THE second of four interested parties involved in the hunt to find a suitable site for a nuclear disposal facility have spoken about why they are involved.

Radioactive Waste Management, the public body responsible for planning and delivering geological disposal in the UK, is exploring the possibility of creating a Geological Disposal Facility in Copeland. It compiled four reports after receiving proposals from Copeland Council, Irton Hall Ltd, GenR8 North Ltd and Copeland resident and ex-Sellafield manager Dave Faulkner.

Having determined there could be potential for a multi-million pound nuclear disposal facility in the borough, the Copeland Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) Working Group was formed last month to involve the community in discussions. Nuclear waste is currently stored above ground inside the Sellafield complex.

The GDF would involve taking the packaged waste hundreds of metres below the ground and placing it into tunnels or vaults before a backfill material would be added and the tunnel or vault sealed. Around it would be hundreds of metres of suitable geology, in other words, multiple layers of protection that contain and isolate the radioactive waste forever.

Genr8 North Ltd, said they had general interest in seeing the opportunity of the GDF programme given proper consideration as part of future infrastructure developments in the area.

Mark Walker, director of GenR8 North Ltd said: “Most of the waste that will go into a GDF is already here, at Sellafield. The short and medium-term solutions we currently have for storing it on the surface, don’t really serve the needs of future generations, so that’s why we think we have to build a GDF.

“We feel the idea of a GDF in West Cumbria has to be looked at. We didn’t propose a specific area, but like other members of the working group, we agree that the National Park must be excluded.

“We got involved because we want to see how this could secure the long-term economic regeneration of West Cumbria, and we shouldn’t underestimate the potential of a project like this.”