Today (January 30th 2019) marks 6 years to the day since Cumbria County Council halted the search for a site to bury the nation’s nuclear waste in Cumbria. In a impassioned speech, Council Leader, and now Cumbria Trust Director, Eddie Martin refused to let the Managing Radioactive Waste (MRWS) search process continue, recognising the overwhelming level of local opposition and Cumbria’s unsuitable geology, amongst a number of other reasons.
At the time, MRWS was based on a ‘three green light’ approach – approval was required from borough council, county council and government.
If one of the three refused to continue, we were told that would be the end of the plan to bury nuclear waste in Cumbria. Six years on and while nothing has changed in Cumbria, the government have redesigned the process to sideline county councils. We have a new process which rather like a timeshare scheme is very easy to enter and very difficult to get out of.
Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) the developer of the new project tell us that there has been interest from various parts of the country in volunteering. We find that rather improbable, having been told something very similar during MRWS. We expect only Copeland and possibly Allerdale to volunteer.
Copeland borough council’s strategic nuclear and energy board have already started to hold meetings behind closed doors to discuss joining the new process. As well as sidelining the county council, the new process also ignores public opinion. The first and only opportunity the public will have to stop the undemocratic process is after 20 years, during which time the area will be subjected to intrusive investigations and significant blight.
We would urge you to join Cumbria Trust, or just sign up to our free email updates to keep informed. We will not allow this undemocratic process to go unchallenged.