AN UPDATE on the work to find a Copeland site for a geological disposal facility has been given to councillors at a public meeting.

Chairman of Radioactive Waste Management’s Copeland Working Group gave an update to Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for Copeland on Monday.

Speaking of the search for a nuclear waste disposal site, he said: “We’re looking at all of the Copeland Borough Council area apart from the Lake District National Park and fairly early on we decided we’d not look at, so exclude the area which is a possible extension to the LDNP.”

The Southern Boundary Partnership and Friends of Lake District National Park are currently working on plans to expand the southern boundary.

It was pointed out to the chairman that Copeland Borough Councillor Hugh Branney hopes to extend the exclusion area to Dent and the whole of Ennerdale.

Mr Cullinan said: “One of the things that’s different this time around is that the search area does include the off-shore area. That goes up to 2.2 kilometers out to sea.”

“We may well recommend two search areas as being suitable, and if we do, the chances are they will cross more than one electoral ward boundary and that’s important because it’s the ward boundaries that define the population that are identified as being able to vote.”

Mr Cullinan said: “We have three tasks, the first of those is to begin to talk to the people of Copeland. With Covid-19 we were delayed in terms of our face to face meetings but we have done a lot on social media, we have had a virtual exhibition, we’ve done a couple of webinars as well.”

“The second task of the working group is that if we identify that the geology is suitable within the Copeland areas, for us to propose a search area. And thirdly is to begin to identify what the initial membership would be for a community partnership to take the work forward.”