I have to admit being very torn by the issue of nuclear waste.
On the one hand we have to accept that the nuclear waste we already have cannot be swept under the carpet and on the other we do need a reliable energy production system which doesn’t rely on either dwindling natural resources of the whim of Middle Eastern potentates or Russian Oligarchs.
But it is the way that the issue of dealing with nuclear waste is being handled that causes me great concern.
It would seem that the Government asked all areas of the country if it was willing to house the very toxic waste that currently resides in and around the Sellafield plant.
Unsurprisingly, no one apart from Cumbria showed the slightest bit of interest despite the billions of pounds on offer to the winner of this, the craziest of eBay style auctions.
Of course, the problem the Government has is how to get the result they want.
Well, that is easy:
Firstly, make sure that you have the people who already have the waste on board – West Cumbria is reliant on the nuclear industry
Secondly, offer the most fantastic prizes for the ‘worthy’ winners – everything from becoming the ‘Energy Coast’ through road improvement schemes to community projects and charitable giveaways.
Thirdly, ignore all previous investigations that have shown the area to be wholly unsuitable for the burial of nuclear waste.
Lastly, fix the vote – don’t ask everyone’s opinion. Oh no. Carefully select 3000 of the local population to vote and make sure you concentrate on those nearest to the current Sellafield site.
Now, I’m not saying this process is flawed or, heaven forbid, a fait accompli waiting to happen. I KNOW it is!
So, wether we like it or not we are going to get shafted with the long term storage of some of the most dangerous toxins known to man.
A stockpile that is going to grow with the inevitable spread of the nuclear power plants and will blight the region not for a few years but for hundreds of years.
It is inevitable that this will happen – the Government simply has not other option. What we must do is make sure that the Government and the nuclear decommission body sticks to its promises and looks after this area by ploughing in the billions suggested.
Any bets that the Government keeping its promise to the people of West Cumbria isn’t going to happen anytime soon?
Published: April 10, 2012
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