News : Partnership meeting on Thursday, 19 July

An important meeting of the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership takes place on Thursday, 19 July 2012.

The meeting will discuss a draft of the Partnership’s Final Report.  If the report is agreed at the meeting it will then be sent to Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council who will decide whether to take part in a search to see if there is anywhere suitable for a repository for higher activity radioactive waste. 

The Partnership has spent more than three years looking at the issues that would be involved in Allerdale and/or Copeland taking part in the search for a site. 

It has looked at reports and literature, heard from experts in the field, commissioned independent research and invited reviews by independent experts.  It has also placed a high priority on public and stakeholder engagement, carrying out a wide range of activity to inform and get input from the general public.

The Partnership’s Final Report to the Councils will set out its opinions on a range of issues related to whether the area should take part in the Government’s search, and additional advice to the Councils.  These include issues such as safety, geology, inventory and community benefits, and the right of withdrawal.

The Partnership is not coming to a view about whether the area should take part in the search for a site.  That decision is for the three Councils.

Around 2,300 people and organisations contributed their views during the consultation which ran from November 2011 to March 2012 and a wide range of issues were raised. 

Partnership members have already taken part in two workshops and two full Partnership meetings to go through the views expressed by the public and stakeholders, and consider how the Partnership’s initial views should be changed as a result.  This has led to significant changes to the Partnership’s emerging Final Report including: ensuring that if the process continues funding is available for full independent review of technical work on behalf of the community, strengthening commitments from Government on community benefits and requesting the process is put on a legally-binding basis.

The Councils are likely to make a decision about whether or not to take part in the search for a site during the autumn.  In order for an area to proceed to the next stage there would need to be agreement by a borough council and the county council.

If Allerdale and/or Copeland were to take part in the search for a site they would enter the siting process which would include a series of steps to narrow down from possibly suitable areas to specific sites.  This would include detailed studies and investigations of the area’s geology.

Further details about the agenda and a copy of the draft Final Report are available at

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