Locals Oppose Planned Radioactive Waste Dump in Cumbria, UK

lake-district (Image: Diliff, cc-sa-3.0)

Britain’s nuclear industry has been searching for a burial site for its national waste for over 30 years. But plans to construct a £12 billion radioactive waste dump in Cumbria could be stymied as councils vote on the proposal this week amid mounting local opposition.

The nuclear industry has warned that a “no” vote could threaten the development of a new generation of proposed nuclear power plants. Campaigners, meanwhile, argue that the waste dump would harm the Lake District – one of Britain’s best loved national parks – and negatively impact its thriving tourism industry.

lake-district-2 (Image: Rob Bendall, public domain)

According to the Telegraph, the underground facility could be up to 1km deep and occupy 3km squared, taking decades to fill, with waste remaining radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Opponents have also cited studies suggesting Cumbria’s geology would likely be unsafe for radioactive waste storage.

Councils are expected to vote on the proposal this coming Wednesday. More than 16,000 people have signed a petition opposing the waste dump, and Friends of the Lake District have urged local authorities to reject the plans.

Supporters of the scheme argue the waste dump would bring jobs and investment to the region. But Harry Marsland of NoLakesNukeDump said: “I am not anti-nuclear and neither are the vast majority of fellow campaigners. We are simply pro-Lake District. It is no place for such a massive industrial investigation and construction”.

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