CoRWM member has misled The Geological Society over West Cumbria GDF MORI poll!

Is CoRWM Genuinely Independent of Government?

Cumbria Trust is very concerned to hear that a key member of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, Professor Rebecca Lunn, has misled The Geological Society about the situation in Cumbria. This was during a lecture in March which was recently published on the CoRWM website.

CoRWM is supposed to be an independent voice, to advise and scrutinise the government on long term management of higher activity nuclear waste. It is clear that the committee includes some knowledgeable people, although its independence of government has long been a cause for concern.  Professor Smythe’s view is HERE

Here is a letter from Colin Wales, a Director of Cumbria Trust to Professor Lunn of CoRWM

Dear Professor Lunn

Cumbria Trust is concerned that you, as a member of CoRWM with responsibility for scrutinising the management of higher activity radioactive wastes, have misled The Geological Society during your lecture in March 2014. Your lecture presentation slides are available though the government information site

You stated that:

“Even in an area where the MORI poll, particularly locally at the district level was hugely in favour – over 80%, we still didn’t manage to get the process to move forwards”. Slide 31* in your presentation also states “Previous process failed to find a site, despite substantial 80% local support”.

This is simply untrue. In Copeland the MORI poll showed 68%, and Allerdale 51% in favour of taking part in the search. However 80% of those questioned in that same MORI poll admitted to knowing little or nothing about the process they were answering questions about. In other words the MRWS consultation was a failure, which was later admitted by the GDF Project Director of the NDA. By the time of the decision in January 2013, some 8 months after the MORI poll, there is extensive evidence that there was a large majority for halting the process.

There are several technical aspects of your lecture which also concern us and will be dealt with separately.

It is disappointing to see a member of CoRWM acting in this way. We remind you that your role is to scrutinise the process, not to act as a cheerleader for DECC.

Trust is an essential part of the process, as we hope you recognise, but this trust depends upon CoRWM acting in an open and honest manner.


Colin Wales
Cumbria Trust

* Slide 31 from Professor Lunn’s lecture

Slide 31