Friday, 28 September 2012

Tricky Nuclear Joke on Beautiful Copeland...

At the meeting last wednesday of Copeland Borough Council the nuclear dump
was 'discussed.' Questions from the public have to be registered days
beforehand in order for pat answers to be provided. I'd registered
early on my own behalf as a wildlife artist but we arrived 5 minutes late
and I was initially refused the right to speak by Elaine Woodburn, leader
of the Borough Council and Moorcide nuclear plant cheerleader. Luckily the
democratic services officer stepped in so I spoke after the newly formed
nukiller dump cheerleaders, The Sellafield Workers Campaign.

Here are the questions asked (image)

Elaine Woodburn agreed with the Sellafield Workers Campaign that people
opposing the dump have never shown the slightest interest in the future of
Copeland. This is insulting puerile rubbish. One of the public questions
was from Gareth Harrison of Seascale, a self employed artist and
photographer who has also worked for Sellafield who said "I and many
others have a view of our area that extends beyond the nuclear sphere. I
ask OUR councillors to consider the bigger picture also. West Cumbria is a
unique and beautiful area that does not need or deserve the proposed
repository. Please do not assume that we all want this process to be
imposed upon us"

Councillor Woodburn objected to the use of the word "dump" in my question.
I replied that as outlined in the MRWS's own literature it is not a case
of if but when this 'repository' leaks which by definition makes it a

There was a lot of reference to the (dodgy) Ipsos Mori poll showing how
willing the community is and to community benefits. The fact that most
communities have voted against the dump and therefore the community
benefits are meaningless was not referred to.

Three councillors opposed going forward while the rest who spoke were in
favour and did a lot of kowtowing to the Sellafield workforce who cheered
Councillor John Kane when he said " I have no control over my Parkinson's
disease but I worked in the nuclear industry and I do have control over
the nuclear industry. We have regulators and we trust in them!" The blind
faith of some Sellafield workers is breathtaking. Do they not realise that
the regulators are merely there to tick the boxes of government policy no
matter how dangerous it is, from new laws to "exempt" radioactive waste so
it can be dumped in landfill, to increasing the levels at which emissions
of antimony and other nasty stuff can be released due to increased
reprocessing etc. The regulators are toothless watchdogs. The Environment
Agency has said as much to Radiation Free Lakeland when we urged them to
take action over the dumping of nuclear waste in landfill "the new laws
allow it." We can be sure if this dump is allowed to go ahead new laws
will accommodate the explosion in radiation dose to the public.

The Sellafield Workers Campaign and some councillors referred to their
pride in the economic benefits of the nuclear industry and that this
decision should be taken by Copeland and others should keep their neb out.
The inconvenient truth is that nuclear is not and never has been an
authentic wealth generating industry. It is an illusion. All the jobs at
Sellafield are paid for by the taxpayer. Private Companies out for the
bottom line rather than safety are paid for with government cheques. In
all the nuclear largesse of everything from new sports halls to festivals
and wining and dining of the Councillors, the fact that the taxpayer is
footing the bill seems to get lost. Ultimately we are being bribed and
literally poisoned with our own money. Neat trick!

The Sellafield Unions could do with taking a leaf out of the more
progressive stance of other unions worldwide who are looking to protect
their workforce and the public.