Nuclear Geological Disposal Group - Allerdale
Allerdale and the geological disposal of radioactive waste
A Working group has been formed in West Cumbria to begin the conversation about the possibility of hosting a geological disposal facility (or GDF) in Allerdale
The Allerdale GDF Working Group was formed to start discussions locally about the possibility of hosting a deep geological facility within the area for the disposal of the UK’s radioactive waste.
Let us emphasise from the outset that having a GDF in Allerdale is not a done deal. It will be years before any siting decisions are taken or construction could begin so there will be many opportunities for local people to share their views, express their concerns and ask questions.
There’s every likelihood that other parts of the country will also step forward to weigh up interest in hosting the facility. The eventual decider, if discussions continue beyond the Working Group stage, will be a test of public support. Nothing will go ahead without a clear expression of local support by people living in the area around a prospective site.
As many readers will be aware, West Cumbria is already temporary home to around three-quarters of the UK’s radioactive waste, at Sellafield in neighbouring Copeland, home to the most complex nuclear site in Europe. Around 11,000 residents in West Cumbria including 3000 from Allerdale already work there, and many other Cumbrians and businesses supply goods and services.
You may also know that West Cumbria was involved in a similar siting process back in 2013 and at the time is was claimed that the geology of the whole of West Cumbria was unsuitable for a GDF. Although some areas of West Cumbria were deemed unsuitable on the basis of geology, we do know that parts of Allerdale have potential for a suitable site, particularly deep below the seabed, but we won’t know for sure about the deep geology until such time that more detailed investigations are conducted.
The Working Group are neither for or against a GDF in Allerdale, but all of the Working Group members, some of whom live in West Cumbria and Allerdale, believe we ought to be part of the conversation, recognising that economically, many residents and businesses are already involved in the nuclear industry. What the Working Group want to explore with the people of Allerdale are the opportunities that a GDF could bring to the local economy and how it could help to protect the environment and contribute to a sustainable future through significant employment, skills, investment and infrastructure improvements.
For those who may not be familiar with the concept of a GDF, it is a highly engineered facility made up of vaults and tunnels up to 1,000 metres deep underground or under the seabed; solid radioactive waste would be placed in robust containers, safely isolated and contained from people and the environment for thousands of years until the radioactivity naturally decays away and is no longer a hazard. In a suitable geology and at these depths, waste is protected from the impact of climate change and any other events that could undermine the safety of surface-based facilities.
International scientific consensus recognises deep geological disposal as the best long-term solution for dealing with high level radioactive waste, and other countries are already taking a similar approach including Sweden, Finland, Canada, France, and Switzerland.
Environmentally, scientists and the UK government’s expert advisors believe it’s the right thing to do to transfer waste from above-ground stores that require constant maintenance and eventual replacement, into a permanent facility designed to remain undisturbed for thousands of years, thus removing the economic, care and risk burden of passing the waste onto future generations to manage.
Our Working Group aims to identify an area where a GDF could potentially be built, led by a broader Community Partnership representative of local people and groups. Despite COVID restrictions, we want to understand local views and in time, we hope to organise events where we can meet people face to face, but in the meantime we will engage through digital channels via our website, social media, virtual exhibition, and newsletters.
We’re probably 10-15 years away from a siting decision, so please join the conversation to understand the facts, and talk to the experts who can help build a more informed picture.
Who are involved on the Working Group?
The Allerdale GDF Working Group is made up of a representative from a local business, Genr8 North Ltd, Allerdale Borough Council, and Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM), and the group is managed by an independent chair.
The Working Group have three main tasks - start the conversation, identify a potential search area for further consideration, and identify local people and groups to form a more enduring Community Partnership that could take the conversation forward. We’re not alone in Allerdale as we expect more groups, just as they have done in Copeland, to form in other parts of the country over the coming months.
Considering whether a GDF might be right for Allerdale could be a long journey – come with us and tell us your views. If you want to find out more, please visit our website (Welcome | Allerdale GDF Working Group (workinginpartnership.org.uk) , write to us, email us or get in touch via our contact centre (contact detailshere)
Thank you for your interest and taking the time to read this article.
From the Allerdale GDF Working Group
Jocelyn Manners Armstrong, Independent Chair
Councillor Marion Fitzgerald, representative of Allerdale Borough Council
Andy Ross, representative of Genr8 North Ltd
Eva Chua, representative of Radioactive Waste Management (RWM)
Dovenby Speed Limit Proposal
Cumbria County Council Proposal - A594 Dovenby - Speed Limit Reduction
The proposed changes are to reduce part of the existing 50mph speed limit to 40mph, through the village of Dovenby. This proposal comes as a result of an independent Engineering Safety Study carried out along the A594 Dovenby considering its history of collisions and their associated causation factors. The study indicated that a reduction in speed limit would help to prevent these types of collisions from occurring as frequently, should it be introduced.
This proposal does NOT include the Dovenby Craggs crossroads giving the access to Tallentire.
It has been suggested that the speed limit could also include the Tallentire turning at Dovenby Craggs.
Click here to view the Speed limit proposal map.
The public are able to give their views on the proposal by following this link here to comment.
Comments had to be received before May 21st 2021 Any comments made now may be disregarded, but the information is left here for your perusal.
Local Government Reform Consultation
|Yesterday, the government announced
an eight-week consultation into local government reorganisation in
Cumbria. They will now consulton all four unitary authority proposals put forward by Cumbrian councils in December.|
To study the full details, click here
To take part in the consultation click here
Courses offered to help communities deal with emergencies
Floods in recent years brought out the very best in people throughout Cumbria, with a huge volunteer response. Cumbria CVS, using funding from Cumbria Community Foundation’s Flood Appeal is running a series of free training for volunteers between now and the autumn to help them respond to possible emergencies in their communities.
The training will cover practical skills and knowledge as well as softer useful skills such as Active Listening and Effective Communication that help individuals to be better prepared to respond positively and effectively in an emergency.
Sessions available include ‘Effective Communication Skills’ - improving communication skills to respond calmly and with confidence ; ‘Manual Handling’ – helping people to reduce the risk of injury when moving and handling objects and ‘Befriending’ helping people feel more confident in the role as a befriender.
“There was an overwhelming swell of volunteer support during and following the floods, and we are looking at how to build on it so that we are better prepared for future possible emergencies,” said Judith Holmshaw, County Volunteer Coordinator, Cumbria CVS.
“Thanks to funding from the Cumbria Community Foundation’s Cumbria Flood Appeal, we are really pleased to be able to offer all of these sessions free.” Judith said. “We would also like to hear from people who may be interested in getting involved as a volunteer in possible future emergencies as we are building up a database of contacts. Please contact me if you directly if you may be interested on 01768 800350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org“
Full details of all sessions can be found on the Cumbria CVS website: www.cumbriacvs.org.uk/training-and-events/categories/volunteer-training/
Anyone who’d like more details can contact Cumbria CVS on 01768 800350 or email email@example.com
Independent Living Services
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Get the care you need from the staff you choose, but let DaCE Support Service take the strain for stress free Direct Payments and Personal Budgets.
DaCE is a local organisation and has more than 10 years experience supporting people to arrange their care packages and our staff are the experts in this field in Cumbria. Our aim is to support local disabled people to live independently and fully in control of their lives. We have worked with disabled people, their families, carers and professionals over the years helping them organise their care in the way they want it provided by the people they want to do it.
Our new service offering a comprehensive Personal Assistant Package, which is the first of its kind in Cumbria, is now available to people on a Direct Payment or Personal Budget and also to private paying clients. Using this package we can support you to either recruit your own staff or you can choose from a pool of Personal Assistants. The comprehensive package covers all aspects of employing staff including staff salary, tax and NI, carrying out CRB checks, risk assessment, contracts of employment, job descriptions, providing staff training and helping you manage finances and returns.
The hourly rate covers all of the above mentioned (and much more to meet specific requirements) and also includes your staff salaries. One cost = full inclusive service
We invest profits from this package into improving and widening our services.
Alternatively, if you do not require the full service we can provide a customised service according to your individual needs, such as stand alone payroll service which comes with added value of free unlimited advice about Direct Payments and Personal Budgets provided via a home visit for your privacy and convenience. DaCE have the best value payroll services available in the County.
For more details and free home visits to discuss options, please Click here for contact details