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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Sellafield workers ‘want probe into dump’

SELLAFIELD workers have urged Cumbrian authorities to vote “yes” on whether to continue the search for an underground nuclear repository site in West Cumbria.

A meeting of Cumbria County Council and Copeland and Allerdale Borough Council’s executives on Wednesday will decide whether to proceed to stage four of the investigation into the feasibility of housing a repository in the county.

Ahead of this crunch decision, the arguments for and against a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste were debated by local MPs, scientists, nuclear workers and industry leaders at a seminar in Carlisle yesterday.

Kevin Coyne, Unite national officer and chair of Trade Unions for Safe Nuclear Energy, said: “The people of Cumbria will not be making any commitments to a geological disposal facility by agreeing to continue with this study.

“What the workers at Sellafield want is a full and proper investigation into the feasibility of such a facility in Cumbria. Only then can we consider how best to proceed.

“Britain has been searching for a national waste repository for over 30 years. In the meantime Sellafield workers have the responsibility of looking after most of this radioactive waste. It is not going to go away. Good science needs to prevail in order for Cumbria and the rest of the UK to resolve how we deal with this important issue.”

Meanwhile, anti-nuclear protesters yesterday handed a 15,487 signature petition against the search to the county council. The petition was presented by No Ennerdale Nuclear Dump, who were also staging a protest walk today.

A group spokesman said: “NOEND started this petition as we believe Copeland Borough Council, Allerdale Borough Council and Cumbria County Council failed in their duty, under English law, to exclude the Lake District National Park when they issued the “expression of interest” to the government for the opportunity to consider hosting a Geological Disposal Facility. The marchers will carry banners and walk the route from Bowness Knott to the River Liza Delta, to show the areas which could be used if Ennerdale was ever considered seriously for a GDR.’’

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