Brown Water in Whitehaven Harbour is “No Mystery”

Whitehaven News and other outlets are still wondering why there are metal pollutants in Whitehaven Harbour. Our Press Notice below outlines why we believe this is “No Mystery” – will West Cumbria Mining be protected with a cloak of invisibility over their toxicity in the same way as the nuclear industry is in West Cumbria?


Campaigners say that the brown water in Whitehaven Harbour is “No Mystery”.  Nuclear safety campaigners Radiation Free Lakeland instigated the Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign in 2017 and delayed the coal mine with legal challenge.  They  say that “West Cumbria Mining’s investigative boreholes carried out over a number of years have more than likely done damage to the complex geology within the existing honeycomb of old mine workings and activated the static mine water within those workings in which miners are still entombed from previous disasters.”  

In 2016 correspondence seen by Radiation Free Lakeland between WCM and the their contractors ESI outlined this likelihood:  “The main Environment Agency concern was the potential for increased flux of contaminants through the groundwater.”   West Cumbria Mining and ESI brushed the Environment Agency concern aside by claiming that their investigative boreholes had shown through the flushing of 4 litres of water per second into newly drilled boreholes that conductivity would be “minimal” although “there is the potential for connection via the Byerstead Fault.”  

Radiation Free Lakeland say that West Cumbria Mining’s investigations have proved the opposite of what they set out to do and that contaminated mine water previously held in place has been disturbed by West Cumbria Mining’s boreholes. They urge a full investigation and criminal proceedings against the polluters and and say that  “this is a red light warning of what a full scale highly automated deep coal mine would mean for the health of Whitehaven, it is also beyond belief that Government is taking advice from the CEO of West Cumbria Mining on the digging of an even bigger and deeper hole under the Irish Sea for high level nuclear wastes. CEO Mark Kirkbride was appointed to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management in 2019 and his remit is to provide costings and investigation techniques for a Geological Disposal Facility for nuclear wastes.  

Metal Contaminants

Legal Challenge

Over 1700 men, women, and children were killed in the Whitehaven pits while mining coal, in tunnel workings up to four miles out beneath the sea bed in the Solway Firth. Haig itself had a terrible record of methane explosions in the 1920s. Fourteen miners are still entombed in the workings to this day,the%20workings%20to%20this%20day.

Correspondence between WCM/ESI attached

Mark Kirkbride CoRWM

Australia Mining Hazmat General Warning – There is a radioactive substance risk in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regions.

Australia Mining Hazmat General Warning – There is a radioactive substance risk in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regions.

The following alert has been issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)
Time of issue: 06:19 PM
Date of issue: 27 January 2023RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCE RISK in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regionsThere is a radioactive substance risk in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regions.A capsule containing a radioactive substance has been lost during transportation from north of Newman to the north-eastern suburbs of Perth. The substance is used within gauges in mining operations. Exposure to this substance could cause radiation burns or radiation sickness. The capsule is small (6mm diameter and 8mm tall), round and silver. Risk to the general community is relatively low, however it is important to be aware of the risks and what to do if you see the capsule.WHAT TO DOIf you see something that could be this material:Stay at least 5 metres away from it. Do not touch it.Do not put it in a bag.Do not put it in your car.Report it immediately by calling 13 DFES (13 33 37).If you have touched the material:Seek immediate medical advice from your local health service or visit a hospital emergency department.Tell the health service or hospital that you think you have touched the radioactive material.

Fake News and Journalistic Irresponsibility

The Coal Mine is generating reams of copy in the press and much grandstanding by so many.

One comment by a reporter I spoke to back in 2018 caught my eye. Back in 2018 I described to the reporter the coal mine in all its glory – the carbon and methane emissions, the loss of ancient woodland and most importantly the proximity to Sellafield and the mine’s location under the radioactive wastes on the seabed ( we didn’t know then that the CEO of the coal mine was going to be employed as nuclear dump advisor to Govnt). This reporter was literally begged to actually report on the Cumbria coal mine. His reply to me was: “we shall circle round to the coal mine when the decision has been taken.” The Fake News is that the Nuclear aspects of this coal mine – the dangers and the cronyism are still being wilfully hidden from public view.

The reporter was then the Environment reporter for the Guardian. This is my reply to his tweet today

Letter in the Whitehaven News – Coal Mine and Nuclear Dump


This letter was published in the Whitehaven News on Wednesday January 11th 2023 under the heading: Coal Mine vs GDF

The heading sent in was: Coal Mine Boss Compiles Latest Nuclear Dump Plans for Government (who have just approved his coal mine)

Dear Editor,

With the UK average annual temperature topping 10C for first time it should be obvious that industries topping over one million tonnes of CO2 (e) yearly should be curtailed. However there is one industry that has recently taken to calling itself “clean” while emitting way over a million tonnes. This is the UKs growth industry of nuclear waste. From the horses mouth: “Using Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology, the total NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) group carbon footprint for 2019/20 is1,046,950 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)”

The NDA go on to justify this by claiming that: “This figure is comparable to other similar UK industries” but they…

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“Abominable Coal Man” Compiles Govnt Nuclear Dump Plans – Nothing to see here?!


The following has been sent off to local and national press in short letter form and as a longer press release (below) – so far there has been zero response – what is it with this cloak of invisibility over the blatant cronyism between the earthquake inducing coal mine and the extinction level high level waste nuclear dump agenda? Have all press had the memo to ignore?

Days after two legal challenges are launched against the Government’s coal mine decision, a Government sponsored report into the costings for a Geological Disposal Facility for high level nuclear wastes goes online compiled by the coal boss.

CEO of West Cumbria Mining, Mark Kirkbride was appointed to the Government Committee of Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) in November 2019 as key advisor on investigation techniques for the Geological Disposal Facility and on costings for construction.

The Government’s coal mine decision in early December was…

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Coal Boss Compiles Lastest Nuclear Dump Report for Government who have just Approved his Coal Mine.

High Level Cronyism and Corruption – Coal and Nuclear Waste

Still not raising an eyebrow in the press or by NGOs is the fact that the coal boss Mark Kirkbride is the Government’s key advisor on the dumping of nuclear wastes in big holes.

The latest Committee on Radioactive Waste Management report went online yesterday compiled by non other than CEO of West Cumbria Mining, Mark Kirkbride.

The government has just approved his earthquake inducing deep coal mine in the area of the Irish Sea near Sellafield where the GDF is proposed. This stinks of Government cronyism and corruption but hey – whose looking?

Workington Under Seige from New Nuclear Plans

Where shall we put new nuclear reactors as big as the original Calder Hall ones? The Flood Plain of the River Ehen spitting distance from an earthquake inducing coal mine – Yaaaaay!!


River Ehen and the Irish Sea – this is “Moorside” where pro-nuclear fanatics want to put so-called “small modular reactors” which would actually be bigger than the original Calder Hall reactors –

photo credit – Radiation Free Lakeland – note the sign “Danger Flood Plain – Risk of Drowning” is not a spoof

The Workington area is under seige – already there are several transports weekly of the most dangerous radioactive wastes through the town as admitted in a question to Allerdale Borough Council. The MP for the area though is gushing: Mark Jenkinson MP said: “This announcement today that the ‘NuCell’ SMR will be manufactured at TSP in my constituency is fantastic news.”As a supporter of industry and a strong advocate for new nuclear, I continue to fight hard to support and encourage investment in developments such as this.”We are fortunate to have a strong supply chain for the…

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Letter in the Morning Star Exposes Links Between Subsea Coal Mine and Subsea Nuclear Dumping

The following message has come from peace campaigner Rae Street:

The UK Morning Star published this letter on 31st December

All the best for a peaceful New year to everyone and looking towards a nuclear free future,


Dear Editor,

In response to your recent correspondents, I would say that the proposed coal mine in Cumbria shows that the government is not serious about tackling the climate crisis. Yes, it would provide jobs in the area but a much better answer is to provide jobs in the infrastructure for genuine sustainable energy such as wind turbines and solar panels – according to the Local Government Association that could create 6,000 ‘green’ jobs in Cumbria by 2030. Alok Sharma, who led the UN Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow said:

*85% of coal produced is for export

*Two major UK steel producers have said they won’t use this coal as they are moving to hydrogen

*The government’s own Climate Change Committee has said the mine would increase UK CO2 emissions by 0.4 million tonnes with clear implications for our legally-binding carbon emissions budgets.

The mine will be a backward step in UK climate action – and will damage the UK’s international climate reputation. Once again it would be the government saying to other nations, ‘Do as I say, not as I do’.

And course with this government there is always an ulterior motive. The CEO of the coal mine is Mark Kirkbride, who has now been appointed to the Government Committee on Radioactive Waste Management to advise on the UK Government’s nuclear dump plans. He was the advisor for the hugely damaging seismic blasting which took place in August in the Irish Sea to ‘investigate’ the complex geology for a nuclear dump. This blasting is also likely to have had a disastrous effect on the sea wild life. The area of the Irish sea where the seismic blasting took place overlaps the area of the proposed coal mine.. As the Coal Mine Planning Inspector warned in his recommendation to the government stated: the risk of a seismic event cannot be ruled out’. So the CEO of a seismic inducing coal mine near Sellafield is employed as an advisor on radioactive waste burial in a Geological Disposal Facility. So not only will the coal mine produce huge carbon emissions, but it looks as if the deep voids which would come with the coal mining are being sought for a radioactive waste dump with potential earthquakes in the same area.

Yours sincerely,

Rae Street

New Year – New Challenges to Protect our Marine Life (and more!) from UK Govnt Nuclear Dump Plans

New Year, New Challenges to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole and Nuclear Waste Out!


New Year – New Challenges to Protect our Marine Life (and more!) from UK Govnt Nuclear Dump Plans

31 DEC 2022 —

New Year New Challenges to Halt Nuclear Dump Plans of UK Govnt

(photo – Solway Sunset by Alison D)

Dear Friends,

Thank you to all who are supporting this campaign. We have had a rollercoaster of a year with battles on so many fronts that sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the big picture which is protection of our land and our sea from further nuclear pollution.

With the big picture in mind we have compiled a Timeline – the next part of this story is up to all of us. It is good to remember that we have many allies and friends who provide invaluable advice, help and support and with that and the power of all our collective elbows we say on behalf of…

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