Cumbria Trust notes two significant international developments in the drive to build Geological Disposal Facilities (GDFs) in Sweden and Finland. The Swedish regulators have approved a site for a GDF, and Finland has gone even further by issuing a construction licence for a GDF.
The UK is a few decades behind Sweden and Finland in its search for a GDF site due to the irrational and unjustifiable desire the UK government has to site a GDF in Cumbria. We fear that despite all the talk of a national geological screening process, this is merely a distraction before Cumbria is targeted for a third time, as we noted in our consultation response.
It is worth noting that both Sweden and Finland have chosen virtually flat sites with no hills or mountains to drive groundwater flow, in keeping with international guidelines. The topography is similar to coastal Norfolk in both cases. Perhaps that is why they are so far ahead in building a GDF, while the UK fixates on Cumbria, with its highly complex geology, and fast groundwater flow driven by the highest mountains in England. How many more failed search processes do we need before the UK wakes up?