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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Nuclear dump TV show ‘may hit area’s tourism’

A PROPOSED nuclear repository could be built closer to home than South Copeland residents may have thought.

A programme which aired on prime-time television suggested Cumbria’s search for an underground nuclear waste dump could lead to Eskdale.

Based on the West Cumbria MRWS Partnership's final report, BBC One’s Cumbria’s Nuclear Future programme said a geologist – Dr Jeremy Dearlove – had identified Eskdale and Silloth, in the north of the county, “as the places most likely to offer the best rock formation for the site”.

But Cumbria county councillor for Eskdale, Sue Brown, said Monday’s broadcast could have a detrimental effect on tourism, in and around Copeland. She said: “I haven’t heard any suggestion Eskdale was being considered. So that comes as quite a surprise. I think there would be strong reaction from the nearby communities.

“We should wait and see because we’re not even committed to moving forward at the moment.

“I think there’s probably some harm been done by their announcement. If I’d been a tourist thinking of coming up to Eskdale, then I might think ‘perhaps not’ now. You don’t want huge infrastructure going through Eskdale. It would ruin the valley. I’m sure Eskdale residents, while welcoming any financial input from a development, actually wouldn’t like to see their beautiful village and valley affected by this.”

Marianne Birkby, of Radiation Free Lakeland, said: “It would be like fracking with radioactive bells on, under Eskdale. Wherever it goes in Cumbria it’ll be only a few miles away from anywhere. Eskdale has a magical feel about it. To be stood there and to think you’ll have the world’s stockpile of highly radioactive waste underneath your feet would put an entirely different perspective on how people feel about the Lake District.”

Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councils and Cumbria County Council have delayed their decision on whether they should proceed in the search for a nuclear repository site in Cumbria until the New Year.

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