To: Her Majesty The Queen
The plan for the first deep coal mine in 30 years requires Her Majesty to agree to an Exploitation agreement with the developers, West Cumbria Mining, in order to extract the coal. We the undersigned plead with Her Majesty to Please be on the right side of history and Refuse to sign the Crown Estate agreement with West Cumbria Mining for Exploitation of Coal Reserves under the Irish Sea five miles from Sellafield and directly beneath the radioactive Sellafield/Cumbrian Mud Patch.
Why is this important?
Local campaigners have been opposing this plan on the grounds of intolerable climate and radiological damage since 2017.
Her Majesty now has a direct role to play in either facilitating or stopping this plan in its tracks. Her Majesty’s Crown Estate signed an Exploration Agreement with West Cumbria Mining on 21st July 2017. This agreement ran out on 2nd October 2020.
Also on 2nd October 2020 Cumbria County Council were minded to approve West Cumbria Mining’s plan (The Secretary of State told the council they could refuse but not offer final approval for the plan, pending his decision).
In order to facilitate the plan being pushed forward for the first deep coal mine in 30 years, West Cumbria Mining require Her Majesty to agree to an Exploitation agreement in order to extract the coal.
Her Majesty has visited Sellafield, the world’s known riskiest nuclear waste site. Sellafield would be just five miles from the deep undersea coal mine. Mass void removal is known to induce seismicity. As well as this certain seismic risk the mine would be directly below the radioactive sediments which have settled on the Irish Sea bed from decades of Sellafield discharges. The radioactive sediment which includes plutonium is named as the Cumbrian Mud Patch.
There have been many peer reviewed and independent reports indicating that subsidence/disturbance of the Irish Sea bed will resuspend these decades of radioactive wastes into the sea. It takes just 4 years for radioactive wastes from Sellafield’s discharge pipeline to reach the Arctic. Far less time to reach our own coasts. The New Scientist has reported that Sellafield “reprocessing plant has released 40 000 billion becquerels of caesium-137. “So far, about 15 000 billion becquerels have reached the Arctic. This is between two and three times more than the contamination from Chernobyl, which is reaching the Arctic via the Baltic and North Seas.” https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg15420811-400-sellafield-leaves-its-mark-on-the-frozen-north/%E2%80%A8
Mike Berners-Lee the climate expert has said of the Council approval of the coal mine that “12 Cumbria County Councillors have serious climate blood on their hands after approving the coal mine yet again – even though the case for has been shown to be 100% bogus. Unlikely there is anything any of them can do in their lives to undo this much damage.”
For myself as a long time nuclear safety campaigner and the person who took on the legal challenge against the coal mine with the help of top lawyers Leigh Day, I know that the climate impacts although massive, are the tip of the iceberg. The nuclear impacts are of a magnitude literally out of this world as it is well known that the high level radioactive wastes sitting at Sellafield could annihilate the planet many times over. This and the certain risk of resuspension of the Cumbrian Mud Patch wastes means that this coal mine puts the whole planet at direct risk of a nuclear fall out there would be no coming back from.
Please be on the right side of history and refuse to sign the Crown Estate agreement with West Cumbria Mining for further Exploration and Exploitation of coal reserves under the Irish Sea 5 miles from Sellafield and directly beneath the Cumbrian Mud Patch.
Exploration Agreement with West Cumbria Mining