Government launches second consultation on burying nuclear waste
Last updated at 14:15, Thursday, 12 September 2013
The Government has reopened the debate on a proposed nuclear dump, potentially allowing Copeland and Allerdale to put their names forward to host an underground repository again.
The new consultation - which the Government says could allow areas to be represented by the most local competent authority, such as the district authority - closes in December before applications go in next year.
Copeland and Allerdale had to abandon their previous attempts to register an interest when the county council refused to back it. Today's announcement appears to suggest the county council would not be able to veto any district plans.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change revealed its plans this morning (Thursday). It said the government has launched a consultation on a revised proposed process for working with communities in order to agree a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).
The multi-billion pound facility would be used to dispose of higher activity radioactive waste underground which the government said would "provide a permanent solution for the disposal of existing legacy waste, and waste from new nuclear power stations."
"Under the new approach, which Government is consulting on from today, communities would be provided with more information at an earlier stage in the process; a positive community-wide demonstration of support would be required before a community could host a GDF; and communities would have an on-going right to withdraw from the process," a statement said.
"Throughout the revised process being consulted on, communities would be represented by the most local competent authority, (the District Council or unitary authority in England, or relevant equivalent in Wales or Northern Ireland), who would have the right to withdraw the community from the siting process.
"The multi-billion pound infrastructure initiative could provide skilled employment for many thousands of people over its lifetime. Over 1,000 people would be employed on the site during its construction, with over 500 staff employed on average each year over the 100 year life of the facility."
Baroness Verma said: "Geological disposal is the right approach for the long-term, safe and secure management of the UK’s higher activity radioactive waste.
“Hosting a site would bring lasting economic benefits with jobs, opportunities for businesses, and a generous benefits package to support the community.
“We want to make sure those benefits are well understood and supported by all those in the area surrounding any host community.”
Bruce McKirdy, managing director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Radioactive Waste Management Directorate, said: “For more than 50 years, we have all benefited from the use of clean and secure nuclear energy, but we have not successfully addressed the long term disposal of higher activity radioactive waste. Geological disposal is an internationally recognised technically sound solution for higher activity waste to protect people and our environment.
“As the body responsible for the design, development and delivery of a geological disposal facility, we look forward to working with communities, stakeholders and the Government to take responsibility for our past and avoid passing the burden of legacy waste to future generations.”
The process to select a site would vary according to the specific needs of the community but could take around 15 years, with construction taking a further 15 years.
Government will consult on this new approach until December 5 and will then re-launch the national site selection process in 2014.
As part of the consultation, a series of events will be run across the country with the public and interested parties.
First published at 14:08, Thursday, 12 September 2013
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
To clarify, everyone who's said Cumbria's geology is unsuitable is working on a third-hand assumption. It MAY be unsuitable. All we currently know about our geology pertains to a few scattered locations about the county, and nowhere near deep enough to give us any information relevant to this proposed facility. At this point in time, all that's being asked is that we're able to find out more about our area's geology. That would leave us with one of two scenarios; either the geology is proven to be unsuitable and we have more information about our county that wasn't previously unavailable, or a structurally safe area is found and the geology argument is put to bed. Everyone should be in favour of this, regardless of which camp you fall into regarding nuclear waste.
Sellafield union reps (and ex union reps who join the staff 2 years before retirement): how many on Copeland council, how many on the executive? You as members of the voters in Copeland have no say in anything.
Wake up, you as voters have no say whatsoever.
Representation in Copeland is at an all time low. 'We're all in this together' in Copeland means that whether you vote Conservative or Labour is of no consequence whatsoever. Why? Both parties pay lip service to the voters because of personal gain. There is no such thing as council 'expenses' because the personal gains of councillors are taxable therefore they are paid positions.
Look at who is on the council, either retired from their days jobs or shortly coming up for retirement from their day jobs. Look at how many councillors are also on the executive and, on the county council. These three lots of expenses paid for by you equate to in excess of 20k GBP per year.
How many local councillors have stood up to be counted and objected to, for instance, the closing of the market place public toilets? You are not being represented by these people.
Do the research.
However, do not despair. Change is at hand, where representation is of your choosing. Your vote, your choice, your voice.
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