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Maryport hosts ‘crisis’ talks on Solway nuclear dump

A campaign to stop an underground nuclear waste store being built on the Solway Plain will step up a gear next week.

CAMPAIGNERS: Kath Ostell, left, and Chris Graham

A series of what are described as “crisis” meetings will be held in Maryport and Silloth.

A recently formed protest group, Solway Plain Against Nuclear Dump, will hold its first public meeting at Maryport’s Wave Centre on Wednesday.

It will be followed by another public meeting at the Solway Community College, Silloth, on Thursday. Both meetings start at 7pm.

The group has invited what it says are two leading authorities on geological disposal of nuclear waste.

They are Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of Geology, and David Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics.

Campaign posters have started appearing throughout the area following concern that the Solway Plain has been identified as having geology suitable for hosting a controversial 23 square kilometre high-level nuclear waste dump.

A petition against the dump has been set up on the Government’s website and in shops.

Dr Jeremy Dearlove, who identified the Solway Plain rock strata as being potentially suitable, has been invited to give a presentation at the Silloth meeting.

Twenty-five per cent of West Cumbria has already been ruled out as geologically unsuitable.

Councillors have emphasised that no specific sites are being considered at this stage, but campaigners believe they are looking at the Solway Plain.

A map based on findings suggests it could lead to an underground repository covering a huge area inland from Silloth and Skinburness.

Protest group member Chris Graham, of Eastcote Farm, Silloth, said: “Nowhere in any of the consultations had it been said that one of the proposed locations was going to be the Solway Plain.”

Fellow campaigner Kath Ostell, of Skinburness Road, Silloth, said: “If this repository goes ahead it won’t just affect Cumbria; it will be nationwide and ultimately worldwide.”

Cumbria County Council, Allerdale council, Copeland council and other bodies have spent four years investigating the possibility of West Cumbria hosting an underground repository for high-level radioactive waste.

County council leader Eddie Martin, who represents Dearham, recently applauded the campaign group’s effort, calling it “democracy in action”.

He added: “It is important to stress that we are certainly not planning to build a waste repository or even to give permission to build one. The question is whether we are prepared to allow a desktop study of the area to take place.”

l Commentary – page 6

Have your say

it really annoys me that people are protesting this. west cumbria needs this to be built here

Posted by Allan on 22 November 2012 at 23:52

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