Wake up and smell the stinky roses!
Save Our Lake District – Don’t Dump Cumbria! today learned that Essex County Council has said it will send its radioactive Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) from Bradwell to Cumbria for disposal in a repository.
Essex County Council & Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s views are set out in a November 2011 Waste Development Document (WDD), paras 3.35. and 3.36.  A consultation on the proposals has just ended.
In the document, the Councils make it clear that they expect to send waste from decommissioning the current Bradwell reactor to ‘the National Repository for Radioactive waste in Cumbria’. They also say that the waste arising from the new reactors proposed for Bradwell will not be kept in Essex, but instead needs ‘to be considered in the context of the future national repository arrangements and not with the WDD’.
Council leaders in Copeland and Cumbria have constantly assured Cumbrians that the plans for a dump here are ‘not a done deal’. But the paper from Essex indicates that it looks very much like a ‘done deal’ to that Council.
Dr Ruth Balogh of SOLD DDC! said
‘We warned the Councils that as soon as they ‘expressed an interest’ in hosting the national dump, it would be viewed by other areas in the UK as a green light for them to make plans to send their waste here. We wonder how many other authorities are taking the same approach as Essex and now effectively view Cumbria as the UK’s nuclear waste dump?
‘The papers from Essex are precisely the sort of thing the West Cumbria MRWS Partnership should be discussing. With government and regulators involved, it is supposed to work as an effective forum for sharing just this kind of information. Yet it has cancelled all its meetings since November, when these proposals were first made public.
‘The Partnership must hold an immediate investigation to find out precisely what has been discussed in Essex. All communication between the Partnership and Essex must then be published. This should be done before 23rd March when the consultation over possible next steps on nuclear waste disposal closes. The people of West Cumbria deserve nothing less than total honesty on such crucial matters.
‘Failure to act by the Partnership will only lead to concerns that it is content to allow West Cumbria to be viewed as the national nuclear dump.’
Save Our Lake District, Don’t Dump Cumbria! consists of people concerned about the impact of a nuclear dump on the future of Cumbria and the Lake District.
Its website is http://www.mrwsold.org.uk
Through the website to Dr Ruth Balogh
Nuclear issues campaigner, W Cumbria & N Lakes FoE and founder member of SOLD – DDC!
1.Essex County Council & Southend–on–Sea Borough Council Waste Development Document: Preferred Options November 2011
3.35 Bradwell Nuclear Power Facility which is being de-commissioned is the principal source of radioactive waste arisings within the Plan area. A small amount of other radioactive waste is generated by hospitals and academic/research organisations in the Plan area. The arisings
comprise Very Low Level (VLLW), Low Level (LLW) and some Intermediate Level (ILW) Radioactive Wastes. During the decommissioning process of the Bradwell Nuclear Power facility there is a need for storage, treatment and disposal of these wastes, and this is being addressed through an existing planning permission allowing for ILW to be managed and stored before this
is exported to the National Repository for Radioactive waste in Cumbria.
3.36 The government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) for Nuclear Power Generation(22), is considering the Bradwell site alongside other sites nationally for future nuclear energy development. If the Bradwell site is selected as one of the suitable sites for nuclear energy development, then there would be further arisings of ILW in the Plan area. The fate of these materials depends on the progress of the Government on the new national geological radioactive
waste repository to replace the existing repository at Cumbria. ILW is of national importance and would need to be considered in the context of the future national repository arrangements and not with the WDD.