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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Digging for the facts on nuclear store

A large turnout in Maryport this week showed the extent of concern growing around the possible location of an underground nuclear waste store in the area.

There is clear unrest about a notion that the Solway Plain may provide the suitable geology.

The issue has quietly crept up on people since this newspaper first revealed that rock strata east of Silloth – known as the Mercia Mudstone Group – may be considered geologically suitable for digging.

Minds are now certainly focused, particularly as other swathes of West Cumbria have been formally ruled unsound for the purpose.

Protesters stress that they’re not against nuclear power or the principal of an underground repository.

They talk about a blight on the landscape, community and tourism.

But their main fear is that this could be pushed through when the geological case has not been made out; experts at the meeting clearly question the very proposition.

Councils which have expressed an interest in hosting a nuclear store emphasise that no decision has been taken.

But they appear just as nervous about this process as the rest of us, having paused their deliberations for more information on key issues.

When they do come to decide, we urge them not to be tempted by economic spin-offs.

The geological case is all that matters.

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