THE group tasked with finding a suitable home for a nuclear waste disposal site in Copeland is proposing two areas.

A 'geological disposal facility' (GDF) houses higher activity radioactive waste deep underground - and Copeland GDF Working Group has been on a quest to find a suitable location in Cumbria.

The working group is now proposing two areas

One comprises the electoral wards of Gosforth, Seascale and Beckermet.

The other comprises the electoral wards of Millom, Black Combe and Scafell.

Paul Turner, Cumbria County Councillor for Gosforth said: "You're bound to get a mix of people who don't want it and people that do want it.

"I just welcome that fact that my division has been involved in the next stage of the discussions."

Mark Cullinan, chairman of the Copeland GDF Working Group said: "Over the past 11 months we have talked with local people and looked at the data available. The Working Group feels confident that we have selected two Search Areas worthy of further consideration as an initial starting point going forward.

"We are still in the very early part of the GDF journey and it’s up to the local authorities and Radioactive Waste Management to now decide whether we progress further to forming Community Partnerships. We look forward to their decision in the coming weeks."

Marianne Birkby, of the Radiation Free Lakeland group, is strongly against a geological disposal facility.

She said: "Our position is that it should be contained above ground, not deep underground.

"Our remit is to oppose GDF anywhere because the science doesn't exist to safely put nuclear waste underground for any length of time."

The Lake District National Park and its proposed extension are excluded from consideration - as are existing and future coal mines.

Marianne and her fellow activists at Radiation Free Lakeland feel that the Lake District National Park should include land up to the Irish Sea.

A 'Community Partnership' is a long term group made up of a larger number of people which would take over from the Working Group and consider the possibilities of GDF siting in more detail.

Initially the Working Group would start to recruit some community members, and then any partnership would recruit further potential members to join them to take it forward.

Both Search Areas would be considered by RWM to identify potentially suitable sites to host a GDF. A surface facility, which would be the entry point for a GDF, would require up to 1 square km of land and suitable transport links.