In a letter sent to the Coal Authority today, the nuclear safety campaigners who were the first to raise opposition to the Cumbrian Coal Mine back in 2017, say that the forthcoming Public Inquiry would be “invalid and an entirely profligate waste of public money”.  This is, they say, because “Cumbria County Council has now withdrawn its planning approval for the mine and the latest Cumbrian coal mine licence applications are shrouded in secrecy”  

The controversial coal mine developers, West Cumbria Mining (WCM), have applied for two new applications which Radiation Free Lakeland (RaFL) have repeatedly asked for sight of under Freedom of Information.  The Coal Authority have replied to the campaign group saying that:  “the Operator (WCM) does not give permission to have their applications disclosed…for the reasons (of operator confidentiality) set out in the public interest test.”  

Another twist in the long held opposition to the mine by nuclear campaigners is that the CEO of the coal mine, Mark Kirkbride was appointed in 2019 (in the days following the County Council’s coal mine approval) to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. CoRWM are the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy appointed body who advise government on ‘Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility” for high level nuclear wastes.  RaFL have long argued that the coal mine is primarily a “Trojan Horse to embed the infrastructure in Cumbria for a deep nuclear dump.”

Marianne Birkby, the founder of Radiation Free Lakeland who set in motion a Judicial Review against the coal mine with environmental lawyers Leigh Day, has said:  “For the Coal Authority to say that it is in the public interest to protect the wishes of the developer in non-disclosure is very Alice in Wonderland like. Disclosure of Information regarding developments which would produce emissions is a legal obligation.  Emissions in the case of this uniquely dangerous coal mine would include not only CO2, and methane (the developer’s exploratory boreholes have already accidentally hit a methane pocket a few miles from Sellafield under the Irish Sea’)  but also radioactive emissions from resuspension of 70 years worth of Sellafield’s wastes resulting from the “likely subsidence” of the Irish Sea bed. There is also the possibility of seismic damage to Sellafield’s infrastructure. A haiirline crack which would be of negligible damage anywhere else, could be catastrophic at Sellafield, the world’s riskiest nuclear waste site.” 

The campaign group’s letter to the Coal Authority today concludes that ” disclosure of the licence applications would be the right thing to do,  both from a legal aspect and from the Coal Authority’s stated ideals of public interest, openess, transparency and safeguarding”.  

 ENDS

..contact …

LETTER TO COAL AUTHORITY SEE BELOW

Radiation Free Lakeland are running two major campaigns:

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole  https://keepcumbriancoalinthehole.wordpress.com/

Lakes Against Nuclear Dump https://www.lakesagainstnucleardump.com/

RADIATION FREE LAKELAND blog https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/

Cumbrian Campaign Group granted permission for Judicial Review of County Council’s Approval of Coal Mine https://www.leighday.co.uk/latest-updates/news/2020-news/cumbrian-campaign-group-granted-permission-for-judicial-review-of-county-councils-approval-of-coal-mine/

https://www.leighday.co.uk/latest-updates/news/2020-news/vindication-for-campaigner-fighting-plan-for-deep-coal-mine-in-west-cumbria/

KIRKBRIDE COSTINGS FOR GDF HOLE – pg 233 onwards https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/files/182559187/FULL_TEXT.PDF

LETTER SENT TODAY TO THE COAL AUTHORITY

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On Monday, July 5th, 2021 at 8:44 AM, Wastwater wrote:

Dear Helen,

Thank you for your email explaining the Coal Authority’s reasoning as to why they will not disclose West Cumbria Mining’s new applications to extend/vary their original 2013/14 licences.  It is of huge concern that the Coal Authority is deferring to the developer Mark Kirkbride of West Cumbria Mining in non-disclosure.    How can the public inquiry due to start in September be valid when the public and the Inspector have not had sight of the developer’s plans?   Our MP Tim Farron has written to BEIS, asking that the Planning Inquiry Inspector should have full sight of West Cumbria Mining’s latest licence applications.

There are serious concerns too about the blatant cronyism between the controversial Government policy for “Delivery” of a Geological Disposal Facility for nuclear wastes and Mark Kirkbride CEO of West Cumbria Mining.  Kirkbride has been appointed by BEIS to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management and has delivered initial costing estimates to government for mining a deep geological disposal facility for heat generating nuclear wastes within the same “search” area as his coal mine  (Kirkbride Costing for opening coal mine = £160M  /  Kirkbride Cost estimate for opening a GDF = £1.7  Billion ‘just for the hole’ using same suppliers as the coal mine)

For the Coal Authority to say that it is in the public interest to protect the wishes of the developer in non-disclosure is very Alice in Wonderland like.   Disclosure of Information regarding developments which would produce emissions is a legal obligation.   We note the following in relation to release of information to the public about developments which would produce emissions:

 “How is information relating to emissions treated differently? – regulation 12(9)

The Regulations stress transparency and openness in relation to information about emissions. They provide a greater right of access to information about emissions – regulation 12(9) removes the right to rely on certain exceptions if someone requests information is on emissions.

When requested information is on emissions, you cannot rely on the exceptions at:

  • regulation 12(5)(d) – confidentiality of the proceedings of a public authority
  • regulation 12(5)(e) – confidentiality of commercial or industrial information
  • regulation 12(5)(f) – interests of the person who provided the information
  • regulation 12(5)(g) – protection of the environment to which the information relates.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-environmental-information-regulations/refusing-a-request/#when-can-we-refuse-a-request-for-environmental-information-10 “

Emissions in the case of this uniquely dangerous coal mine would include not only CO2, and methane (the developer’s exploratory boreholes have already accidentally hit a methane pocket a few miles from Sellafield under the Irish Sea’)  but also radioactive emissions from resuspension of 70 years worth of Sellafield’s radioactive waste discharge in the “likely subsidence” (say WCM)  of the Irish Sea bed. There is also the possibility of seismic damage to Sellafield’s infrastructure  –  a hairline crack of negligible damage anywhere  else could be catastrophic at Sellafield.  A “negligible” risk of seismic damage is too much in this vicinity.

We believe that disclosure of the licence applications would be the right thing to do both from a legal aspect and from the Coal Authority’s ideals of public interest, openess, transparency and safeguarding.  

We ask the Coal Authority again for full sight of West Cumbria Mining’s latest licence applications with reference to the following:

“There is a presumption in favour of disclosure.  The public authority must weigh the public interest arguments for maintaining the exception in regulation 12(5)(b) against those for disclosure.     General principles of regulation 12(5)(b) 5. Under EIR regulation 5(1), public authorities are under a duty to make available environmental information that has been requested. Regulations 12(4) and 12(5) provide exceptions to this duty. 6. The exceptions under regulation 12(5) allow a public authority to refuse to disclose environmental information where “its disclosure would adversely affect” the interests listed in each exception. 7. The public authority must apply a presumption in favour of disclosure, both in engaging the exception and in carrying out the public interest test.     https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1625/course_of_justice_and_inquiries_exception_eir_guidance.pdf “

CONCLUSIONS AND ACTIONS

  • All the information within WCM’s latest licence applications should be made available in the public interest (financial information could be redacted).  
  •  MP Tim Farron has at our request written to the Secretary of State for BEIS to ask that the latest full licence applications are made available to the Inspector in the forthcoming Planning Inquiry into the coal mine .  
  • Without full sight of the latest licence applications to the Coal Authority from the developer, – the public and the Planning Inquiry cannot make independent judgements on the severity of the likely emissions.  Emissions include CO2, Methane and Radioactive Emissions from Sellafield’s nuclear wastes which are now largely sitting in the seabed but would be resuspended with “likely subsidence” of the Sellafield Mud Patch.
  • Sellafield’s infrastructure just five miles away is at serious risk from this coal mine notwithstanding the nonchalance of the Office for Nuclear Regulation. On the Sellafield site, the Magnox Swarf Silo  for example has unknown leaks from unknown cracks in the concrete containment which is partly beneath ground.  Sellafield have last month asked for help in finding and mitigating the leak of 550 gallons per day of radioactive liquor into groundwater beneath the site from unknown cracks. Fracking was halted because of earthquake risk and yet the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering have stated that coal mining induced earthquakes are of a magnitude greater than fracking : “Seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing is likely to be of smaller magnitude than the UK’s largest natural seismic events and those induced by coal mining”.  
  • Without full disclosure of the latest licence applications the forthcoming coal mine planning inquiry is, we believe, invalid and an entirely profligate use of public money,  especially as Cumbria County Council has now withdrawn its planning approval for the mine.  
  • Withdrawal of planning approval for the coal mine from the local planning authority, Cumbria County Council should be honoured by the Coal Authority and BEIS.  
  • In all conscience the Coal Authority and BEIS should act to ensure that the coal mine plan is scrapped with immediate effect. This would avoid the profligate expense of a worse than useless Public Inquiry whose findings (in any event) would be null and void given the lack of social and legal licence from the Local Planning Authority and the non-disclosure of West Cumbria Mining’s latest licence applications.
  • We are asking the Coal Authority one more time for sight of West Cumbria Mining’s latest licence applications before escalating this as a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Yours sincerely

Marianne 

Marianne Birkby on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

campaigns include: 

 Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Lakes Against Nuclear Dump

Copied to BEIS, Tim Farron MP, Planning Inspectorate 

Additional Information:

Office for Nuclear Regulation replies to Radiation Free Lakeland “just plain wrong” https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2021/05/06/risk-to-sellafield-from-the-coal-mine-is-extremely-low-say-the-office-for-nuclear-regulation-as-another-pig-flies-by/

Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering report on Fracking. Coal Mining induced earthquake “of a magnitude greater”  than fracking  https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/shale-gas-extraction/report/

Negligible Risk of Induced Seismicity near Sellafield is too much.   “An interactive workshop on Tuesday, May 25 2021…Sellafield are seeking ideas, innovations and technologies capable of game changing solutions to prevent or minimise leaks from Magnox Swarf Silo Storage. Current leak rates are around 1.5 – 2.5 m3/d and Sellafield want to reduce these as much as possible.The concrete silos, built in three stages between 1962-1982, contain magnesium cladding, or swarf, stripped from Magnox fuel prior to reprocessing. The swarf is stored underwater in the silos but, over time, the stored contents corrode, releasing heat and hydrogen…”

Evidence Sent to the Cumbrian Coal Mine Public Inquiry from Radiation Free Lakeland – including water impacts of the proposed coal mine.  Cumbria’s drinking water includes that drawn from boreholes by United Utilities at South Egremont, just a mile from the already leaking Magnox Swarf Silo.  Sellafield needs top quality water for many nuclear processes and takes R1 (top quality) water from Wastwater. https://keepcumbriancoalinthehole.wordpress.com/2021/05/02/evidence-sent-to-the-public-inquiry-please-send-your-own-in-before-may-6th/

Letter from the Coal Authority to Radiation Free Lakeland

10 May 2021

 Dear Ms Birkby

 W: www.gov.uk/coalauthority

Reference: FOI 04-2021

Request for Internal Review under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

I write in connection with your request for an Internal Review, which was received by The Coal Authority on 9 April 2021.

An independent review has now taken place with regard to your original Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) request and response, our reference FOI 71-2020. The review has considered the reasons stated in your appeal and the legislative compliance under the Act.

My findings are as follows:

Your Freedom of Information Act request was received on 4 March 2021 and following our extension of the deadline to consider a public interest test we responded to you on 7 April 2021, complying with the legislative response requirements.

I have considered your arguments in the application of exemptions Section 43(2) Commercial Interests and Section 44(1)(a) Prohibition on disclosure relying upon Section 59(1)(a)(b) of the Coal Industry Act 1994.

The Coal Authority is still determining the two applications and following a request to the Operator as to whether they would assist in any disclosure requirements the Operator does not give permission to have their applications disclosed.

I am in agreement with the application of exemption Section 43(2) for the reasons set out in the public interest test. The commercial interests of the operator must also be considered.

In conclusion, I uphold the decision of the response dated 7 April 2021 not to disclose the West Cumbria Mining Ltd applications for a variation to existing Conditional Licences UND/0177/N and UND/0184/N.

Request for disclosure under Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)

On 13 April 2021, the Coal Authority received your request that the West Cumbria Mining Ltd applications’ for a variation to existing Conditional Licences UND/0177/N and UND/0184/N be considered for disclosure under Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).

The Coal Authority has considered whether the public interest favours disclosure or whether it favours maintenance of the relevant exception. When considering this exception the Coal Authority has considered the presumption in favour of disclosure in accordance with Regulation 12(2) of the EIR. The Coal Authority has taken into account the following public interests arguments when considering your request:

  1. The interest in the Authority being transparent and accountable to the public, and the public being able to better participate in environmental decision-making. The information that is contained in the application forms constitutes technical or commercial information. That information requires consideration by the Authority as the expert regulator in the context of its duties within the Coal Industry Act 1994 and these are not matters upon which the public are required to be consulted. In this context the public interest is satisfied by the Coal Authority disclosing the fact that an application for coal mining operations exists and is available on the Coal Authority’s website. 
  2. The interest in the public understanding how coal resources are exploited by private entities in England and Wales. However, the same point applies as above with regard to how this interest is met.

The Coal Authority also considers the following arguments to apply in favour of maintaining this exception:

  1. The exception protects confidentiality provided by law. By way of Section 59 of the Coal Industry Act 1994 this specifically provides for the confidentiality of information provided by commercial operators and the Authority also consider that the common law duty of confidence is engaged in these circumstances. There is a strong public interest in ensuring that such confidentiality is maintained.
  2. If the information within these applications were to be made public then applicants may be less inclined to voluntarily provide information within the application forms, which could negatively impact the application process. In determining applications the Coal Authority is required to undertake important considerations in relation to potential subsidence, health 

and safety, and ensuring that the operator applicant is able to finance the proper carrying on of the mining operations and discharge any liabilities related to those operations. All of these matters could impact upon the public and it is of primary importance that the Coal Authority is able to effectively undertake its role as expert regulator. The Coal Authority needs to be able to do this in an environment that is considered to be a “safe space” by the Applicant where they are prepared to be fully transparent with the Coal Authority as regulator and not inhibited in the information they provide.

The same public interest arguments in favour of disclosure apply as in relation to Regulation 12(5)(d) above. The Authority also considers the following to apply:

There are a number of primary issues that require consideration in determining a licence application including ensuring that the Coal Authority is satisfied that there are sufficient finances for the project, including sufficient finances to provide appropriate security to address potential issues such as subsidence. This requires the disclosure of sensitive financial information, as well as information gathered by the applicant in relation to the proposed site and which is not otherwise available to their competitors. If this information is made publicly available then the applicant may be less inclined to be transparent with the Coal Authority in relation to such matters, which could negatively impact upon the considerations to be undertaken by the Coal Authority. The Coal Authority therefore considers there to be a legitimate economic interest of operators that there is a public interest in maintaining.

In light of the above, the Coal Authority considers that the public interest weighs in favour of maintaining this exception.

The Coal Authority refuses your request under Regulation 14(3)(a) in relation to the application of the first exception Regulation 12(5)(d).

Yours sincerely Helen Simpson

Records Manager

Coal Authority

Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email.

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On Monday, May 10, 2021 4:10 PM, Helen Simpson <HelenSimpson@coal.gov.uk> wrote:

For the attention of Marianne Birkby

Please find attached the Coal Authority responses to your requests for an Internal Review FOI 04-2021 and consideration under EIR.

Kind regards

Helen Simpson

Helen Simpson

Records Manager, Coal Authority 

Coal-powered bitcoin is an environmental disaster — First University in the World to Use BitCoin? Cumbria!

Coal Powered BitCoin is an Environmental Disaster – (note – uses so much energy ANY power source is disastrous). First University in the world to use BitCoin was University of Cumbria thanks to the work of Prof Jem Bendell of Extinction Rebellion fame. BitCoin is the stepping stone to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

The latest episode in the process of trying to present Bitcoin as if it’s not only clean but vital to clean power development is particularly bad. The post Coal-powered bitcoin is an environmental disaster appeared first on RenewEconomy. Coal-powered bitcoin is an environmental disaster — RenewEconomy

Coal-powered bitcoin is an environmental disaster — RenewEconomy — Antinuclear

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Magnox Silo Liquor “Crack Under Control.” note: it isn’t

Coal Mining is known to induce earthquakes, even more than with fracking. So why is Sellafield supporting the coal mine when they know damn well their buildings are already cracked and leaking?

RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

How does the Nuclear Industry get away with wanting to produce ever more and ever hotter nuclear wastes when they cannot contain the existing wastes. The Magnox Swarf silo is leaking – from an unknown point – part of the silo is below ground. United Utilities are abstracting drinking water for West Cumbria from boreholes at South Egremont a short distance away.

This is just one of the tenders Sellafield has put out for help with “seepage.”

Sellafield are asking contractors to help: The Key Question is “Can We Stop This Leak Which Is In The Building” “Can We Identify The Location”.

“Leaking crack identification, location and condition monitoring

Sellafield Ltd are seeking ideas, innovations and technologies that will deliver game changing solutions to identify leaks and cracks in ageing, liquor retaining structures.

Sellafield Ltd has experience in managing and maintaining buildings and understands the durability of ageing structures. Known…

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Years n’ Years

Mark Kirkbride of West Cumbria Mining was appointed to advise HM Government on the plan for “Delivery” of a deep nuclear dump in 2019. Still waiting for a single raised eyebrow from all those mainstream “environmental” journalists …while we wait here is an ongoing comic book …..

Wastwater Chronicles

Future Planning

“It will be Years ‘n Years before mainstream media are given approval by

us to report on the appointment of the coal boss to our big nuclear dump plan

….

Especially if ALL focus is on climate and we make sure we demoralise and marginalise

those few anti-nuclear voices.”

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NEW Petition to the UK Prime Minister: A Call to Stop Geological Nuclear Dump Plans.

New Petition to Dump the Nuclear Dump Plans. Sharing here because The CEO of West Cumbria Mining is now employed by Government as an “advisor” and has given an initial costing estimate to Govnt of £1.7Billion – thats just for the nuclear dump hole- the area in the frame is next to the other hole he proposes to dig for his coal mine. The press have yet to raise an eyebrow on this outrageous collusion and cronyism.

RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

Our new petition set up just last night has already received dozens of signatures – we have a long way to go before we get to the 10,000 signatures required for a debate in Parliament – but the UK does need to talk about the unwanted, scientifically unworkable and deeply dangerous Nuclear Dump Plan!

The text of the petition is :

To: Prime Minister of the UK

Stop “Delivery” of a Geological Nuclear Dump Under the Irish Sea or Anywhere Else.

Instead of bribing communities with £Millions to accept the plan to dump many decades worth of hot, high level nuclear wastes deep underground, we ask that you stop the production of ever more dangerous radioactive wastes, place a moratorium on the GDF “Delivery” plans and put all effort into containment ( not “disposal”), above ground where the waste can be monitored and repackaged as necessary. Continuing with an…

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A Letter to the “Working Groups”: Withdraw from the Corrupt, Dangerous Nuclear Dump Plan

Coal Mine Boss Mark Kirkbride has Given an Estimate to Government of £1.7 BILLION to dig a big hole for a nuclear dump – its been given Critical National Infrastructure Project status and its Mad, Bad and So Dangerous

RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

A Former Sellafield Boss has put forward Ghyll Scuar Quarry as the possible “entrance” to a so called Geological Disposal Facility ie a nuclear dump for heat generating nuclear wastes- the plan is for it to go out under the Irish Sea. Aggregate Industries who run the Quarry have nothing to do with the plan – the land is owned by Lowther Estate ie Lord Inglewood. This is so corrupt – the coal mine boss has been employed by Government to give costings for digging the big hole next to his coal mine.

Dear Allerdale and Copeland Working Groups,

I would be very grateful if this email could be brought to the attention of all members of the Allerdale and Copeland Working Groups.

GHYLL SCUAR QUARRY/MILLOM DEER PARK

Last Friday 18th June 2021 Radiation Free Lakeland met with local people living next to Millom Deer Park/Ghyll Scuar Quarry. Most had…

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People Ask: Will Boris Johnson Use the G7 to Scrap the Coal Mine? Mmmm… Maybe Not, As the Coal Boss is Govnt Nuke Dump Advisor

Pundits a-plenty are asking if Boris will bolster his climate credentials by scrapping the £160m coal mine. The CEO of West Cumbria Mining must be having a little smile. He has much bigger and much more dangerous fish to fry. When the question of the coal mine comes up at the G7 it can be guaranteed that Boris will make some climate noises but will keep entirely schtum about the fact that his government has asked the coal boss to come up with costings for the biggest and most dangerous deep pit in UK (not to mention world) history.

The deep pit in question is the hole for a deep nuclear dump to “dispose” of heat generating nuclear wastes. The coal boss has advised government use the same company as his coal mine for its giant Tunnel Boring Machines. These expensive machines usually have to be abandoned underground so having a new job to move onto (in the same place under the Irish Sea) could be lucrative for someone?

The estimated cost however at £1.7 billion for a big deep nuclear pit (thats just the cost for the hole not anything else) is way more expensive than for Mark Kirkbride’s coal mine at £160 million.

Don’t believe it ? Then check this out.   https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/files/182559187/FULL_TEXT.PDF    (Mark Kirkbride’s contribution is at 233 onwards)

The heat generating wastes planned to go in the deep pit are the most lethal material on the planet. The plan is to dump them, leave them without supervision, without cooling and without repackaging. It is guaranteed that they will continue to heat up underground, under the Irish Sea or the land. The planetary destroying wastes then would breach the supposed safety barriers and there would be no way to stop them entering the biosphere.

This issue is being ignored by media and NGOs, but hey ho the circus is in town.

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