Please join us tomorrow outside Cumbria County Council Offices in Kendal (Busher Walk).
We will gather at 8.45 to greet the Development Control and Regulation Committee who will be taking a decision on whether or not to allow the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years. Bring Banners, Music, Bring Yourselves to show OPPOSITION to this beyond crazy plan.
Speakers in opposition to this plan include Dr Laurie Michaelis who has been a lead author for several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and provided analysis and policy advice for the UK government, European Commission, OECD environment ministers and the UN climate negotiators.
He will introduce his detailed presentation to the committee by saying “Speaking to you feels like possibly the single most important thing I’ll do in my life. I know climate change mostly feels abstract and distant, but it is real and it is already wrecking the lives of real people. Your decision not to go ahead could save thousands of lives and help build effective action to prevent catastrophic climate change.”
Just this evening we have recieved a letter from Tim Farron MP saying “I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Chief Executive of the Office for Nuclear Regulation to ask them to reconsider this decision not to provide detailed feedback, especially given recent concerns raised by bodies, such (published by) as the Yorkshire Geological Society which outlines the high risk of liquefaction at the Sellafield and Moorside sites.”
We only have five minutes each to speak – below is my presentation on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole. You can still sign the petition here .
KEEP CUMBRIAN COAL IN THE HOLE
PRESENTATION FOR DC&R Committee 19:3.19
I am Marianne Birkby speaking on behalf of Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole. This is a Radiation Free Lakeland campaign set up following the proposal by WCM People have asked why would a nuclear safety group be campaigning against coal.
The answer to that can be seen in our petition which I present to you today.
The petition headline says: Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole – it is too close to Sellafield. (1,154 signatures)
West Cumbria Mining say our petition objections have been answered. Not true. Our objections stand and are escalating the more we find out about the plan.
Others will speak forcibly today of the terrible climate impacts. I would like to concentrate on seismic and water impacts.
At 8km from Sellafield the extent of the mine lies 600 metres from the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s legal remit to consult. The ONR say therefore that they do not need to be consulted by CCC.
For the ONR to completely wash its hands of any real scrutiny regarding this unprecedented deep mining so close to Sellafield’s 140 tons of plutonium is scandalous. The Precautionary Principle is enshrined in UK laws that CCC are bound by and we would urge Councillors to ask the ONR for full consultation and scrutiny before making a decision. That scrutiny should include a recent paper published last September by the Yorkshire Geological Society. The paper outlines the high risk of liquefaction at the Sellafield and Moorside sites. (1)
Barrow is the only place in the UK ever to have experienced liquefaction from a much smaller seismic event than that outlined in the recent paper.
A liquefaction event at Sellafield caused by coal mining induced earth movements would be disastrous not just for Cumbria but for Europe too. The Precautionary Principle in this instance must be applied.
Coal, like nuclear is a water intensive industry, leaving long lasting carcinogenic products . For every ton of coal, two and a half tons of water are required to wash that coal. West Cumbria Mining propose to ‘recycle’ the water pumped from the voids and ‘surface’ water, this involves a series of lagoons to allow toxic products to settle. WCM’s proposal is to only use mains water the offices. This is not credible. I have asked for scrutiny on fresh water usage but have not recieved any answers. My calculations from WCM’s coal production figures is that the the mine would need to use 3 million litres of water a day to wash the coal before transportation.
West Cumbria’s fresh water situation is already stressed with many people in the Copeland area suffering health impacts from having to drink a mix of 80/20 borehole
water. Borehole water can be very good but not from a complex geologically faulted area which has been heavily mined in the past.
To impose another water intensive, dirty and geologically damaging industry on West Cumbria is an attack on the most basic of human rights, the right to fresh water.
Tim Farron has written to the ONR asking that they reconsider the decision not to provide detailed feedback given the recent concerns raised over risk of liquefaction at Sellafield and Moorside.
Reply to CCC from the ONR:
“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. We would not expect Cumbria County Council to consult us regarding developments outside this zone..”
The susceptibility of glacigenic deposits to liquefaction under seismic loading conditions: case study relating to nuclear site characterization in West Cumbria Authors: Martin Cross1*, Anass Attya2 & David J. A. Evans3 “The results of the assessments indicated a potential high risk for liquefaction for both horizontal ground acceleration events. Due to the variation of the ground and groundwater conditions across the sequence investigated, differences in excess pore-water pressure dissipation can be expected. In such circumstances large differential settlement and ground deformation are highly probable during a seismic event of magnitude (M)=6.0.” Published by the Yorkshire Geological Society, September 2018
The Barrow-in-Furness Earthquake of 15 February 1865: Liquefaction from a Very Small Magnitude Event
“High intensity and liquefaction phenomena are usually associated only with relatively large magnitude earthquakes. An earthquake in 1865 in the northwest of England suggests that a sufficiently shallow small event can also produce liquefaction. The effects are well-documented in historical sources and include sand fountaining. Modern investigation is confined to documentary evidence owing to the tidal environment of the area where liquefaction occurred. Analysis shows that the felt area of the earthquake was probably only about 200 km2; however, heavy damage occurred in the village of Rampside and the maximum intensity is assessed at 8. Liquefaction is not uncommon at this intensity, but such a high intensity is not usually produced by such small erathquakes. The magnitude was probably in the range 2.5–3.5 M L .” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226374518_The_Barrow-in-Furness_Earthquake_of_15_February_1865_Liquefaction_from_a_Very_Small_Magnitude_Event
Assessing Water Issues in China’s Coal Industry by Hope Inman Advanced Science News: April 30th 2014; “On average, for one tonne of prepared coal 2.5 tonnes of water is used”