Cumbria's nuclear waste debate rolls on

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.

Nuclear storage diagram 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.

Chris Jackson Article written by Chris Jackson Chris Jackson Presenter, Inside Out, North East & Cumbria

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  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Surely there's a more appropriate dump, called London

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    It beggars belief that there is not a single news report mentioning the PRISM reactor, which is sure to be approved soon for burning our plutonium stockpile.

    The technology is here now! GE Hitachi have it designed and ready for modular factory-build. It could be operational in 10 years.

    They can use the UK's nuclear waste (energy resource) as fuel. We have enough to power the UK for 500 years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    On the contrary Cumbria County Councillors know the value of protecting the Lake District National Park and the extensive business and residential investment in the area. The blot on the landscape that is Sellafield should not be allowed to spread its radioactive filth over what is often called "the jewel in Englands crown". Bury Sellafield the "Nuclear slum".

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Again to echo #3 'It is a UK problem and shouldn't be dumped on the people of Cumbria' - Does that mean the waste should be spread pro rata around the UK? It needs to go somewhere.
    Also, the north-south divide is often bemoaned, and yet the prospect of thousands of permanant high skilled STEM jobs in the north commutable from a series of 'isolated' communities is no temptation whatsoever?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Perhaps the best place would actually be the they don't want HS2 in their backyard,this would be ideal as it will be under the backyard,...... out of sight out of mind as they would like HS2 to be.


Comments 5 of 8



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