Plea to rule out nuclear burial site in Cumbria
Published at 11:37, Friday, 12 October 2012
Anti-nuclear campaigners have made a fresh plea to the county council to rule out Cumbria as a burial site for nuclear waste.
The council’s ruling cabinet had been due to decide this week whether to proceed to the next stage of a site-selection process, which involves a geological study of Allerdale and Copeland.
But the decision has been postponed, probably until late January.
Nevertheless, protesters with placards and banners lobbied the cabinet meeting in Carlisle.
Three spoke under the public-participation procedure, questioning whether burial was safe.
Irene Sanderson, from Kirkoswald, said: “It is vital to have a robust safety case for the disposal of higher-level radioactive waste. It must be judged and scrutinised by independent experts. It is an issue for the nation today and for generations to come.”
Anita Stirzaker, of Windermere, said dangers would be difficult to detect if the waste was underground.
And Jane Roper, from Moor Row near Whitehaven, said: “There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the people of Cumbria are opposed to this.
“Why waste taxpayers’ money on this insane plan? Say no now.”
Councillor Tim Knowles, the cabinet member responsible, promised nothing would be built unless expert advice showed that burial was safe.
He added: “We know many people are opposed to the concept of a repository but we know that many support it.
“We will have to make a decision on the balance of evidence in front of us at the time.”
The Government believes burial is the best way of dealing with higher-activity nuclear waste, most of which is stored above ground at Sellafield.
Ministers invited local authorities to ‘express an interest’ in hosting a repository.
Copeland and Allerdale stepped forward, and Cumbria County Council supported them.
Both tiers, county and district, have to agree if the selection process is to continue. They had been due to make up their minds yesterday but the decision was delayed for the three months at the county council’s request.
The Government has promised “community benefits” to the area that hosts a repository
The county says it wants more information on what these would be.
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I concur with the passionate letter in yesterday's News and Star (16th Oct, from Kath Ostell) regarding contradictory advice and opposition to a possible nuclear waste repository in Cumberland.I am a Cumbrian who has been working as a geologist (mostly in Cumberland) for 38 years, one of the long line of geologists produced by Cockermouth Grammar School, formerly one of the best schools in the country. As such I have spent most of my life studying the geology of Cumberland, Westmorland and North Lancashire.I am no fan of the nuclear industry, which I consider a "dirty" business controlled by politics, although it has generated significant employment in this area for which we probably should be grateful.Regarding the storage of nuclear waste, it has long been my view that the material is so undesirable, that we should keep it as close as possible to where it is generated. So in principle, it is sensible to keep it near Sellafield.However, geologists from all backgrounds and institutions in the UK have long known that the geological conditions in this area are completely unsuited to a long (hundreds of thousands of years) storage period. That is a simple fact.Everything (especially in Cumbria) however, is controlled ultimately by politics so the frequent minor earthquakes or the very wet underground conditions may not stop the politicians deciding the fate of a repository in Cumberland - against geological common sense and with the compliance of submissive Cumbrians.
Has anyone considered the fact that the site itself (above ground) will be relatively small aside from heightened security and if they can find a site that won't drastically impact the scenery, it'll be fine.The above ground site will be about 1km square in the center of rural land,a railway and major type of road to facilitate the heavy traffic. Besides that for the first 100-140 years or so there will be 13,000,000 cubic meters of dug out earth etc to store before the closure of the repository. This earth because of the nature of the ground will have a high content of chromium which in itself be a major health hazzard. The waste would be stored UNDERGROUND. Almost a MILE in fact. It's benefits outweigh everything else. If Finland can do it, why can't weFinland have sighted there's in granite, simple/stable geology, bit different to the geology round here which is complex and mudstone (Allerdale site) which will allow the water to rise up through it many times faster.
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