Letters: Radioactive waste plans at King’s Cliffe

Have your say

As one of the villagers protesting against the plans to dump radioactive waste at the King’s Cliffe site, I am totally shocked that the residents of Stamford are so unaware of the waste dump’s existence. Stamford is less than five miles away from the site. And now Augean is pushing to increase the size and extend the lifetime of this King’s Cliffe site until 2026.

There are different types of radioactive material destined for this site some of which take millions of years to decay. The European Commission has already stated that there will be radioactive gas emissions through and beyond its use as a disposal facility.

Think of the current situation in Japan.

I would ask the residents of Stamford to really consider whether they want radioactive waste on their doorstep.

Think about the impact of this site on our children and future generations. Oppose this nuclear dump.

Please write to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State and Nick Boles your local MP to show that local people strongly oppose this.

Lucy Hurst


There has been a lot said against the tipping of radioactive waste in our area, indeed I have discussed in these columns the danger it poses to our water supply.

There is, however, another facet to this problem so far not discussed. At this time there are no private companies licensed to transport radioactive/nuclear waste about the country. If permission is granted to establish King’s Cliffe as a tip for this waste this could open the floodgates for unrestricted movement throughout the country.

People of my age will recall when asbestos was first confirmed as a cause of cancer. Quite correctly asbestos was stripped from buildings and decommissioned ships and carefully disposed of.

It was not, initially, understood that some asbestos was not so harmful and some not harmful at all. However along came the legislators and banded it all together and so it is moved about the country and dumped in landfill sites with, what is now, only routine surveillance. In other words we have became blasé and so we are at risk. We must not allow this attitude to creep into radioactive waste.

I said above that there are no private companies currently involved in the disposal of this waste. One of the reasons for this could be very simple. There is no need to move it at all. Leave where it is. If it’s radioactive the site it is on will remain radioactive. Entomb it on site.

The movement and dumping of such waste around the country should not become a commercial for profit venture. Only the companies involved in the movement will benefit.

People adjacent to the tipping site – I refuse to call it a “resource management site” this only serves to hide the name of the village it is adjacent to – and along the roadways used for the movement certainly will not.

David Sidgwick

Mill Road, Yarwell

I read, with interest, your article reference low level radioactive waste disposal at King’s Cliffe.

I most certainly believe local residents should have a say in situations that affect their neighbourhood.

In many instances, decisions are taken without the majority of the population even knowing what is going on. Maybe this is down to apathy or just simply not hearing about nor seeing events occurring around them.

The voice of the Local Democracy in Action Group is certainly reaching parts not previously touched by others and I hope your newspaper gives them support.

John Stannage

Old Leicester Road, Wansford

We live in Barrowden and have become increasingly aware of the extent of the problems that we may all face if permission is given for low level radioactive waste to be dumped at King’s Cliffe. The following are a few of the various safety issues.

Transport. The site is scheduled to accept waste from all nuclear power stations in south England.

This will include Southampton and Dungeness, both more than 160 miles on motorways, major roads and heavily populated areas.

Site security. It is a large open site with shallow pits for deposits. There is no secure boundary wall. None is proposed.

Augean’s safety record is poor. There has been a £90,000 fine and more recently a fire at its Staffordshire site.

Badgers are prevalent in the SSSI and NNI sites on the Augean area. Their burrowing power is well-documented.

Water. The site covers a large aquifer which supplies drinking water and if leakage occurs the River Nene and/or Welland may also be contaminated. So potential danger to a very large area.

Insurance companies are very alert to the situation. A neighbouring farmer to the site has been notified by the National Farmers’ Union that his insurance will be rescinded for crops and livestock if planning is approved for low level radio active waste.

The European Commission has researched and is of the opinion that “toxic gasses will emanate from the site”.

At the beginning of this process Augean presented it as a situation that was only of interest to King’s Cliffe. But subsequent activity by the Waste Watchers group has established this is a project which should be of great concern to a very wide area. At present many people are unaware of the imminent problems there may be both for this and future generations.

Look at the www.ldia.org.uk and www. kingscliffewastewatchers.co.uk to understand more of the problems. We all need to object while there is time. Activate your community. Write to your MP. Vote in your village referendum.

If we do nothing we cannot complain about the consequences.

Malcolm and Sheila Saunders

Main Street, Barrowden

While it is very important for all the residents of the villages opposed to the proposed storage of low level radioactive waste at the Augean site to make their views known through the referendum on April 7, it is also crucial that the people of Stamford have their say on this issue.

The fact that the waste will be transported from sites throughout the country means that it will be passing very close to the town; the site is on an aquifer which feeds the local water supply and the company also intend to apply for permission to extend the site and continue working it until 2026. Sadly, it is often many years before the effects of such sites are known.

Is this the legacy we will give to our children?

If you are concerned, please make your views known to your MP Nick Boles at nick.boles.mp@parliament.uk

Maggie Scott

Mill Street, Duddington

Augean has failed to satisfactorily answer funda-mental questions.

At a public meeting held in Barrowden they did not attend and had submitted no answers to questions asked at previous meetings. I followed this up today with a phone conversation with their communications expert Edward Cosgrove, but still outstanding issues remain.

The residents are concerned that:

The low-level nuclear waste will be wrapped in polythene and buried. What reassurance can be given that this prevents leakage, and transfer either by air or water?

The waste will be buried. What reassurances can be given that wildlife will be prevented from burrowing and spreading waste matter?

The site covers a major aquifer which provides drinking water to Peterborough. What protection will be provided to the water courses, both over ground and underground?

In its efforts to appease residents Augean has failed to address simple legitimate concerns.

Furthermore before this application and appeal have been considered the company is requesting more land and an extension of timescale for the operation to 2026.

This ‘project creep’ is worrying and adds to the lack of trust.

It is recommended by the Environment Agency that low-level waste be disposed of near to the site of production yet Augean will be transporting waste from more than 100 miles away. Concerns about accidental leakage on the A47 have not been satisfactorily addressed.

Low-level nuclear waste should be buried away from centres of population, yet 250,000 people live within 12 miles of King’s Cliffe. By failing to consult this whole population adequately Augean has not engaged with those who may be affected.

To my knowledge Augean has never done this kind of operation before with nuclear material. It must be accountable to those people who think that their homes, livelihoods and health are being compromised.

I support Louise Bagshaw MP for Corby, and Rutland MP Alan Duncan’s campaign to persuade the Secretary of State Eric Pickles to reject Augean’s planning appeal on the basis that residents have asked perfectly reasonable questions to which Augean has not given satisfactory replies.

The website Local Democracy in Action www.ldia.org.uk gives details of a local referendum to be held in many villages over the next few weeks. I urge everyone to vote and ensure our concerns are taken into account when the Secretary of State makes his decision.

Christine Emmett