People urged to say what they think about nuclear dump
Last updated at 12:36, Friday, 14 September 2012
More than 170 people attended a meeting about plans for a underground radioactive waste repository in West Cumbria.
They heard from two professors who have studied the county’s geology and claim it is unsuitable for the underground dump.
Steven Quas helped to organise the meeting at Cockermouth’s Eco Centre.
He said: “A few of us decided we weren’t happy with the way the process is going and we didn’t feel that people knew enough about it.
“We wanted these talks to let people know what information is out there and get the debate going.
“All these parish councils that haven’t decided they really need to speak out now and tell people what they think.
“Our hope is that we can tip some of the parish and borough councillors in this direction and encourage them to look at this seriously.”
Mr Quas, of Loweswater, stressed that they were not a pressure group and did not pay for professors David Smythe and Stuart Haszeldine to speak.
The professors wrote a report, Radioactive Waste Disposal at Sellafield, published in 1998 and based on examination of Cumbria’s geology.
They told the meeting that they felt that Mercia Mudstone rock, found in the Solway Plain, was totally unsuitable for a nuclear repository because it is an aquifer - a rock with water in it that may be used as a water source.
Cumbria, Allerdale and Copeland councils have expressed an interest in hosting a repository for low, intermediate and high-level waste, most of which is stockpiled at Sellafield.
West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership has spent two years investigating whether the area is suitable and its final report, published last month, will be discussed by the councils on October 11.
They will decide whether to move to the next stage, a formal geological study, or withdraw from the process.
The report says the dump could be about the size of Workington and it would take about 15 years to find a site.
Twenty-five per cent of West Cumbria has already been ruled out as unsuitable.
Silloth Town Council passed a resolution on September 1 calling on Allerdale and Cumbria councils to withdraw their interest.
The resolution said: “We have no confidence in the right of withdrawal at future stages in the process.
“We believe that the geology of the Solway Plain is not suitable for such an undertaking.”
Cockermouth Town Council, Seaton Parish Council and Above Derwent Parish Council have already opposed the repository.
Maryport town councillor Andy Long this week spoke out in favour of withdrawing from the process.
He said he did not understand why councils in Cumbria were taking part in a discussion, when the Cumbria Association of Local Councils, which was previously “neutral”, had now expressed concern because of unsuitable geology.
He added: “We are being railroaded into this, and it may all be a foregone conclusion.”
The British Geological Survey has carried out a screening exercise which has identified potential sites including a sizeable part of the Solway Plain west of Abbeytown.
First published at 11:54, Friday, 14 September 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Think carefully about this article,it probably won't affect some of us who are capable of passing comment BUT it will affect our children and grand children and their children.
If it had been any good in the first instance those sending it here would have kept it.
At last, somoen is trying to bring some sense to the discussion. If previous geological surveys showed the area was not suitable, what has changed? The time has come for Cumbria to stand up against any attempt to railroad a nuclear dump into the county. Then we may get some real investment into the infrastructure to aid the creation of more long term jobs.
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