We believe the best way to develop the West Cumbrian economy is through a green revolution concentrating on renewable energy rather than expanding the nuclear industry – an industry in decline (except for the waste), with its only prospects very far in the future. The government’s plan https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-acceleration-of-homegrown-power-in-britains-plan-for-greater-energy-independence that 8 new reactors will help the climate crisis is unrealistic, unaffordable (consumers will have to help fund it), not carbon neutral, and will not give us energy security (Russia Khazakhstan & Uzbekistan control 25% of world uranium supplies) https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/uranium-resources/supply-of-uranium.aspx
A Sustainable Cumbria should be making use of the County’s natural and renewable resources, as efficiently as possible, to contribute to the area’s wellbeing in perpetuity, not building more nuclear facilities whose life spans a few decades but which leave a legacy and a problem for centuries.
There are never enough jobs in West Cumbria. Historically the coastal area from Maryport in the north to Whitehaven further south has relied on large scale heavy industry: coal mining, steelworks and more recently the nuclear industry. When such large-scale extractive industries terminate, the result is large-scale unemployment. And since nuclear power production and reprocessing halted, many jobs have been lost.
Our emphasis is on large numbers of small and medium-sized schemes instead of the big ‘all our eggs in one basket’ approach, where failure is disastrous for the local economy.
West Cumbria & North Lakes Friends of the Earth and No 2 Nuclear Power have teamed up on this website to show how this can be done. Here you will find a range of resources about existing renewable energy schemes in Cumbria, along with innovative schemes from around the world.
Also you’ll find studies which point out how many jobs, and what type of jobs can be generated via green energy and low carbon projects.
We created a report in June 2013 and invited comments from anyone and any institution interested in Cumbria’s future. Many of the ideas we received are included here, and we update the site regularly. Sustainability is also about democratic ways of working and we hope this will continue as a county-wide conversation about the future of one of the most beautiful places in the country.
This site is hosted by West Cumbria & North Lakes Friends of the Earth in collaboration with no2nuclearpower.org.uk – which provides information not only about nuclear issues but renewable energy and energy policy too.