Skip to main content

To: Health and Safety Executive of the UK

Stop Fossil Fuel Extraction Near Nuclear Installations

In your role as protectors of the Health and Safety of UK citizens, we ask you to urge HM Government to effect an immediate ban on the extraction of fossil fuels within 20 miles as the crow flies of Nuclear Installations.

Why is this important?

Currently there is no limit at all on the proximity of fossil fuel extraction to nuclear installations despite the known risks of induced seismic activity.

Given the vast uncertainty regarding the classification of nuclear materials at both Sellafield in Cumbria and Springfields in Lancashire at the very least there should be a moratorium on fossil fuel extraction within the vicinity of nuclear installations. We call for an immediate ban on the extraction of fossil fuels near nuclear installations while a comprehensive inquiry is undertaken. This inquiry should include the worst-case scenarios that could result from induced seismic activity near existing and planned nuclear installations. The inquiry should be undertaken honestly and transparently and be fully independent of current pro-nuclear government policy.


SELLAFIELD AND COAL (the plan for the proposed Moorside nuclear reactors would be even nearer to the proposed coal mining activity)

"The prospect of reopening and extending the Whitehaven Coal Mine with licenses extending to within a few miles of the decrepit and highly dangerous Sellafield nuclear waste complex is ringing alarm bells in North Wales where we experienced a 5.4 Richter scale earthquake in 1984, the largest ever recorded in Britain. Deliberately creating seismic dangers by reopening this mine so close to the deadliest stockpile of nuclear waste at Sellafield is a deliberately wreckless act of environmental vandalism. PAWB supports Radiation Free Lakeland’s call for an immediate moratorium on fossil fuel extraction, either coal or fracking, within the vicinity of the nuclear installations at Heysham, Sellafield and Springfields because of the obvious seismic risks.”

Dylan Morgan on behalf of the anti-nuclear campaign group PAWB, Pobl Atal Wylfa B / People Against Wylfa B


“It beggars belief that a fracking pad is being constructed five miles from the Springfields Nuclear Fabrication plant and their nearby nuclear waste dump at Clifton Marsh landfill. We have already witnessed the effects of induced seismicity in the area from one frack at Preese Hall six years ago. Cuadrilla is planning 40-60 wells on the super pad at Preston New Road and maybe up to 100 other pads throughout the Fylde. The area is heavily faulted making it more susceptible not only to seismicity but also to groundwater contamination from the Clifton Marsh nuclear dump. For Sajid Javid to overrule Lancashire County Council’s decision and allow these two forms of extreme energy to sit side-by-side is madness. The people of Lancashire are unprotected and the public health implications are enormous.

Pam Foster from RAFF (Residents Action on Fylde Fracking)

Martyn Lowe from Close Capenhurst Campaign says that:

“The danger of something happening at Springfields with any of the Uranium Hexaflouride which is on the site is already very worrying. If there was even a very minor earth tremor as the result of fracking, then it might well increase the odds of something really nasty happening at the site. I very much doubt if Toshiba Westinghouse or the Office for Nuclear Regulation have factored in such a danger in to any of their emergency procedures about what would happen to the plant.”


"Induced seismic activity from fossil fuel extraction would not have stand alone consequences in this part of the North West. For example The North West of England has been the only area in the UK ever to have suffered a liquefaction event following a rather minor earthquake near Barrow (now home to Trident) in 1865 following vast mining operations at nearby Hodbarrow. The magnitude was small "probably in the range 2.5–3.5 ML". (pure and applied geophysics November 1998, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 733–745). A liquefaction event at Sellafield or Springfields would be catastrophic and not only for the North West!"

Marianne Birkby from Radiation Free Lakeland

Even a small buffer zone of 10 miles would be better than the current situation of no proximity limit.

How it will be delivered

The petition has been delivered but the HSE and Office for Nuclear Regulation who merely directed us to their website which states that there is no proximity but each development is taken on a site by site basis. This is not good enough and puts us all at risk. We will continue to raise awareness through this petition and re-deliver it restating and reinforcing our demand that there is a proximity of 10 miles on fossil fuel extraction to nuclear installations.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL




2018-02-22 14:43:21 +0000

PETITION and LETTER Delivered to the Health and Safety Executive. We will keep the petition open as there is no guarantee that the HSE will ACT. We must continue to kick up a stink to make sure that fossil fuel extraction near nuclear sites is BANNED! There is more info here on the delivery of the Letter to the HSE ...

2018-01-23 12:37:41 +0000

This recent coverage from the BBC gives the impression that there is just one lone voice opposing the first deep coal mine in the UK. Even the coal authority and the environment agency oppose it but that has not been flagged up in the media - what is going on?

2018-01-23 12:34:00 +0000

The planning meeting for the first deep coal mine in the UK has been deferred again. The new date is now March 7th and will take place at the County Offices Kendal. Although this is a very big deal you would not think so from reading and listening to the mainstream media. There has been virtually no reporting in the local press and none at all in the national press on all the reasons why so many groups and organisations are opposed to the plan for the first deep coal mine in 30 years.

More info at

2017-09-19 00:04:16 +0100

The planning meeting has been set for 1st Nov in Kendal.
We are growing our determined family of opposition and despite the rain last sunday we held a colourful rally in the rain in the heart of the Lake Distric. Bowness said a BiG NO TO NEW COAL and the swans agreed too!!

2017-08-03 13:52:20 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2017-07-05 10:24:07 +0100


2017-07-03 22:09:13 +0100

Do we want to risk man made seismic activity close to Sellafield? Please write to Cumbria County Council before July 10th (you can still oppose after but that is the official "comment' date) Make your voice heard in opposition to the first coal mine in the UK for 30 years…near to….Sellafield!!!

“The majority of the anthropogenic related earthquakes were caused by coal mining and the decline in their numbers from the 1980s to the 2000s was concurrent with a decline in UK coal production.”

Email the Leader of Cumbria County Council before 10th July [email protected]

2017-07-02 17:09:48 +0100

Coking Coal Mines Still Burning After 100 years

2017-07-02 16:52:45 +0100

Coal Mining and Earthquakes...

2017-06-30 20:23:11 +0100

500 signatures reached

2017-06-30 11:14:09 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-06-30 11:01:10 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-06-29 19:32:16 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-06-29 16:39:36 +0100

10 signatures reached