The establishment of first Working Group welcomed by RWM

The formation of a Working Group in Copeland is a first step towards safely disposing of higher-activity radioactive waste.

The Working Group will now begin local discussions and fact-finding about siting a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in Copeland.

Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) Chief Executive, Karen Wheeler, said:

"I’m delighted at today’s news and excited about the opportunity of working with communities in Copeland through the Copeland Working Group. Today’s announcement is the first step in identifying a willing community and a suitable site to develop the UK’s capability to dispose of higher-activity waste safely and securely."

"This is a vital project for the UK and for future generations. Building a GDF will be one of the biggest environmental protection projects of our lifetime, and one of the largest infrastructure projects over the next century. For the successful community, the economic, employment and investment opportunities it creates will be truly transformational. The project will create large scale employment opportunities over decades, well into the next century, as well as major scope for locally based supply chain and businesses. The Government has also committed to make significant additional investment available for the community that is selected to host a facility."

"This is just the start of that process and no decisions on a location for a GDF have been made. We know there are other communities wanting to explore this potential for their area, and I expect more communities to come forward."

RWM, part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group (NDA), will work in partnership with a number of communities from across the country to explore how having a GDF in their area can provide long-term economic and employment benefits and play a major part in their development plans.

The search for a suitable site with a willing host community is a nationwide process in England and Wales, based on the consent of the community, and will include detailed investigations to make sure there is a suitable site to construct a safe and secure GDF. If RWM and the independent regulators don’t agree that a GDF can be designed, constructed and operated safely and securely in a location, then it won’t be built.

Read more at the UK Government Website.

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