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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Opponents step up fight against underground nuclear dump in Cumbria

Anti-nuclear groups are stepping up the pressure ahead of crunch meetings next week on plans for a radioactive waste repository in Cumbria.

Radiation Free Lakeland says 100 people attended a demonstration at Bowness-on-Windermere on Saturday.

A similar number went to a fundraising concert in Silloth that evening organised by Spand – Solway Plain Against Nuclear Dump.

The ruling executives of Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria County councils meet on January 30 to decide whether to move to the next stage of a process that could lead to work starting on an underground waste repository, somewhere in Copeland or Allerdale, by 2025.

Anti-nuclear groups want the politicians to call a halt now.

Radiation Free Lakeland says 120 people at Bowness signed a giant postcard that will be presented to county council cabinet members.

It claims that the county will be “irreversibly blighted” if the repository goes ahead.

Marianne Birkby, a spokeswoman for the group, said: “We chose Bowness [as the venue] to highlight the fact that tourist groups – Cumbria Tourism and the National Park Authority – should be taking a lead on this.”

Spand’s concert raised £500 for its fighting fund. Concern in the area has mounted since the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership published a map that suggested the Solway Plain might be geologically suited to a repository.

Local bands Zoe and the Boy delivered the first public performance of Wrong Rock Blues – the Other Road to Hell an anti-dump protest song written by Spand member Geoff Betsworth.

The group has collected 3,500 signatures on a petition against a repository and will send copies to all three local authorities. Another 1,500 have signed an online petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk.

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