The plan is to extract 2.8 million tonnes every year during the lifespan of the proposed mine. Assuming 40 years mining and an average of 2 million tonnes a year, that is a total production of 80 million tonnes! But burning fossil fuel is not the only or even the most terrifying concern here.
Correspondence with the Office for Nuclear Regulation below for info.
Date: December 6, 2018 at 11:01 AM
Subject: RE: GE201808194 – Proposed new coal mine near Sellafield
Thank you for your e-mail. Please accept my sincerest apologies in the delay for our response which arose due to consultations between different internal teams. I hope the below assists you with your query.
I can confirm that the proposed development, including the onshore and offshore mining areas specified in the planning application document “D46_869_AO_001_Underground Mining – Onshore and Offshore Mining Areas”, lies outside the ONR’s consultation zone around the Sellafield nuclear licensed site. ONR ask to be consulted on developments within the off-site emergency planning area around the Sellafield site, which extends approximately 6.1 – 7.4 km from the site centrepoint (see http://www.onr.org.uk/depz.htm for further details). We would not expect Cumbria County Council to consult us regarding developments outside this zone, and I can confirm that we have not been consulted.
In response to your expressed concern that potential resulting earth tremors could cause a major nuclear incident at the Sellafield Site, I have consulted colleagues within the External Hazards specialism within ONR and they have provided the following advice:
The proposed new subsea coal mine at c 10km from Sellafield is not considered by ONR to be capable of generating ground motions that would affect safety at the Sellafield site. ONR has consulted with the HSE Mines Inspectorate, the British Geological Survey and its own expert panel on seismic activity in the UK. The nature of the proposed mine (pillar and room) is one that is not designed to collapse at any point in the future, unlike for example long wall mining. Even in the highly unlikely event of a collapse, the nature of any ensuing earth tremors would be limited to very low levels. These levels would not be felt by persons on the Sellafield site and would not disrupt structures, systems and components important to safety on the site.
Once again, my apologies for the delay in our response.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.