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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Cumbria nuclear dump debate in Carlisle

The arguments for and against the siting of a nuclear dump in west Cumbria will be discussed in Carlisle next week.

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Kevin Coyne: ‘We want full investigation’

The issue will be debated by local MPs, scientists, nuclear workers and industry leaders at a seminar at the Hallmark Hotel on Friday, January 25 at 10am.

The event, is being organised by the Sellafield Workers’ Campaign (SWC) and Trade Unionists for Safe Nuclear Energy (TUSNE).

It comes as councillors prepare to meet on January 30 to decide whether to move on to the next stage of the process to determine whether a massive underground store should be in west Cumbria.

Organisers at the meeting say expert advice obtained by the nuclear union Prospect demonstrates that the arguments put so far, mainly based on the work of two academics, should not be taken at face value.

Kevin Coyne, TUSNE chair and Unite national officer, will open the discussion.

He said: “For there to be a full and proper debate there needs to be a full and proper investigation into the feasibility of a geological disposal facility in Cumbria.

“Only then can we consider how best to proceed. This issue is too important to make decisions without all the evidence.”

Mike Graham, National Secretary for Prospect North, said: “Prospect is not seeking to pre-empt decisions, but simply to ensure that this exercise proceeds to the stage of allowing more consideration of the arguments so that all the scientific evidence can be assessed on its merits.”

Cumbrian MPs John Stevenson and Jamie Reed will address the meeting and delegates will also hear from: Mark Higson, chief executive of the Office for Nuclear Development; John Clarke, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Professor Neil Chapman, chair of the NDA’s Radioactive Waste Management Technical Advisory Panel Directorate,

Sue Ferns, Prospect’s director of communications and research, will present the union perspective and SWC’s Craig Dobson will describe what the facility would mean for jobs and investment.

Protests will take place across the county today in a show of opposition against any move to create a new atomic store.

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

Tonight, 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.

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

At a public meeting in the town last week, lawyer John Wilson, of Portinscale, said people had to pull together to fight proposals.

If you would like to attend Friday’s meeting contact 0151 728 9028 or email julie.webster@prospect.org.uk

Full coverage of today’s countywide protests in your News & Star on Monday

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