As we highlighted back in January, Allerdale has been volunteered by an individual as a potential site for burying the nation’s nuclear waste in a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)
Over the last few months Cumbria Trust has met on a number of occasions with the developer, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) and with a Working Group in Allerdale which has been tasked with defining a search area within Allerdale or under the seabed off the coast of Allerdale.
In this latest search process the Lake District is excluded, and when that is combined with areas previously excluded due to the presence of certain minerals and aquifers, the available onshore area in Allerdale becomes rather limited. The map below shows these exclusions in pink. Combined with the recent suggestion from RWM and the geologist working for the previous process, that the Mercia Mudstone may be a suitable host rock, this leads us to believe that the V-shaped gap close to Silloth may be the only potential onshore area of interest.
A GDF in a lower-strength sedimentary rock, such as the Mercia Mudstone could require a land area of up to 23 square kilometres according to the previous search process.
So if onshore Allerdale is included in the search area by the current Allerdale Working Group, then the area adjacent to Silloth becomes the likely potential onshore target in our view.
We should add that the Mercia Mudstone continues and thickens as you move offshore in Allerdale, so the possibility of an offshore Allerdale GDF remains open.
In a recent meeting with RWM, they told us that they were confident that Allerdale would move to the next stage of the process – forming a Community Partnership, later in 2021. This suggests to us that the current Working Group stage may be an attempt to falsely give the impression of listening to the community, while the outcome has already been determined.
The people of Silloth and surrounding areas made their opposition to this very clear during the last search process. Silloth Town Council has publicly stated that it does not want to be included in the search area for a nuclear waste burial site and yet it isn’t clear that this message has been heard.