Radiation Free Lakeland was formed in December 2008 by artist Marianne Birkby - also known as Mrs Bennett a campaigner with South Lakeland Friends of the Earth. South Lakeland Friends of the Earth (SLFoE) were instrumental in providing information to Cumbria County Council on the health risks of a high level nuclear waste dump. SLFoE invited Dr Ian Fairlie, who served on the Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters (CERRIE), to address Cumbria County Council's inner Cabinet . Despite this on Tuesday the 9th December 2008 the Lake District was offered up as a nuclear dump. This decision was taken by Cumbria County Council's inner Cabinet in a move that was described as "a negation of democracy" by outraged County Councillors who were denied a vote on "the most important decision we will ever take."
Radiation Free Lakeland was formed as a result - with one aim - to end the radioactive contamination of the Lake District.
The "without comittment expression of interest" follows a government white paper inviting local authorities to volunteer to host the burial of high level nuclear waste in return for investment in roads, schools and other public services. Only Cumbria has "expressed an interest." Without a new high-level waste dump the government's plan for new atomic power stations would be impossible.
Radiation Risks from a Nuclear Dump
Radiation risks from a nuclear repository would be of a greater magnitude than that of a nuclear power station with plans by the US Environmental Protection Agency to set radiation doses after disposal of spent fuel at least twice as high as recommended exposures from operating nuclear facilities in the UK now.
New Research Shows Links to Cancers and Nuclear Installations
The KiKK studies (a German acronym for Childhood Cancer in the Vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants), whose results were published this year in the International Journal of Cancer (vol 122, p 721) and the European Journal of Cancer (vol 44, p 275) show higher incidences of cancers and a stronger association with nuclear installations than all previous research reports. Including a 60 per cent increase in solid cancers and a 117 per cent increase in leukaemia among young children living near all 16 large German nuclear facilities between 1980 and 2003. The most striking finding was that those who developed cancer lived closer to nuclear power plants than randomly selected controls. Children living within 5 kilometres of the plants were more than twice as likely to contract cancer as those living further away although effects are discernible up to 50 miles. This finding has been accepted by the German government.