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To: MP FOR WORKINGTON, Mark Jenkinson and Cumbria County Council



We urge the MP for Workington and Cumbria County Council to take concerns about radioactive scrap metal being dumped at the Port of Workington seriously and at least allow councillors to have a full discussion and full vote on the plan. The plan is to store 80 shipping containers of radioactive scrap metal at the Port of Workington just metres from residential areas and in spitting distance of the Solway Firth. The tides are getting higher and the Port of Workington at the mouth of the River Derwent has flooded previously.

Why is this important?

Cumbria County Council say the decision to allow the plan to go ahead as “permitted development” is because they have been advised that this is “low level” nuclear wastes and that the Environment Agency have given a permit to Cyclife/EDF.


This makes no sense - why has there been no discussion and vote on such a dangerous development?Low level radioactive waste is dangerous to human health - Sellafield was fined nearly £1M for dumping "low level" waste by "accident" at a landfill site.

The Environment Agency and Cyclife/EDF themselves admit that there would be unknown “hot spots” within the metals stored at the Port of Workington. The metal scrap from decommissioning nuclear plants that is found to be too radioactive to be treated at the Cyclife plant would be shipped to their sister plant in Sweden.
The Cyclife Application acknowledges that there would be “hot spots’ in the metal housed in the shipping containers of up to 1000Bq/g

“Chemical and physical details of the radioactive waste -.. The waste will be of nuclear origin, from either decommissioning activities or routine arisings and have an average specific activity of less than 100 Bq/g with a maximum for a hotspot of 1000 Bq/g.” The application includes the full range of radionuclides including plutonium.


There is no guarantee that the limit in the shipping containers would be the already generous “hot spot” 1000 Bq/g described by Cyclife. In reality there is likely to be undetected heavy radioactive material in the containers source and some of that could well be in powder form which is a lot more risky to contain (near a residential area) than solid lumps of metal.

Even “low level” wastes are harmful to human health and the environment which is why the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg pays out “£1.5m a year for every year that the repository is operating; in addition to an initial endowment of £10 m.”

Health and the environment come cheap in Cumbria when it comes to nuclear impacts. People who have experience (which is too many) will testify that £millions are no compensation for a child’s cancer or other radiation linked diseases.

The industry itself has a Compensation Scheme for nuclear workers for cancers caused by low level radiation. Will this scheme be extended to the general public living 500 metres from a permanent “low level” nuclear waste storage area at the Port of Workington?

Will farmers be compensated for the loss of confidence in agricultural feed coming through a Port which is nuclear waste site?

Will paper companies producing packaging be compensated for the loss of confidence in their raw product which has come through a Port which is a nuclear waste site?

This is “business as usual” as far as the out of control nuclear industry is concerned.

Tim Knowles, the County Council’s former cabinet member responsible for nuclear issues has said of the nuclear dump plan at the Port of Workington : "Nothing would kill its reputation quicker than making it yet another dumping ground in the increasing spread of nuclear waste sites. Surely keeping the waste at Sellafield and Drigg should be enough. Spreading it to Lillyhall and the Port of Workington damages Allerdale’s image as well. Isn’t having Copeland known as “The World’s Nuclear Dustbin” bad enough?..”


LLW Drigg Copeland Community Fund.

Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases

Former Nuclear Issues County Councillor Tim Knowles Letter to the News and Star

Call for Scrutiny by County Councillors On Radioactive Scrap Metal Plan for the Port of Workington

Prince of Wales Dock, Workington CA14 2JH, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL



2021-07-16 18:44:27 +0100

We will be in Workington Town Centre tomorrow (Saturday 17th July) collecting petition signatures and with banners - join us - say hello - we will be at the area of the "Look Out Clock" from 1-3pm

2021-07-13 18:58:15 +0100

How did this happen? Following new legislation in 2007 radioactive wastes could be reclassified as "exempt" which means once "cleaned" they can be "recycled" to pots and pans, incinerated or dumped in landfill. Radiation Free Lakeland argued against this change in law and urged the "exempt" law to be rescinded pointing out that once these new routes to the public realm for newly classified radioactive wastes are open there would be "mistakes" - with much higher activity wastes being dumped in the public realm. Sellafield because of this new "exempt" status for much of its previous nuclear wastes, mistakenly dumped low and intermediate level wastes into a landfill at Lillyhall.

2021-07-12 18:57:41 +0100

100 signatures reached

2021-07-12 17:51:01 +0100

50 signatures reached

2021-07-12 17:29:49 +0100

25 signatures reached

2021-07-12 16:28:23 +0100

The reason why EDF want to store 80 containers of radioactive scrap metal at the Port of Workington is because their controversial "metal recycling facility" at Lillyhall Business Estate five miles away is overflowing. This video shows the kind of radioactive scrap metal that would be housed in the containers at the Port of Workington and appears to include spent fuel flasks which is very troubling ...the inside of these will be fizzing with radionuclides

2021-07-12 14:40:31 +0100

10 signatures reached