A pressure group opposed to plans for a new coking coal mine off the coast of Whitehaven is urging the Government to introduce a traffic light system to keep the community safe.
Radiation Free Lakeland fears that the mine could be responsible for earthquakes, similar to those caused by fracking.
Its members are concerned that it would affect the nearby Sellafield complex.
The group said: “The seismic and subsidence impacts could release 75 years-worth of radioactive waste accumulated by the UK and much of the rest of the world now sitting at Sellafield.
“The coal mine could yet be the catalyst to end all eras.”
A public inquiry was recently held into West Cumbria Mining’s plans for the £165 million mine.
Planning Inspector Stephen Normington heard from the company and objectors and is now formulating a recommendation.
The final decision if the coal mine goes ahead will rest with Michael Gove, the Government’s minister for local communities.
Radiation Free Lakeland wants to see receptors placed at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital and boreholes in Egremont used for drinking water to be monitored, plus a monitor at Sellafield itself.
It said a stringent traffic light-style system should introduced as part of the conditions if the coal mine goes ahead, which it said would mitigate risk.
The system would monitor seismic events and those above a certain level would trigger safeguards.
It added: “Risk will be mitigated through the implementation of a traffic light system where magnitudes of 0.3 and 0.4 are the amber level on the traffic light system and 0.5 is the red light at which operations must be halted.”