Beware nuclear firms bearing charitable gifts
Monday 15th December 2014
A donation to Cumbria Wildlife Trust comes from the same companies whose nuclear plans endanger local wildlife, says Marianne Birkby
Christmas has come early for Cumbria Wildlife Trust with a gift of £59,994 to “create 40 hectares of reedbed at Foulshaw Moss” in the South Lakes.
This sounds fantastic until you follow the money from Sita Trust and see exactly where it originates.
Sita Trust is wholly sponsored by Sita UK. Sita UK is wholly owned by GDF Suez — the same French-owned energy multinational which is partner with Toshiba/Westinghouse in the plan for new nuclear reactors between Sellafield, Beckermet, Calderbridge and Braystones.
Sita UK specialises in waste, including nuclear waste, and is also behind the plan for the nuclear dump at Keekle Head.
This was stopped following a vigorous campaign, during which Cumbria Wildlife Trust played no part in spite of Keekle Head being a known overwintering site for hen harriers and the head of the river Keekle.
The developer, NuGEN — the same company which has given money to Cumbria Wildlife Trust — has deceived repeatedly in order to secure planning consent for 100 boreholes up to 150m deep at Moorside in West Cumbria.
NuGEN says there are “no protected and priority species,” when there is a huge diversity of wildlife including species on the red list.
NuGEN also says “there are no trees or hedgerows” — again this is a fraud, there are at least 12 miles of ancient hedgerows and trees.
NuGEN says that “there are no designated or important habitats or other biodiversity features” — again this is fraudulent.
There is the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Church Moss where we have seen sedge warbler and dragonfly. The watershed of the borehole area drains into here. As well as the SSSI of Church Moss there is also the SSSI of the River Ehen.
At least one borehole would be on the flood plain of the River Ehen.
NuGEN also says that the drilling will not take place in an area of flood plain and that the water and mud brought up out of the borehole will not be contaminated.
This is despite the area having well-documented radioactive contamination from Sellafield.
Formerly several farmers farmed these 500 acres. Now it is down to one, with beef cattle in the same area as the borehole “exploration” bringing Sellafield seepage to the surface.
Where will this be dumped? In reply to Radiation Free Lakeland, NuGEN have said: “You will not find permits for the boreholes currently being drilled on the Moorside site as they are not required.
“The planning consent NuGen was granted in 2012 permits the drilling of the boreholes. The Environment Agency are aware of this activity … a specific permit is not required…”
In other words, a handful of people on Copeland Borough Council’s development control committee have given permission for 100 boreholes following lies from the developers.
For Cumbria read Gotham. Unfortunately we do not have a Batman to save us — just ourselves and the hope that those being bought off now will wake up and start opposing Moorside — “the biggest nuclear development in Europe.”
The petition now has 5,200 signatures. Moorside is only a done deal if we allow it to be.
Sign the petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-moorside-biggest-nuclear-development-in-europe.
Marianne Birkby writes on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland.