A million tonnes of nuclear waste could be buried under the Lake District after the government removed the right of county councils to veto plans for a vast underground dump. The £19 billion “geological disposal facility” will have an underground area of up to 20 square kilometres, with radioactive waste stored in vaults at depths of between 200m and 1km. Copeland borough council in Cumbria — the home of Sellafield, where most of Britain’s nuclear waste is stored — had wanted to be considered for the dump because it would create thousands of highly paid jobs and require local investment. But in 2013 Cumbria county council vetoed the idea. Now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a plan for “the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste” that prevents any one council in areas with two tiers of local government from pulling out of discussions on hosting the dump. Both councils can choose to withdraw but “no single principal local authority will be able to unilaterally invoke the right”.
Times 5th Jan 2019 read more »