Cumbria's nuclear waste debate rolls on

  • 29 January 2013
  • From the section England
  • comments
Sellafield
Britain needs to find a site for a long-term underground store for nuclear waste

Last night's Cumbria nuclear waste storage programme provoked a big response so here are some thoughts on your feedback.

We didn't set out to examine the environmental and safety issues surrounding the nuclear store on this occasion.

You may recall a 30 minute documentary when I travelled to Finland looking at precisely those issues last year - and caught up with expert opinion on both sides.

This time we decided to look at the pressures facing councillors who have such a critical decision ahead of them, given the amount of money that both the government and the nuclear industry put into the region both in wages and community projects.

I asked the question: "So is this just a local business doing the right thing, being socially responsible and supporting their community? Or is the relationship all a little too close?"

We pointed out that some of the councillors have previous connections with the nuclear industry and help hand out funds from the industry to local people.

Balanced views

We asked if they were able to set aside this pressure and take an independent, balanced view.

Radioactive waste contained in canisters would be buried beneath Cumbria

A representative from Friends of the Earth described relationships as being "too cosy".

The councillors and process were defended by the local MP, a statement from Cumbria Council, and one of those directly involved.

We fully accept that this is just one issue facing the decision makers - but one we thought might merit a closer look.

Our colleagues on BBC Look North, BBC Radio Cumbria and BBC News Online will keep you up to date with the outcome of tomorrow's meetings.

More from the Inside Out programme can be found here including the iPlayer watch again.