Cumbria County Council has today voted against to plans to build a new multi-billion geological disposal facility (GDF) in the county.
Today’s decision ends a four year process in which the government hoped to a GDF by 2029 to store waste nuclear fuel from existing and new nuclear power stations near to Sellafield.
“The Cabinet believes there is sufficient doubt around the suitability of West Cumbria’s geology to put an end now to the uncertainty and worry this is causing for our communities,” said Cumbria County Council leader Eddie Martin.
The decision comes after National Audit Office report criticised Sellafield’s radioactive waste storage facilities for posing “significant risk to people and the environment”.
“Cumbria is not the best place geologically in the UK – the government’s efforts need to be focused on disposing of the waste underground in the safest place, not the easiest,” said Martin.
Despite the latest setback, energy secretary Ed Davey remained convinced “that nuclear power should play a key role in our future energy mix”.
“I am confident that the programme to manage radioactive waste safely will ultimately be successful, and that the decisions made in Cumbria today will not undermine prospects for new nuclear power stations,” said Davey.