Leading councilors in Allerdale are calling for the Government to be clear on its energy and nuclear policy as plans for an underground nuclear waste store are revived.
Members of Allerdale council’s executive committee made the comments at a meeting on Friday when considering an official response to a consultation launched by Radioactive Waste Management – an organisation established by the Government to plan and deliver the nuclear waste store.
The consultation is about the process the Government’s organisation intends to follow to identify a site for the multi-million Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). But Labour councilors sitting on the executive said the Government needed to be clear about what its plans are for the future of energy and nuclear in the country.
Allerdale council was a key partner in the former Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) process and the council has been working with other local authorities under the umbrella of NuLeAF since that last process came to an end.
The plans caused huge controversy in West Cumbria when first mooted, before being rejected by Cumbria County Council in 2013.
Councillor Mike Heaslip said: “It’s right that we should use our expertise. I was involved in the previous process, we spent an awful lot of time, blood, sweat and tears to try to work out what the process was. Lessons have been learnt from that and those need to be communicated. I’m not entirely clear that they are listening to the message we have been giving them from this council.
“I take it the process is about a consultation, about a process of finding a site in an area that isn’t West Cumbria. If anywhere in West Cumbria was to be considered, this process is inadequate.”
He added: “We need to look at the bigger picture and we have no indication from the Government that they’re willing to engage with us on this. There isn’t an energy policy or a nuclear policy in th UK. We need a far bigger conversation.”
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