Let’s be absolutely clear: under the Government’s plans for a GDF, it cannot be built until:
a) there has been a ‘Test of Public Support’ in your community (which will come only after years of detailed analysis of the host site, and the answering of all your questions and concerns)
c) planning permission, under the 2008 Planning Act, has been approved to the satisfaction of the Planning Inspectorate
Communities are urged to contact the ONR and Environment Agency (or NRW in Wales) at the earliest opportunity, as they will be crucial sources of independent information, reassurance and advice. The Planning Inspectorate will be of more importance later in the process.
You can also get independent expert advice from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), and a range of leading public institutions (eg Geological Society, etc).
GDFWatch may be pro-geological disposal, but that is only on the basis that any particular site is safe and the community consents. RWM have recently updated their ‘generic’ safety case, a suite of documents covering a range of issues (eg transport, geology) which set out the basis of how they are approaching assessing sites and designing a facility to meet the high safety standards that regulators will require. These documents are just a starting point. Any final ‘safety case’ will need to have been developed in conjunction with the local community, and command the public’s confidence.