The last failed search process, Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) restricted the search area to the volunteer boroughs and a 5km offshore strip for coastal areas. As we know, only Copeland and Allerdale volunteered and the process was vetoed by Cumbria County Council which recognised the overwhelming local opposition to the proposal amongst a long list of concerns. A great deal is known about Cumbria’s geology from previous failed attempts, including the £400m Nirex spent before reaching the conclusion that the geology was so complex that they couldn’t even model groundwater flow between two boreholes just 200 metres apart. The Nirex Inquiry Inspector Chris McDonald concluded that the search process should move away from Cumbria to an area of simple geology, largely found in eastern and southern England. More recent attempts by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to mislead the public by suggesting that Nirex could have found Cumbria to be suitable if it had been allowed to continue, have been strongly rebutted by Chris McDonald. After another rebranding exercise, the body responsible for finding a site to bury the nation’s nuclear waste is Radioactive Waste Management (RWM). The new process is currently expected to seek volunteers in the second half of 2017, but the offshore strip has been extended from 5km to 20km. Cumbria Trust recognises the significance of this change in policy.
Cumbria Trust 15th Nov 2016 read more »