The government is expected this week to begin a nationwide search for a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste dump to store highly radioactive material for thousands of years. Britain has been trying for years to secure a site with the right geology and local communities which would volunteer to host a £12bn geological disposal facility (GDF), as a long-term solution for the most dangerous waste from nuclear power stations. The last effort hit a brick wall in 2013 when Cumbria county council, the only local authority still in the running as a host for the dump, rejected it. Now, ministers are to relaunch their mission to win over a community to host the GDF. The task has taken on heightened importance now that a nuclear power plant is under construction in Somerset, with plans to build four others. Radioactive Waste Management, the government body tasked with building the facility hundreds of metres underground, said it had made significant progress since 2014 in “developing the offer” to interested communities. Consultations on the planning process and how the government will work with communities will be launched this week, said two sources close to the process. “I hope to God they get it right this time,” said one. “The mess they made in the past can’t be repeated. It’s outrageous it became a victim of local politics last time.”
Guardian 21st Jan 2018 read more »
Cumbria Trust notes with interest that a source close to the process is quoted as saying: “The mess they made in the past can’t be repeated. It’s outrageous it became a victim of local politics last time.” Let us not forget that this was supposed to be a voluntary process, where local councils had the right to withdraw their interest. How could it be considered outrageous to exercise that right to withdraw? The new process starting this week is also based on voluntarism and councils are supposedly free to withdraw at will. Are we to assume that once a council has volunteered, it will be made increasingly difficult to withdraw? Is this voluntarism or coercion?
Cumbria Trust 22nd Jan 2018 read more »