Grevel Lindop

Poet, biographer, critic, essayist and writer on just about everything

Save Ennerdale from this Nuclear Dump Madness

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ennerdale-9836b[1]Most of my posts about the Lakes have been celebratory. This one isn’t. We are facing a risk that a huge dump for nuclear waste will be created in the Lake District, specifically in and under Ennerdale, the quietest and one of the most beautiful valleys in the Lakes.

The plan is to dig a vast underground cavern in which massive quantities of lethal waste will be stored, which will remain immensely dangerous for the next million years or so. Even the plans put forward by those in favour show that the foothills of Great Gable and Scafell will be permanently scarred by construction and maintenance buildings.

Other counties have already turned down the idea of becoming the world’s nuclear dustbin. The nuclear industry hopes that the lack of jobs in Cumbria will persude the local authorities to give in.

But Bill Jefferson, Chair of the Lake District National Park authority, warns of ‘potentially disastrous effects’ on both landscape and tourism.
He said: “Tourism brings in far more than Sellafield [nuclear processing complex] ever would, and let’s face it, there are going to be more than enough jobs in dealing with the clear-up and improvement of above-ground storage which is happening there.
“We have 15 million people coming to the park every year, and the prospect of having the world’s largest nuclear waste dump could make that considerably fewer.”
On 30 January, three Cumbrian councils will decide whether to agree a full preliminary planning proposal for an underground storage facility four times larger than the vast Sellafield complex from where the waste will be transported.

This lunatic scheme needs to be stopped now for everyone’s sake and for the sake of the future. What you can do at once is to sign the petition at

We need signatures, and we need them right now. It will take about a minute.

And if you are able to be in the Lakes, please join the protest walk at Ennerdale on Saturday 26 January. The organisers say:

“Ennerdale Protest Walk – 12:00hrs Saturday 26th January 2013
We have organised a protest walk in Ennerdale on 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 Carpark 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.”

4 comments to “Save Ennerdale from this Nuclear Dump Madness”

  • Joan Girling


    This is heart breaking, we live near the Sizewell A, B and proposed C/D sites in Suffolk, and are aware that the spent nuclear fuel has been transported to Sellafield for many decades to our shame.
    To try to bury such a dangerous waste legacy in the Cumbrian hills is nothing less than total environmental vandalism, and must be stopped. Many of us believe that there should be no expansion of Nuclear Power generation for this very reason.
    A solution must be found for the legacy waste which is the least worst option and the least environmentally damaging This is not it. It certainly should not be in a National park and definately NOT In CUMBRIA
    It is like sticking a knife into a John Constable painting. Future generations will not thank us for completely fouling up their natural heritage.

  • Mary Davidson


    We’re going with a several large banners. Also protesting this Friday (25th) in Carlisle outide the private propaganda meeting (Hall Mark Hotel, outside train station, 9am) where pro-dumpers will try to influence the decision of the 30th. Also protesting outside that meeting (30th) of the Cumbria County Council Cabinet where they’ll decide whether or not to proceed.
    Please sign the 38Degrees petition too:

  • Mike Carden


    I very much agree with you, Grevel. It would be mad and sad to disfigure the Lake District in that way.

    Mike Carden

  • Paul Wilson


    Im so shocked to read this i have been in the dark for so long my wife told me about this tonight i had no idea

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