Cumbria County Council (CCC) have recognised the fundamental flaws within the latest process to find a location to bury the nation’s nuclear waste. The CCC response to the government consultation echos many of the points which Cumbria Trust has made. In particular the failure to address the need for secure interim storage, despite the most dangerous elements within waste being too hot to bury for well over a century. They also highlight the lack of clarity over the community’s right of withdrawal, something of particular concern to Cumbria Trust. As we have previously stated this is a process which has been designed to be very simple to enter and very difficult to leave.
Five years ago it was CCC which called a halt to the search process, and their concerns have not gone away.
The News & Star has reported this week:
A NEW search to find a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste storage bunker is based on ‘fundamentally flawed’ government policy, council officials in Cumbria have said.
The nationwide scheme to identify a location for a £12 billion geological disposal facility buried at least 200 metres below the surface was relaunched by the government in January and is expected to take 20 years to secure.
It promises incentives including £1m per year for five years for the five communities that volunteer to be on the shortlist – with £2.5m a year for the two that go forward to the testing stage, which would see deep boreholes dug underground.
But experts within Cumbria County Council have instead called for more clarity on how the high level waste – the majority of which is currently kept in storage vessels in west Cumbria – will be kept safe if a suitable location is not identified within the time frame.
They also state the right of willing communities to withdraw from the process is not clear enough within the proposal, while there is no detail about how the waste could be retrieved at a later date if new technology to dispose of it more efficiently is developed.
Read the full report here