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Home > Stakeholders and Community > Insight - Stakeholder Newsletter > Long search for a more permanent solution  

Insight Stakeholder Newsletter

Long search for a more permanent solution

18 November 2009

The Government has launched a search for the final home of our higher activity radioactive wastes. They are asking communities across the country to talk to them about potentially hosting what will be called the 'Geological Disposal Facility'.

Diagram to show how the Geological Disposal Facility might be constructed

This is the start of a long process, anticipated to take several decades. Around 70% of the radioactive waste is already stored at Sellafield in West Cumbria. The three Councils from Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria County have therefore started the early stages of this conversation with Government.

The Councils are keen to have their discussions informed by a wide range of community interests, so they have set up a Partnership to advise them: the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership.

The Partnership is an advisory body aiming to 'make recommendations to the Councils on whether they should participate or not in the geological disposal facility siting process, without commitment to eventually host a facility'.

Effectively the Partnership is considering whether West Cumbria should proceed to the next stage with Government, during which a range of geological and engineering research would be carried out to see if West Cumbria is suitable.

As well as organising communications to all households in West Cumbria, the Partnership holds its meetings in public, and will be organising additional open meetings. Find out more at

Elizabeth Atherton, Head of Stakeholder & Community Engagement at NDA's Radioactive Waste Management Directorate, said: "Together with Government we act as an observing member of the West Cumbria MRWS Partnership. We attend the partnership meetings to provide information and support. This includes ensuring that questions and concerns about the geological disposal facility siting process, construction, operation, closure and post-closure are addressed and resolved as far as reasonably practicable."

Elizabeth said both Government and NDA would welcome the opportunity to talk to any groups who are interested in the Managing Radioactive Waste Safety process.

By Rhuari Bennett of 3KQ