In addition to clearing the surface environment of a radioactive hazard, constructing a GDF can be used to effect wider environmental benefits and enhancements — we are limited only by our imaginations.
The most obvious example is what to do with all the rock that will be excavated — the equivalent volume of six Channel Tunnels! Depending on the rock excavated, the GDF could follow the lead of the CrossRail project, which partnered with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to use excavated earth to protect ancient marshlands, create a large new habitat for migrating birds, and also provide sea flood defences for the North Essex coast. You can read more about the RSPB’s Wallasea Island project here.
The rock excavated from a GDF might, for example, help support the UK’s planned tidal lagoon renewable energy projects, by providing the large volumes of rock required to build the lagoon. In this case, disposing of nuclear waste would help support delivery of a new source of renewable energy, potentially reducing our need for future nuclear generating capacity.
GDFWatch will be working with conservation groups, communities and others to identify potentially productive consequences of a GDF in improving the UK’s natural environment and supporting the evolution of other renewable energy projects. We are open to ideas from anyone!