Thursday, 11 December 2008

*Council leaders offer Lake District as nuclear dump

From The Guardian:

The Labour leadership team at Cumbria county council has agreed to make an "expression of interest" that would pinpoint an area around the Lake District as the most likely place for Britain's first high-level nuclear waste dump. The controversial move was taken on a vote of the council's inner cabinet amid allegations democracy was being stifled and despite a warning from a top scientist that new studies showed a link between atomic sites and incidents of cancer.

Tim Knowles, the council cabinet member responsible for nuclear issues, insisted the decision did not involve "commitments" but merely brought the local authority to the negotiating table. "We're a long way from deciding whether Cumbria is the right place to store nuclear waste deep underground and there's a huge amount of detail required on what community support packages are acceptable, long-term environmental safety and potential site locations," he said.The expression of interest follows a government white paper, which invited local authorities to volunteer to host the burial of nuclear waste in return for investment in roads, schools and other public services. Without a new high-level waste dump the government's plan for new atomic power stations would be hard to achieve.

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