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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Debate to be held on waste dump report

PLANS for a nuclear waste dump in Cumbria are set to be discussed tomorrow ahead of a crunch meeting next month.

Copeland Borough Council will meet tomorrow to debate the final report from the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, ahead of the meeting on October 11 when the county council cabinet and district authorities will decide whether to progress with plans for an underground storage facility.

Last week Shepway Council voted against proposals to store nuclear waste underground in Romney Marsh, Kent, and only Cumbria has expressed an interest.

It is feared the county council is likely to block plans for the facility. Some local councillors have complained the cabinet has not been given long enough to assess the plans and are seeking to postpone the vote until early next year.

Yesterday the Sellafield Workers Campaign urged councillors to vote in favour of carrying on the search for a nuclear repository in Cumbria amid fears a new-build nuclear power station will not come about if there is no repository.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed believes the plans would bring a major economic boost for the local area.

The meeting comes as nuclear power was discussed at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton. In his keynote speech, energy secretary Ed Davey only mentioned nuclear power once, appearing to downplay the energy source in favour of other renewables.

Party leader Nick Clegg also used a question and answer session with members to express his doubts about nuclear technology.

He said he was “very sceptical” about the economics because, he said, he had not seen “any evidence of any successful nuclear industry anywhere around the world which hasn’t in the end relied upon great big dollops of public subsidy”.

That was why he had insisted the coalition agreement with the Conservatives stated there must be no subsidy for nuclear – but if the industry could find a way of operating without one, that would be fine.

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