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Cumbria council leader urged to end 'mad plan' for underground nuclear store

Opponents of Cumbria becoming home to a massive underground nuclear waste dump are urging the county council’s leader to end the “mad plan”.

Eddie Martin photo
Eddie Martin

Protests will take place across the county tomorrow in a show of opposition against any move to create a new atomic store in the county. Cumbria county, Allerdale and Copeland councils are currently considering whether the area should remain in the running to be considered as a potential below-ground dump.

A decision will be taken later this month about whether that process should progress to the next stage when detailed examinations to earmark potential locations would be carried out.

Anti-nuclear activists will step up their opposition to the proposals with a string of protests, during which opponents will be encouraged to create a giant postcard to be presented to the county council’s ruling cabinet when it meets next.

They want the authority to pull out of the process when it considers its next step on January 30. In a letter to council leader Eddie Martin, Radiation Free Lakeland state: “Your decision will speak for the whole of Cumbria, which has been misrepresented as a “willing community”. To say yes would mean unquantifiable damage to the brand of Cumbria.

“The real cost, however, would be psychological and physical trauma through countless generations, as Cumbria would be increasingly and irreversibly blighted. Say no. End this mad plan now. Then all money and expertise can go into ensuring the existing wastes are looked after safely on the Sellafield site rather than expanding and increasing the danger to ever more waste over a much increased area.”

Cumbria County Council stresses that no decision about whether Cumbria should be the place to host a repository or not will be made on January 30. A spokesman added: “Members will be deciding whether geological experts should carry out the necessary work to see whether Cumbria could be the right location or not.

“Only after that exploratory work has been done would we take a decision on whether to have a repository here.”

Rock excavation to create it would be similar in scale to the Channel Tunnel, which involved the removal of 13m cubic metres of material. Construction and operation costs are estimated at between £12bn and £20bn.

Tomorrow, a demonstration against the dump plans, organised by Radiation Free Lakeland, will take place at Bowness Bay.

In the evening, a concert will be held in Silloth to raise funds for the campaign group Solway Plain Against Nuclear Dump.

It takes place in the town’s social club.

Organiser Geoff Betsworth recently wrote Wrong Rock Blues – the Other Road to Hell in protest against the possibility of nuclear waste being buried underground in the Solway Plain.

In Keswick, campaigners will be leafleting and collecting signatures to add to the giant postcard.

Have your say

I have never had the chance to work at sellafield. even though I have filled in loads of application for work there.i have lived in cleator moor and Whitehaven all my life.sellafield has never being a problem living near to it. so I don't mind if they use the local grounds. most of cumbrians would feel the same way as myself.a lot of my fam have worked there over the years.

Posted by ellen on 29 January 2013 at 14:24

The thought of "The Dump" really is rather scary, it doesn't feel right, it just isn't right.

Posted by It's me again on 28 January 2013 at 21:52

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