The search for a location for a nuclear waste deep burial site is now expected to reopen in mid 2018. The process has been repeatedly delayed but the Times and Star now reports that the national geological screening report is due to be released soon.
… Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) hope to launch the citing process, supported by a new “campaign” website focusing on the importance of geological disposal, after securing government sign-off to proceed.
…consultations on a framework for future planning decisions and a new approach to working with local communities in the siting process will begin in the next few weeks. ~ Ann McCall (siting and engagement director for RWM)
The report is supposed to identify areas of potentially suitable geology within the UK, however its neutrality has been brought into doubt since the project developer, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) has insisted on restricting the data sources from which it is derived and producing the narrative itself. Cumbria Trust is concerned that the vast quantity of data produced by the £400m Nirex investigation, which found Cumbria to be unsuitable, has to a large extent been excluded from this new report. While we have yet to see the new report, the process used to construct it does not inspire confidence. It will be very closely scrutinised by Cumbria Trust and the experts who advise us on its release.
Worryingly, we have heard from a number of sources that Copeland have been showing a keen interest in volunteering before seeing the geological screening report. The whole idea behind the national survey was to encourage councils from potentially geologically suitable areas to volunteer, to avoid a rerun of the last failed search process in which Copeland and Allerdale were the only borough councils in the country to volunteer despite previously being declared unsuitable.