Firm set to appeal as N-waste bid rejected
Last updated at 09:27, Thursday, 10 May 2012
A company that wants to bury 1m tonnes of radioactive waste near Distington is likely to appeal after its plans were turned down.
Endecom UK applied to use former opencast coal workings at Keekle Head, Pica, to dispose of low-level and very-low-level waste, mostly from Sellafield, over 50 years.
But Cumbria County Council’s development control and regulation committee voted unanimously yesterday to reject the scheme.
Speaking afterwards, Phil Holland, decommissioning development manager for Endecom, said: “This is a disappointing outcome as we firmly believe there is a long-term need for such a facility.
“The development would have little or no impact on the local community and helped to restore an industrial site.
“We will take stock of the decision before deciding how best to proceed.”
The proposal was hugely controversial.
Nearly 400 people signed a round-robin letter against it and protesters had a banner saying “no nuclear waste in landfill” outside yesterday’s meeting in Kendal.
Marianne Birkby, of Radiation Free Lakeland, was “delighted and heartened” by the council’s decision.
Another protester, Paul Cowling, told councillors: “To put a nuclear dump in such an area is a disgusting idea.
“It is going to get into the water and poison people.”
Speaking to Endecom’s representative, he added: “You have no right to come here to dump on us.”
Kevin Bell, who lives yards from the site, said the proposal would make his home impossible to sell.
He added: “We in Cumbria is going to be known as the nuclear dump capital of England.”
Annemarie Wilshaw,, planning manager for Endecom, argued the facility was needed to relieve pressure on the low-level repository at Drigg. It would handle contaminated rubble, soil, concrete, overalls, gloves and boots.
She said: “Keekle Head would be a modern purpose-built facility for the safe, cost-effective and environmentally-responsible disposal of low-activity wastes.”
A planning officers’ report recommended that Endecom’s scheme was turned down. It said there was no need for another low-level waste disposal site until 2030.
Other locations – such as Sellafield – should be considered first, and Endecom’s plans would degrade the landscape and damage Sandbeds Meadows county wildlife site.
Planning officer Rachel Brophy said: “There is no demonstrable, over-riding present need for this facility.”
Bert Richardson, the Conservative councillor for Greystoke and Hesket, said: “Nuclear waste is like a virginia creeper.
“If it gets out of control it will cover the county and that would be disastrous.”
And Labour’s Gerald Humes, who represents Workington Moorclose, added: “We need to deal with waste but this is the wrong place. It should stay closer to where it is manufactured.”
Anti-nuclear campaigners want the council to lobby government for a change in the law to prevent low-level radioactive waste from being buried in landfill sites.
Three landfill sites are licensed to accept low-level waste – Lillyhall in Cumbria, Clifton Marsh in Lancashire and Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.
First published at 09:26, Thursday, 10 May 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
Besides all the geological reasons why not, we do not want this here. That is why not.
There would have been many more objectors speaking had the Council given more than 3 days notice to register to speak â I wonder why the lack of notification when this has been in the offing since 2010! Keeping it low-key because of the implications for the proposed high level geological dump?
This time last year locals and Council of Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire, opposed plans for a nuclear landfill site which would receive nuclear waste of less radioactivity at 200 becquerels than that proposed for Keekle which would be the high end of low level wastes at 500 becquerels, Northamptonshire county councillors had unanimously rejected the plan in March 2010. The Governmentâs Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles overturned their decision and approved the dump against locals wishes. Clearly the ONLY long term assurance that landfill sites/old mines will be safe from radioactive contamination is to urge Government to revoke the 2007 law âexemptingâ nuclear wastes and allowing this stuff into landfillâ. Unless the âexemptâ law is changed and soon, the Governmentâs Eric Pickles brigade could say âI believe the developers when they say its safeâ and just overturn any decision to oppose âexemptâ radioactive waste in landfill that local councils and communities make. Nuclear waste is âexemptâ while a tyre is not â chiefly because the toxins from a tyre will leach into landfill while nuclear wasteâ¦! The nuclear industry is being dangerously deregulated in the same way as the banks â the toxic meltdown will be worse unlessâ¦.
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