On 30 January 2013, Allerdale and Copeland Borough Councils voted to continue with stage 4 of the MRWS process (see below), but Cumbria County Council voted against proceeding further down this path. This means that the MRWS process in West Cumbria is now over.
The ongoing big issue in the nuclear power industry across the UK is the need to find a long-term solution to the disposal of nuclear waste. This is an exceedingly complex issue, but is even more important now that the government has decided to proceed with the construction of new nuclear power plants. The purpose of this page is simply to provide links to websites where you can find more information, particularly in relation to the work of the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership. You can read the the Partnership’s final report to the three councils (Cumbria County plus Copeland and Allerdale Boroughs) from this link here. All three councils had been due to make this decision on 11 October 2012, but this was postponed until 30 January 2013.
Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) represents the Parish and Towns Councils in Cumbria and is one of the bodies forming the MRWS Partnership. In April 2012, CALC issued a statement that it “is not supporting the process that could lead to searching for a site for burying radioactive waste because it thinks it is ‘not credible or viable’ unless major changes are made” and also “believes that the Partnership must now take a lead in pressing for a comprehensive review of the MRWS programme nationally and locally.” You can read their statement and see summaries of the views of individual Parish and Towns Councils here.
A number of meetings were held around West Cumbria in 2012 in order to disseminate as widely as possible key aspects of the site selection process in relation to the suitability of the geology in West Cumbria to house a nuclear waste repository. There have been two key speakers at these meetings – Professor David Smythe, whose webpage about nuclear waste disposal you can reach from this link and Professor Stuart Haszeldine, whose webpages about this issue can be seen here. For more details about the issues surrounding a possible underground nuclear waste repository in (beneath) Ennerdale, see Professor Smythe’s latest talk here.
There were several local campaigns against this whole process:
- Save Our Lake District – Don’t dump Cumbria
- “Save our Lakes”, a Twitter-based campaign
- Solway Plain against Nuclear Dump (SPAND)
- No Ennerdale Nuclear Dump (NOEND)
- Say No To Burying Nuclear Waste in the Lake District.
A film was made by local people about the Ennerdale situation and you can watch this below.