Nuclear-Free Future

in the Category


is presented to



Basel, Switzerland
15 September 2017

Janine Allis-Smith and Martin Grant Forwood

In Cumbria, “Sellafield” is a synonym for “dreadful.” Is it possible to make light of the horrendous and atrocious? In some circumstances, yes! Twelve years ago, Forwood/Allis-Smith served a “Pizza Cumbriana” to the Italian ambassador to London. Along with the pizza came the warnings “Radioactive” and “Best before 26005”—a reference to Putonium-239 and its half-life of 24,000 years.


We can thank this two-person team from CORE (Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment) for much of what we know today about the nuclear reprocessing plants in northwest England (and, if it were up to the plant managers, never should have known). Since the mid-1980s —when Sellafield was still called Windscale—Martin Forwood and Janine Allis-Smith have sought to unmask and clarify the goings-on at the Cumbrian plant. In 1983, Janine‘s son—like a conspicuous number of other children in the region—had been diagnosed with leukemia. The couple discovered that the local beaches and tidal pools (which were popular places for the local children to play) had been contaminated. Additionally, their research suggested that the contamination had resulted “not only in leukemia, but … there was an increase in stillbirths and unexplainable deaths of small children.”


The pair (Janine’s son thankfully survived) began their tireless campaign against any further infringements of the sixth commandment by the Sellafield Authorities, whose industry had ensured that the Irish Sea had become the most radioactively polluted marginal sea in the world. The pair were of one mind regarding what needed to be done: if Janine Allis-Smith depicted her son’s illness while Martin presented rigorously analyzed mud and silt samples (gathered from coastal sites), politicians and plant managers would no longer be able to claim plausible deniability for the effects of the plants.


Martin and Janine have tirelessly fought against Sellafield’s THORP (Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant) facility, which reprocesses oxidizable nuclear fuel and is slated for closure in 2018. They have campaigned against the flotillas carrying waste from countries (including Italy) to Sellafield for reprocessing – hence the pizza! Currently, the pair can be found at the forefront of the movement dedicated to stopping the construction of three new nuclear power plants in Moorside (near Sellafield).


Their report “The Moorside Construction- and JobsProjection: All Spin and No Substance” laid the systematic argumentative groundwork for hindering the progress of the dangerous project. Martin and Janine—by their own force of will, dedication to their community, and with little monetary support—have time and again succeeded in seizing the reins of power away from the British nuclear industry: reins that had so long been used to misdirect and deceive the public.


If ever the book “Technological Insanity and How it Disappeared from Earth” is written, then CORE will certainly have earned its own chapter.