Cumbrian landfill site may be licensed for radioactive waste
Last updated at 12:08, Monday, 13 January 2014
A landfill site at Lillyhall, near Workington, looks set to have its life extended until 2029 and be licensed to accept low-level radioactive waste.
The centre already has a permit to receive “high volume very low level waste”.
But operator FCC Environment intends to apply to the Environment Agency for it to receive “low-level waste”, which is more radioactive.
The Joseph Noble Road site has been in use since 1976 but the existing planning consent expires this year.
FCC is asking Cumbria County Council for permission to continue until 2029.
It argues that the introduction of the Landfill Tax and higher recycling rates mean the landfill has not filled up as quickly as expected.
The company calculates there is 1.4 million cubic metres of unused capacity.
Councillors are expected to approve the planning application when they meet in Kendal on Wednesday.
But they are likely to impose a condition restricting the level of radioactive contamination to 200 becquerels per gram of waste, which is 50 times more radioactive than the maximum allowed now.
Even then, FCC would have to apply to the Environment Agency for a permit.
The planning officers’ report, which recommends granting planning permission, says: “There have been no significant adverse impacts identified in the proposed development and the proposed continuation of landfilling.
“Conditions are recommended that would control the level of radioactive waste deposited and also the volumes of waste deposited.”
Most of this waste is likely to come from Sellafield and would otherwise go the low-level waste repository at Drigg.
It could include construction and demolition material, redundant plant and equipment, soil, disposable protective clothing, packaging materials, and lightly contaminated general waste. This would be put into sealed drums or containers.
The planning officers’ report adds: “The site lies in relatively close proximity to Sellafield and it is close to the highway network.
“The deposit of the material at Lillyhall ensures that it is disposed of to a licensed site, close to the source of origin and [so] reduces waste miles.
“There are no material considerations to indicate that the development should not be granted.”
The council has received three objections expressing concerns about Cumbria becoming a “nuclear dumping ground”.
And Copeland Council says that FCC’s public consultation on the proposals was “inherently flawed”.
FCC says it notified 1,700 homes and businesses about an exhibition, which was attended by 48 people.
First published at 11:35, Monday, 13 January 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I thought the Lillyhall tip was already an radioactive dumping ground (Sellafields Â£750,00 fine) and 'Observer' obviously knows little about radiation - 200 Bq/g normal background radiation, where? Chenoble?
Observer - there is plenty of drivel from both sides of the argument, but your suggestion that '200Bq/g is barely above background' is also nonsense.A typical 150g banana contains 0.5g of potassium, and has an activity of 0.1Bq/g. That is a two thousandth of the level proposed for this dump.Also worth noting that the human kidneys have evolved to regulate potassium levels, so eating a banana does not change the amount of potassium (and therefore K40) within it for more than a few hours. Not all radioisotopes are regulated in this way - some remain in the body.Hope that helps ;-)
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