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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Taking the long view

The public consultation into whether high-level nuclear waste should be buried under Cumbria has taken three years.

The findings are set to be revealed in Whitehaven this week.

Opinion seems divided over the economic and environmental implications.

Burying nuclear waste 3,000ft underground is clearly a contentious issue.

A quote from Alun Ellis, of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, has been widely reported in the national press.

Mr Ellis said: “This stuff will be hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years. That timescale is why we need such a secure facility…The upside is that after two million years it should be mostly harmless.”

Anyone who thought the three-year consultation has taken a long time will find their patience severely tested by the wait for the waste to become safe.

The “two million years” quote earned a mention on last week’s edition of BBC1 news quiz, Have I Got News For You.

It was greeted with incredulous laughter by many in the studio audience, before host Kathy Burke declared: “The good news is, if you’re watching the repeat on Dave, all clear.”

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