AN area of Allerdale has been named for further consideration in the siting process for a Geological Disposal Facility to house nuclear waste.

The Allerdale GDF Working Group has today announced an official Search Area for closer consideration in their quest to find a suitable site for geological disposal in the borough.

GDF would permanently dispose of higher activity radioactive waste deep underground.

An area of 230 square kilometres, comprising 13 Allerdale District electoral wards has been announced as the Search Area.

Electoral wards included in the area include: Aspatria; Broughton St Bridgets; Dalton; Ellen & Gilcrux; Flimby; Harrington and Salterbeck; Maryport North;

Maryport South; Moorclose and Moss Bay; Seaton and Northside; St John’s; St Michael’s and Stainburn and Clifton.

The Lake District National Park is not being considered for the disposal of nuclear waste.

A Search Area is the geographical area on land within which Radioactive Waste Management will consider potential sites for the facility.

The Working Group’s independent chair, Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong said: “We carefully considered all the information publicly available to understand which parts of Allerdale, outside of the Lake District National Park, could possibly be included and where there might be difficulties and opportunities.

“We looked at issues such as safety and security, community requirements, the environment, engineering feasibility, existing or required transport links and value for money. We also listened to the views expressed by all the local people who have been in touch or attended our drop-in sessions over the past nine months. Once we pulled all this information together, we were able to narrow down the proposed Search Area from the whole of Allerdale to a particular area.

“In the coming days I will be writing to local residents providing details of what identifying a Search Area means and what are the next steps, including further local engagement, in the weeks ahead.”

Copeland GDF Working Group has recently announced two Search Areas: one comprises the electoral wards of Gosforth, Seascale and Beckermet and the other comprises the electoral wards of Millom, Black Combe and Scafell.

The next stage of the process is to form a Community Partnership which will continue the conversation. Community Partnerships are formed with the participation of a willing local authority. Once the partnership is formed, a process will begin to identify groups, organisations and individuals aiming to reflect community interests.