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Local Authorities force publication of prospective nuclear waste sites



Nuclear Free Local Authorities force publication of 537 prospective sites for nuclear waste after sixteen-year campaign

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLAs) have finally forced into the open a secret list of 537 potential underground nuclear dump sites throughout Britain to be
published today by UK Nirex Ltd. Nuclear Free Local Authorities is a network of 75 councils, for more information visit www.nuclearpolicy.info

The sites were covertly selected by Nirex - the former nuclear industry’s waste management executive - between 1987 and 1989, leading to a shortlist of 12 before a
site near Sellafield in West Cumbria was selected for the UK’s long-term underground nuclear dump. That site went forward to a planning inquiry but was turned down
in 1997 by the outgoing Conservative Government.

The Planning Inspector favoured disclosure of the location of the 12 short listed sites at the time, but Nirex ignored the Planning Inspector’s views, as did the incoming
Labour Government. Now the Government has embarked on a new attempt to find some way of managing existing waste over the millions of years ahead. This new attempt
has not yet reached the site selection stage but, depending on the approach to be taken in future, many sites formerly identified could be re-evaluated.

NFLAs have consistently argued since 1989 that:

- communities have the right to know if they could be affected by a nuclear waste dump in their area, and need to know now so they can engage with the new Government
radioactive waste policy development process;

- to know if a final site is good enough, alternative sites have to be considered;

and since the end of 1992 that:

- local authorities and citizens have been entitled in law to know the locations of the 537 sites and Nirex’s refusal to provide the locations of the short-listed sites has been unlawful.

The Chairman of NFLAs, Dundee City Councillor George Regan stressed “We have been the watchdog on this for the past sixteen years. Without our vital role over
500 communities would still be in the dark about these possible sites. As it is, the whole sorry saga has done nothing to overcome our concern about the integrity and
trustworthiness of the nuclear industry, or the government in this matter.”

 

June 2005

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