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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Chances of finding n-waste site suffer more setbacks

THE chances of finding a place to bury radioactive waste in the area have suffered another setback.

For the Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) has decided not to support any move to look for a safe and suitable site.

The association represents town and parish councils on the West Cumbria MRWS Partnership which recently held a consultation and brief public opinion survey on whether the process should now go a stage further – searching for a site.

Seventy per cent of the councils who responded to the survey have said they do not support proceeding any further.

Three parish councils closest to Sellafield, Gosforth, Beckermet and Ponsonby, have already said ‘no’.

One of CALC’s main conclusions is “the prospects of finding a suitable site in West Cumbria are too poor to justify proceeding”.

The association says the MRWS programme (backed by government funding) lacks sufficient local support and has too many shortcomings to be supported in its present form.”

CALC chairman Keith Hitchen said: “The process is meant to be based on voluntarism but the recent public consultation has not shown clear support from parish councils or other interested bodies and individuals. We see a distinct lack of trust in government and the local decision-making arrangements and there is no information available to the public to suggest that a suitable geology to host the repository can be found.”

The association also points to “considerable evidence of suspicion and doubt among the general public and little tangible evidence of the trust and confidence that would be essential to take the process forward.”

A main area of concern is weakness in national policy. CALC refers to the unwillingness of decision-making bodies to recognise the standing of a host community (and potential host communities) in decision-making.

It argues: “Despite the general consensus that safety and finding suitable geology is the most important consideration, government policy makes voluntarism the leading criteria in starting the search for a site. CALC considers that a more logical approach bringing voluntarism and geology considerations together at an early stage, would be to identify the more promising areas.”

A spokesman for the MRWS Partnership said: “The decision about whether or not to take part in the search for somewhere to put an underground repository for higher activity radioactive waste is a very important one.

“It is essential that the partnership and the councils take the time to carefully consider the issues involved before any decisions are made.

“There are a wide range of issues that have been raised and partnership members will need to take into account before finalising a report to go to Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria County Council.”

Coun Tim Knowles, Cabinet portfolio holder for Cumbria County Council, said: “We need to properly assess and analyse the results of the consultation and a wide range of voices need to be heard in this process before we can make a properly rounded decision on whether it is in Cumbria’s interest to progress further.

“The right of withdrawal has been an important factor throughout this process and those organisations involved in the partnership do so without ties or commitment.”

Have your say

Amazing isnt it, 70 percent of councils asked have said no, i know people in all council areas mentioned and not one of them has been asked by there local council whether they want nuclear waste, usual case the few deciding for the many what apparently we all want, maybe Gosforth Seascale Ponsonby parish councils you might like to consider asking the people who live in your parishes as to whether they want nuclear waste NOT WHAT YOU WANT

Posted by truthfull man on 3 May 2012 at 06:43

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