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Friday, 03 July 2015

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Talks on future of nuclear waste

TALKS at 10 Downing Street have left Copeland and Allerdale more confident of being able to go it alone in the search for a safe nuclear waste disposal site.

West Cumbrian community and union leaders were encouraged by Tuesday’s meeting with energy secretary Ed Davey and energy minister Baroness Verma.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said: “It’s clear the Sellafield workforce, Copeland and Allerdale borough councils and the government have a shared understanding about the problems surrounding radioactive waste management and of the need to move forward quickly.

“It is equally clear the government welcomes discussions with committed, informed, credible partners and that our Copeland and Allerdale councils are now in a much stronger position than they were before the county council voted against its own policies.

“It was an extremely constructive discussion with the Secretary of State and this dialogue will continue.”

Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn, who was in the talks with Allerdale counterpart Alan Smith, said: “Copeland’s community is our priority. We will strive to gather the facts that allow them to make up their own minds about whether Copeland could offer the final solution to the disposal of nuclear waste.

“We’ll continue to work with government and not be distracted by those whose self-appointed role is to derail the whole nuclear agenda.”

Sellafield Workers’ Campaign spokesman Steve Nicholson said: “Discussions with Ed Davey were clear and constructive.

“We welcome cross-party support shown for moving forward with this issue in West Cumbria along with the engagement shown by government with ourselves, local councils and MPs Jamie Reed and Sir Tony Cunningham.”

Baroness Verma described the meeting as “helpful”. She confirmed West Cumbria’s MRWS process had ended but added: “It is right we remain engaged with local leaders on these issues, partly to learn the lessons of the process in Cumbria, and partly because they have an ongoing interest in the management of the waste held in storage at Sellafield.”

Have your say

@crisby, regardless of whether they build the new dump or not, Sellafield will still be there for generations. I find it difficult to fathom why would we want *two* places in the county we can't go to because of radioactive waste.

Posted by Rick on 19 February 2013 at 01:33

Cumbria has rejected a nuclear dump.

The debate has moved to one where many people are concerned that the democratic system is being undermined by people trying to overturn Cumbria County Councils "no" vote.

Jamie Reed started the ball rolling when the Whitehaven News reported that "Mr Reed says the Government should talk directly
to Copeland and ignore the county council."

The Whitehaven News also reported that "West Cumbria's two borough councils have joined forces to lobby the Government in a
bid to salvage search plans for an underground nuclear waste store site in the area."

This was despite the fact that Copeland and Allerdale had signed a Memorandum of Understanding which clearly stated if Cumbria County Council voted "no" then the process would end, and there would be no Stage 4.

Now we have three Copeland councillors calling in Cumbria County Councils "no" vote. Councillors are entitled to call in a decision. However, the reasons should be credible. In this case the reasons range from extremely weak to not applicable. This undermines the democratic process because it is not too far removed from the undemocratic over-turning of a decision.

Or is that the next step ?

Posted by Peter on 18 February 2013 at 21:19

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