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Ex-Cumbrian MP: Underground dump is the responsible solution

Former Cumbrian MP Lord Hutton says an underground repository in the west of the county is the responsible solution for storing nuclear waste.

‘Jobs and benefits’: Former MP John Hutton

The chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association says there are two choices, to leave waste above ground for future generations to deal with or establish a permanent geological disposal facility.

Lord John Hutton, who was MP for Barrow, insists certain criteria must be fulfilled, however.

“Finding such a solution will require both the consent of a local community and scientific evidence on suitability,” he said.

“If either condition is not met, the process cannot go ahead. So there should be no room for scaremongering. Anyone concerned, for example, about the geology in Cumbria, should surely see the benefit of establishing the facts and support further work to establish whether suitable local conditions exist to support a geological depository.”

Allerdale and Copeland councils, along with Cumbria County Council, are holding simultaneous but separate meetings later this month. They’ll be discussing whether to press on with those geological surveys. Agreement needs to be reached at both levels of local government. If either local council says no, they can’t be overruled by a ‘yes’ from the county council. But, if Allerdale or Copeland say yes, they can still be overruled by a ‘no’ from the county council.

Lord Hutton says a decision to go ahead with the surveys could ultimately be good for west Cumbria.

“It is only right that communities hosting nuclear facilities and the by-products of the industry are recognised for providing such a vital service and compensated accordingly.

“The community benefits package relating to a geological facility would reflect this. In addition, construction and operation of the geological disposal facility would create hundreds of skilled jobs for the long term.

“Moreover, building a geological disposal facility would develop local skills, expertise and technologies and would help west Cumbria to become a centre of nuclear excellence,” he added.

Responding to Lord Hutton’s comments, Jill Perry from Allerdale and Copeland Green Party said: “We already know enough to be able to say it’s not going to be suitable here. In the present economic climate such an expensive survey should not be allowed to go ahead.”

The council meetings are due on January 30.

Opinion – page 12

Have your say

I find it amusing which comments the moderator lets through, perhaps ones that support their & CN's views?

Posted by Me on 8 January 2013 at 17:38

The idea of building an underground nuclear waste facility in the Lake District is a national disgrace. The argument that there will be financial benefits for the community are bogus-these arguments were made at every stage of Sellafield's development-just look at Cleator Moor, Egremont, Whitehaven, Maryport etc to see what benefits were gained. Even the Council Tax rates are high nationally yet the area can only be described as very deprived by any standards. The only little economic hope the western lakes has is from tourism which will be totally destroyed by this development. Further, what country what think of destroying it's most beautiful and uniquie environment with such a development?

Posted by paul springate on 7 January 2013 at 15:34

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