Letter Delivered to the Leader of Carlisle City Council today along with voting slips revealing 97% of Carlisle opposes the government plan for a nuke dump under Cumbria. The letter urges Carlisle City Council to join the majority of towns and villages who have expressed opposition to the government’s geological dumping agenda here in Cumbria
Professor Joe Hendry
Leader of Carlisle City Council
Carlisle City Council
CA3 8QG 7th January 2013
Dear Professor Hendry,
Carlisle City Council has yet to take any position other than that of ‘partner’ on the government plan which asks Cumbria to continue along the steps towards geological ‘disposal’ of high level nuclear wastes.
Last August Radiation Free Lakeland conducted a poll in Carlisle asking “Do you want a nuclear dump under Cumbria?” 200 people voted NO and 6 people voted YES. This reveals a convincing 97% of Carlisle OPPOSES the government plan for a nuclear dump under the Silloth,Eskdale, Ennerdale or any other “most promising site” in West Cumbria’s complex geology. The vote took place over two hours from 10am till 12pm on August 25th in the pouring rain (and monitored by Special Branch).
Dr Gerry Wolff the Coordinator of Energy Fair has written the following:
*WHY DANGEROUS CATEGORIES OF NUCLEAR WASTE SHOULD NOT BE DISPOSED OF UNDERGROUND It is commonly assumed that the problem of dangerous nuclear waste can be solved by storing it underground. But:
– On timescales of thousands of years, the environment underground is very dynamic. What appears to be “solid” rock, behaves like butter. Even on human timescales, deformations of rocks underground can be significant as, for example, in the design and construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel through the Alps.
– On timescales of thousands of years, any given area will experience earthquakes.
– Although the environment underground is at least as complex as the atmosphere, we know a great deal less about it than we do about the atmosphere. In much the same way that weather forecasting is unreliable, it is simply not possible to make accurate predictions of changes underground when the available information is so limited, when the environment underground is so complex, and when we are considering timescales up to 250,000 years.
– Potential problems underground include:
– Corrosion and rupture of containers.
– Crushing, distortion and rupture of containers.
– Leakage of radioactive material from containers.
– Spreading of radioactive material to underground and surface environments via the movement of groundwater, via faults and other weaknesses in rocks, and via the movement and distortion of rocks.
– By the time any of these problems start to appear underground, it is likely to be too late to rectify them.
– Although there may be similar problems with surface storage, it is much easier to anticipate problems, and correct problems before they become unmanageable.
Unless or until there is a radically effective solution to the problem of dangerous categories of nuclear waste, they should remain on the surface where they can be most effectively managed.
Geological disposal has the superficial attraction that “out of sight is out of mind”. It is tempting to believe that, if we can’t see it, we don’t have to worry about it.
But “out of sight is out of mind” is precisely why underground storage is NOT the right place for dangerous categories of nuclear waste. By the time things start to go wrong, it is likely to be too late to do anything to correct the problems.*
Radiation Free Lakeland agree and urge Carlisle City Council to take a strong position on the most important issue any City Council Leader has had to face and say No to going to the next stage of the MRWS geological disposal plans for Cumbria. Say NO to geological dumping of wastes over a 25km square and 1000m deep swathe of Cumbria . Say NO and urge Sellafield to stop banking on getting the waste out of sight and out of mind but to get their house in order, immobilise and encapsulate the wastes, build good storage on the 6km Sellafield site as advised by the National Audit Office.
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland