We were surprised to read in a Whitehaven News article, that the Copeland councillor, David Moore, who is responsible for the borough’s position on nuclear matters, appears not to have understood how the new search process for a site to bury the nation’s nuclear waste will work. He states: “They [landowners] are obliged at some point to ask for local authority support, but they can still take it forward without local authority support” In fact that is not correct. Landowners can form a Working Group to have initial discussions without a relevant principal local authority, but they cannot form a Community Partnership without one, and therefore the process will be halted at an early stage without local authority support. The Working with Communities framework published in December 2018 states: “In order for the Community Partnership to form and operate, at least one relevant principal local authority must agree to participate.” In addition, what David Moore fails to mention is that while a landowner, or a parish council can volunteer for the process, once the relevant local authority has joined, the landowner or parish becomes powerless to withdraw.

Cumbria Trust 17th Feb 2019 read more »

Concerns over the possible location of a nuclear waste dump in the Mourne and Slieve Gullion mountains was expressed by councillors at the Municipal District of Dundalk meeting last week. Cllr Mark Dearey noted that the Mourne area had been identified by the UK authorities as being suitable for the long term depositary of nuclear waste due to its granite mountains. It was one of a number of sites identified as being geologically suitable for the underground storage of nuclear waste. ‘The local authority would have to agree to be a host,’ he said. He felt that ‘the prospect of any local authority agency agreeing to be host is so close to zero’ so that it was case for vigilance but not alarm.’ Newry and Mourne Council had passed a proposal that they would not host a nuclear dump and were calling on all ten local authorities in Northern Ireland to do the same.

Irish Independent 16th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 17 February 2019


Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the Government has been following “with concern” reports that the UK proposes to use the Mourne mountains as a storage area for nuclear waste. He will discuss the issue with Northern Secretary Karen Bradley when he meets her later this week. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he understood that the Scottish Assembly ruled out such “deep geological storage of nuclear waste” there but that the Northern Ireland Assembly had agreed. Raising the issue in the Dáil, Mr Ryan said it was not clear “what the parties in government in Northern Ireland have agreed or why they did so”. But he asked “what if anything is the Government doing about this”.

Irish Times 13th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 14 February 2019


SELLAFIELD Ltd has selected Tiger robotic vehicles, built by Fareham-based Saab Seaeye to work in one of the most hazardous environments on the planet. The announcement came after the Tiger had worked consistently in the highly-corrosive conditions for nine months, transferring waste material stored in spent fuel ponds, during which time it only needed to pause for routine maintenance. Sellafield has now ordered four Tigers for this challenging role. The Tiger’s durability means that there is limited need for intervention by operators for maintenance purposes, considerably reducing their exposure in this hazardous environment.

Southern Daily Echo 12th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 13 February 2019


California-based Deep Isolation claims to have the answer to the world’s spent nuclear fuel problem, with more than 30 countries playing host to a growing stockpile of radioactive waste. Based out of California, the company has developed technology it claims can solve a problem its CEO Elizabeth Muller argues is second only to climate change in terms of its environmental severity. Capitalising on advances in drilling technology, the solution involves storing the spent nuclear fuel in corrosion-resistant canisters and placing them in drillholes deep beneath the earth at sites near where the waste was produced so as to minimise costs.

Compelo 12 th Feb 2019 read more »

RADIOACTIVE waste could one day be stored deep beneath the Pembrokeshire countryside. Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) – set up by the government – is on the look-out for a suitable site in which to dispose of radioactive waste. England and Wales have been divided into sub-regions, three of which include parts of Pembrokeshire, which could potentially house an underground geological disposal facility (GDF). St Davids and its surrounding coastline, up to North Wales, and an area starting at St Brides Bay and leading south-east to Swansea are among the regions being assessed for their suitability.

Western Telegraph 12th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 13 February 2019


How likely each area of Wales is to be used to bury the UK’s stockpile of the most lethal nuclear waste. Meetings are to be held in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste. People in two areas – Swansea and Llandudno – are to be consulted as part of the Government-run Radioactive Waste Management’s hunt for “a willing host community” where the lethal stockpile can be buried hundreds of metres underground over decades to come. There are also meetings in eight areas of England as the government hunts for a single location to bury the lethal waste. The waste, which has been accumulating from nuclear power stations over the last 60 years, is to be transferred from specially-engineered containers where it is currently building up to a subterranean Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) where it can be left forever. The government’s official line is that no location has been chosen and that any site will only be picked if a community is willing. Experts at the RWM (a subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) have been scouring Wales for suitable regions and this is what they have to say about the area in which you live.

Wales Online 10th Feb 2019 read more »

With Britain in sensitive Brexit discussions about the Irish border ‘backstop’, the GDF may have inadvertently become a new diplomatic point of contention between the two countries. This is one of several running stories in the UK media this week, that underline the complexities and sensitivities of finding a site for a geological disposal facility:

GDF Watch 8th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 February 2019

Germany – radwaste

Nuclear waste in disused German mine leaves a bitter legacy. Germany’s environment minister recently visited the Asse mine, where 126,000 barrels of radioactive material are stored. Frustrated locals want the waste disposed of elsewhere — a project that will span decades.

Deutsche Welle 8th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 February 2019


Cheltenham has been chosen as one of 10 places in the UK where meetings will be held about the future of the underground burying of radioactive nuclear waste. After more than 60 years of waste being produced by nuclear power stations in the UK, The Government have now said that they need to start safely managing it. They’re now trying to work out where’s best to build a geological disposal facility (GDF), which will allow them to safely dispose of the waste hundreds of metres underground.

The Breeze 8th Feb 2019 read more »

Gloucester Live 7th Feb 2019 read more »

Wales shouldn’t be a nuclear dumping ground. That’s the view of Plaid Cymru’s shadow energy minister Llyr Gruffydd AM, who was responding to an invitation sent to council leaders across Wales and England asking them to host Nuclear Waste disposal facilities. The invitation, by Bruce McKirdy, Managing Director of Radioactive Waste Management Limited, includes financial inducements to cash-strapped local authorities to become part of the process.

Plaid Cymru 7th Feb 2019 read more »

The Daily Mirror says fears are mounting across Northern Ireland that tourist hotspots may be turned into a “dumping ground” for nuclear waste. It says spots across Northern Ireland, including the Mourne Mountains, the Causeway Glens, the Sperrins and Lough Neagh are being examined by a government firm hoping to find a permanent place for the UK’s radioactive material. Shauna Corr reports that thousands have signed a petition against a Geological Disposal Facility in the Mournes, while Newry Mourne and Down Council has voted to write to Westminster saying it will never consent to a site in the area. Friends of the Earth’s Declan Allison tells the paper: “We’ve heard some terrible ideas before but this is plutonium-fuelled madness.

BBC 8th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 8 February 2019


Two areas of Wales chosen for consultation on burying the UK’s lethal nuclear waste stockpile. People in two areas of Wales are to be consulted over plans to bury the UK’s stockpile of the most dangerous radioactive waste at a new site. The meetings are being held as the UK Government searches for a site where it can bury the lethal waste that has been accumulating from nuclear power stations over the last 60 years. Government-run Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) meeting is holding an event in Swansea on Tuesday, March 12, and a second in Llandudno on March 14. No details of any potential sites have been made public and it is understood that the body is seeking “a willing host community” where radioactive waste can be buried hundreds of metres underground.

Wales Online 6th Feb 2019 read more »

Daily Post 6th Feb 2019 read more »

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) fully supports the resolution passed by Newry, Mourne and Down Council that opposes a deep radioactive waste repository coming to its area, or any other part of Northern Ireland for that matter. The concerns come after a recent video placed on the Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) website includes Northern Ireland (as well as of English regions and Wales). The video gives an overview of its geology in terms of generic suitability for hosting what is called a ‘Geological Disposal Facility’. This would be a deep underground repository to store much of the UK’s high and intermediate level radioactive waste from the past 70 years of the nuclear cycle for hundreds of thousands of years. Whilst the Northern Ireland Government has not sat for over 2 years at Stormont, the Northern Ireland Executive has supported ‘geological disposal’ of radioactive waste as a policy for some time and theoretically a Northern Ireland Council or community could express an interest to host such material. The UK Government and Welsh Governments, who also formally support ‘geological disposal’ are currently encouraging Councils to consider expressing an interest. RWM admit though that Northern Ireland is the ‘region least likely’ to host such a repository. Northern Ireland is not an appropriate location for the long-term deep-underground storage of radioactive waste, and NFLA have always found it peculiar that the Northern Ireland Executive has supported the policy.

NFLA 6th Feb 2019 read more »

The Border town of Newry is being considered as a location to dispose of the United Kingdom’s nuclear waste, with research identifying the area as potentially suitable for an underground disposal facility. It is one of five sites in Northern Ireland under consideration as possible stores for the waste and among 45 being examined across the UK as whole. An area of granite bedrock near Newry may be suitable for a geological disposal facility (GDF), according to a recent preliminary report by Radioactive Waste Management (RWM), a UK State-owned company. The area of rock stretches from Slieve Gullion to the Mourne mountains. Geological disposal sites hold radioactive waste hundreds of metres underground, and there are no current facilities in Northern Ireland. Future policy decisions on nuclear disposal in Northern Ireland rest with the Stormont executive, where power-sharing has been collapsed for more than two years. The British government’s current preference is that one facility would service the entire UK, a spokesman for RWM has said. Any future facility would need the support of the local community before it could be approved.

Irish Times 7th Feb 2019 read more »

Louth TD Gerry Adams has written to the Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton TD asking if the government is “aware of or was consulted about a proposal by the British state’s Radioactive Waste Management group to store waste nuclear material deep underground in the Mournes and Slieve Gullion area.” Gerry Adams said: “The Irish government must ensure that the British government knows that it will not tolerate any nuclear waste facility being constructed on the island of Ireland”.

Sinn Fein 6th Feb 2019 read more »

Landowners across Cumbria can suggest sites for a controversial nuclear waste facility without backing from their local authority. Anyone with a reasonably-sized patch of land can volunteer it as a contender for the multi-million Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), effectively kick-starting the process, a meeting heard. However, geological experts would first have to rigorously assess the suitability of the site and the people of a possible host site would have the final say – possibly in a referendum. The nuclear repository was discussed by Copeland Council’s Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board on Wednesday – the first time members had met officially the Government re-opened its search for a host community before Christmas. The board agreed to launch a series of briefing sessions to bring members up to speed as the council starts the process of thrashing out a formal position. David Moore, portfolio holder for nuclear and corporate services, stressed that this was the beginning of a “long journey” which could take more than 20 years.

In Cumbria 6th Feb 2019 read more »

Councillors in west Cumbria will discuss whether an underground nuclear waste store should be considered for the area. The Government has re-opened the search for a community that would be willing to house such a facility. The plans caused huge controversy in West Cumbria when first raised, before being rejected by Cumbria County Council in 2013. This will be the first time Copeland Council’s nuclear panel has met since last month’s announcement that the Government would be re-opening the hunt for a volunteer “host community”. The council is yet to agree its official stance on the creation of a multi-billion pound underground waste repository known as a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). But today’s meeting of the authority’s Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board will kick-start the thrashing out of that formal position.

ITV 6th Feb 2019 read more »

Britain has been pushing the question of the future of its radioactive waste for years. To remedy this, the current government has launched a campaign to seduce rural communities to encourage them to host the site of the future nuclear bin. The time is gone when the British settled the issue of nuclear waste by throwing them into the English Channel . However, no long-term solution has come to replace this expeditious method. Radioactive waste accumulated for decades has been in power plants, most of them in Sellafield, in northwestern England. They are stored there in precarious plastic bottles or in skips placed at the bottom of tanks of water with degraded concrete and exposed to bad weather. This was revealed by a BBC documentary in 2016. ” This show has shown a negative image of our safety, in which we do not recognize ourselves “said a representative of the plant at the time. One of the whistleblowers who spoke to the BBC , a former senior executive at Sellafield, said he was worried ” every day ” about the state of the center.

Reporterre 6th Feb 2019 read more »

The nuclear industry, and governments across the world, have yet to find a solution to the nuclear waste legacy, the highly dangerous radioactive remains that are piling up in unsafe stores in many countries. A report commissioned by Greenpeace France says there is now a serious threat of a major accident or terrorist attack in several of the countries most heavily reliant on nuclear power, including the US, France and the UK. The report fears for what may be to come: “When the stability of nations is measured in years and perhaps decades into the future, what will be the viability of states over the thousands-of-year timeframes required to manage nuclear waste?” Hundreds of ageing nuclear power stations now have dry stores or deep ponds full of old used fuel, known as spent fuel, from decades of refuelling reactors. The old fuel has to be cooled for 30 years or more to prevent it spontaneously catching fire and sending a deadly plume of radioactivity hundreds of miles downwind. Some idea of the dangerous radiation involved is the fact that standing one metre away from a spent fuel assembly removed from a reactor a year previously could kill you in about one minute, the Greenpeace report says.

Climate News Network 7th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 7 February 2019

Radwaste – Scotland

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today its views on the proposed Scottish Nuclear Sector Plan document being consulted on by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). SEPA has been consulting on its draft Nuclear Sector Plan with ‘considerable input’ from the nuclear industry. The plan is SEPA’s vision of how regulations will be enforced to ensure that the nuclear industry is fully compliant with its environmental obligations and is encouraged to go beyond compliance with environmental regulations to ensure that environmental impacts are minimised. SEPA has asked for public comments on its draft plan. SEPA says its draft plan is ‘ambitious’. The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) rather thinks it should be much more ambitious, recognising that nuclear power has no medium or long-term place in a sustainable economy, and that the ‘nuclear waste hierarchy’ should be re-thought to maximise the protection of the public. The NFLA Scottish Forum has also decided to respond to SEPA’s consultation by publishing within it its own vision of a Scotland where nuclear power generation is phased out and the wastes remaining are managed according to a clear set of environmental principles.

NFLA 5th Feb 2019 read more »

Radioactive Waste Briefing 75 – The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency Nuclear Power Phase-out and Decommissioning Plan consultation.

NFLA 5th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 6 February 2019


Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has said Ireland will not be a dumping ground for Britain’s nuclear and chemical waste. The Newry/Armagh MLA said, “I welcome that earlier British government plans to use parts of counties Armagh and Down as sites to dispose of nuclear waste have now been ruled out. “Britain cannot use the north as a dumping ground for this hazardous and toxic material. “Sinn Féin are totally against the use of nuclear power, the British Government should be looking at ways to phase out their use of nuclear power, not planning for more.

Newry Times 6th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 6 February 2019