Britain’s oldest campaign group focused on geological disposal has recently re-affirmed its support for geological disposal, and has called for the renewed search for a site to be on a national basis.
In recent BBC interviews, Eddie Martin of Cumbria Trust and Tim Knowles (who led the previous siting process in Cumbria in 2013) both supported geological disposal of the nation’s radioactive waste, but expressed their concerns that Cumbria was the only location being assessed.
GDFWatch welcomes Cumbria Trust’s support for geological disposal and agrees with them, that any search for a site must be conducted on a national basis. Most of the country offers potentially suitable geology in which a GDF could be built. The Government have committed to conducting a national search, and we will be monitoring their approach.
But geology is not the only determining factor. Community consent is critical to identifying areas where the GDF might be built. The economic, social and environmental benefits of hosting a GDF may well prove very attractive to many parts of the UK. The direct and indirect investment associated with a GDF could underwrite many regions’ current long-term economic plans, open new opportunities, or replace EU structural funding.
But none of this is going to be achieved quickly. There are decades of planning and consideration ahead, before any final decision is required. The question now is whether communities across the UK unanimously shut down future options immediately, or whether some want to reserve their judgement and explore the risks and opportunities on a ‘no obligation/walk away at any time’ basis.