Thursday, 03 September 2015

Sellafield unions condemn council's veto of nuclear dump

Sellafield unions has slammed yesterday's decision by county councillors to have nothing more to do with plans for an underground nuclear dump in Cumbria, describing it as "extremely short-sighted."

Members of the county's cabinet voted 7-3 against proceeding at the end of a meeting lasting almost four hours in Carlisle.

That came after Copeland council's executive had earlier voted six to one in favour of moving to stage four of finding an underground site locally to house high-level nuclear waste. Allerdale councilors also backed the plan, but it had been agreed that both county and borough councils needed to be in favour for the process to continue.

The county council's veto on the process has angered Sellafield workers - some of whom were at the meeting and left shouting: "Shame on you."

The Unite union congratulated Copeland council, but said there was "immense disappointment" among the workforce about the county's decision.

Kevin Coyne, Unite national officer and chair of Trade Unions for Safe Nuclear Energy, said: "This is an extremely short-sighted decision by the Cumbria councils that voted no. The workforce at Sellafield will be immensely disappointed with the decision. Seventy per cent of Britain's radioactive waste is based in Cumbria and the Sellafield workforce are responsible for it.

"The people of Cumbria were not going to be making any commitments to a waste repository by agreeing to continue with this study. This waste is not going to disappear but because of today's decision there are no answers for how we can effectively deal with it."

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