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Almost 3,000 people urge Government to scrap Cumbria nuclear reactor plans

Nearly 3,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Government to scrap plans to build a huge new nuclear reactor in Cumbria.

Nuclear reactor graphic
Artist's impression of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor

A total of 2,824 people have voiced their concerns online at the proposed plans – dubbed Europe’s largest nuclear project – to build another nuclear site in west Cumbria.

The £10bn plant at Moorside will be built next to the county’s existing nuclear plant Sellafield, should it get the go-ahead.

The plans have become a major talking point in the area with opponents highlighting environmental issues while supporters claim it could create up to 21,000 jobs.

Those behind the petition, Radiation Free Lakeland, say that building a new site would make the area more dangerous.

A statement on the petition website from the group said: “Cumbria already has Sellafield. The Sellafield site has the biggest amount of radioactivity on the planet. A major accident involving the liquid high level waste tanks would have catastrophic consequences and make the area uninhabitable for many generations.

“The area around the Sellafield site should be an untouchable buffer zone to provide a measure of safety for surrounding towns and villages, to accommodate the documented leakage of radiation from the Sellafield site into groundwater and to minimise the target area for terrorist attack, instead of doubling it.”

Opponents of the scheme are also critical of the consortium behind the plans, NuGen.

The consortium is part-owned by Japanese industrial giant Toshiba, who Radiation Free Lakeland claim were one of the suppliers to the Fukushima plant which suffered a meltdown in three of its six reactors in 2011.

Radiation Free Lakeland added: “We urge David Cameron and the leaders of Europe to scrap plans for Moorside. The UK Government is planning to sell a vast area of Cumbria to the same companies responsible for the Fukushima disaster, so that they can build new nuclear reactors.

“Please don’t risk the safety of Europe by turning Cumbria into a nuclear sacrifice zone.”

Upon signing the petition, a poster called Dorothy H wrote: “We must find clean alternatives to our needs. I would rather pay more for energy than pollute our wonderful planet even more.”

Keith P wrote: “Nuclear isn’t the answer, with needing to manage waste for a 1,000 years that is bordering on madness.”

M.J added: “The evidence is plain to see and that is that nuclear power plants are simply not safe. A Fukushima type of accident in Cumbria would lay waste the Lake District for a generation. Is it worth it?”

NuGen plan to return to the site to assess its suitability next year and if the site is deemed suitable, they hope to secure permission and licensing in 2018, allowing for construction to begin in 2020.

NuGen were unavailable for comment.

Have your say

So people working as carers earn £35,000 plus a year, I thought that they were underpaid for the great job they do !
Well nuclear is just bad news, lets clean up the mess we have already made and forget making any more, Moronside will not create thousands of jobs longterm, initially a lot of contractors coming in for the build and then a lot less to run. Again during any outage the contractors will be back, all we get is the risk and enviromental impact. Now they are talking of £400 million just to get cables across the bay, if you put the plant at Heysham then no expensive tunnel or huge pylons. This whole concept is being dumped in Cumbria because no one else wants it and the government thinks the people of Cumbria are stupid enough to fall for it.


Posted by roy on 4 September 2014 at 12:44

Calder Hall closed in 2003 after producing electricity for 47 years with zero problems.

Posted by Alan on 29 August 2014 at 14:08

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