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Stop Press :

Today (30th Jan 2013) the Cumbria County Council decided not to progress further with any form of planning or investigation.  

Read the news report here.

If you expressed your views against, by signing petitions or by writing, then very many thanks for your assistance.


There is a proposal to site a nuclear waste depository deep under the Cumbrian Fells.  

No problem you would think if they drill a small borehole down from the Sellafield plant like an oil well and simply bury it out of harm’s way,

but the idea proposed involves drilling thousands of test holes in the Ennerdale Fells, driving a roadway 10k underground from the coast,

digging out millions of tons of granite waste, building a possible second tunnel entrance in the Ennerdale or Buttermere Valleys

and maybe even taking large areas of the west Lakes out of the National Park in order to do it.

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Read more about it and sign the petition if you feel as we do.

Click here for the "No Ennerdale web site" for more information . . . then sign the 38degrees petition here or lobby the Govt. here.

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But read on . . .

At a recent public meeting in Keswick we learnt that . . .

Click here to view the meeting on YouTube

The first of a series of videos of presentations both from those opposing the plans as well as representatives from the Nuclear Industry.

Instead of investigating the best place to put an underground repository they first asked for volunteers to host it and then would look in their areas for possible sites . . .

Surely any site should be selected first on geological suitability then ask the people ... not on the criteria of who "wants some money and jobs" and so have the repository in their area.

Professor Smythe, Prof Hazeldene plus the £400m Nirex investigations in the 1990's ruled out the Lake District geology as an unsuitable because it was too fractured.  Millions were spent investigating a site next to Sellafield, only to be abandoned as it was concluded that the geology was not suitable . . .

The geologist at the Keswick meeting cast doubt on their findings and said it may be suitable and so deserved further investigation ... but he had no new information . . . just guessing.

He also said that there were other areas of the country that would also be worthy of investigation.  Those mentioned were The Wash, East Anglia, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.  All have more suitable geology than Cumbria.   They have not been included as they have not volunteered. 

He did however confirm that Cumbria would not be used if found unsuitable.

The Foot and Mouth episode in 2001 showed that tourism was the singularly most important industry of the Lake District, even above farming . . .

yet they are prepared to put this in jeopardy by building a nuclear repository within the boundary of the park ... not a good marketing decision said another speaker.

The area in question is a site of special scientific interest and is within the existing National Park.  Existing very tight planning rules should prevent such a development . . .

However there is no guarantee the authorities couldn't push through a change to the Park boundaries if they felt they needed to.

The Government Plan follows this sort of scenario :-

STAGE 4 : Decision of the Local and County Councils needed by end of Jan 2013 (very soon) To allow the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to undertake a four year desk study of the area reviewing already known information . . . and costing tens of millions of pounds in so doing.

STAGE 5 : Trial geological surveys of rock identified as "possible" (Silloth, Ennerdale, Eskdale) This would involve driving new roads onto the fells the Solway Plain and import drilling rigs to create 60,000 holes to be drilled and dynamited across 25,000 sq km  during the following ten years.  Much of the park must be made out-of-bounds while work is done.

STAGE 6 : The digging of an underground tunnel 10 km from Sellafield  A project akin to a second channel tunnel. It was not considered possible to do it without two major tunnels from the coast or one tunnel and a shorter waste extraction tunnel for waste rock directly into Ennerdale.  This would involve taking vast quantities of rock out from the Gillerthwaite area by road.  Cost in excess of £12 billion.

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Stage six would be a direct contravention of the National Park rules.

Stage 5 would significantly impact on the countryside of the National Park around Ennerdale / Eskdale.

Part of the money available in Stage 4 would probably be used to argue the case for the repository.

There has been no talk of any money to counter their political arguments or to allow independent research.

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Vote now to encourage the local councils to  stop the process now.

Tell them not to continue with the Stage 4 agreement.

It is a very expensive waste of money to continue as the geology has been shown to be unsound, it would damage the landscape of the National Park, the existing Park rules would not allow it and it would lose more jobs from Cumbria tourism than it would ever gain by going ahead with this major engineering construction within West Cumbria.

eMail the Decision Makers

The decision on 30 Jan 2013 will be made at three meetings, of Copeland and Allerdale Councils, and Cumbria County Council, which has a veto.
The email addresses of all the councilors involved in the various areas are shown on this web page:

Prince Charles visits the Lake District regularly, staying just a few miles from the possible site which may extend to the edge of Buttermere.

Write a letter to Prince Charles at: HRH The Prince of Wales, Clarence House, London, SW1A 1BA
or (for a lesser effect) email via Prince Charles' web site:

Please sign as many of these petitions as you can (it really doesn't take long to do this!):

New top priority Petition:
38 ePetition to the Copeland, Allerdale and Cumbria Councils

and :-
38 ePetition to Eddie Murphy, head of Cumbria County Council

Other petitions you can sign:

The Cumbria County Council  ePetition about a referendum for the residents of Cumbria

The ePetition complaining about unsound geology

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If you are able to be in the Lakes, please join the protest walk at Ennerdale's
Bowness Knott Car Park 12:00hrs Saturday 26th January 2013

This is the potential route that heavy lorries and site equipment could take through the Ennerdale valley. The walk will start at Bowness Knott Car park and continue beside the lake and end at the River Liza Delta just below Ennerdale Fell. This would be the anticipated site for the temporary Drilling HQ if seismic testing is to be carried out in MRWS Stage 5.
The closing sequences of the movie 28 Days Later (2002), directed by Danny Boyle, were filmed around the Ennerdale area and people will remember the message laid on the grass and viewed from above. We have arranged for the walk to be photographed from the air, weather permitting. It is our intention to recreate the final scene and provide footage and stills for use by the media.
The proposed walk will be a gentle stroll of 1.5miles each way and is easy enough for families and walkers of all ability. Please make sure all your friends, family, colleagues and anyone else who will listen comes along and supports this protest.

We need as many people as possible to create media interest.”

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A list of businesses opposed to the deep disposal of high level nuclear waste

in Cumbria has been drawn up . . . Their petition states:

"We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about the damage to the
Cumbrian image and economy caused by discussions to site a high level
nuclear waste deep disposal facility in Cumbria. We request that Cumbria ,
Allerdale and Copeland Councils respect the importance of Tourism/ Quality
food production in our county and vote against proceeding any further with this proposal."

The intention is to present the petition to the Councils before the end of this month when they are due to take the
decision whether to go to the next stage.
If you are in the tourism business, contact to add your name to the list.

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What are these organisations doing and saying ?  They should be at the forefront of the action.  Write and ask them.

The National Trust

The Friends of the Lake District

Cumbria Tourism



Go to Loweswatercam home page . . . or Email me here

More pictures of our walks in Ennerdale :-

26th May 2012 - Ennerdale's Anglers Crag from Bleach Green

4th September 2010 Neil's 214 ~ Caw and Steeple from Bowness Knott

© RmH