Cumbria sticks it to the nuclear dump lobby – despite all the carrots on offer
Council's decision to turn down the hosting of huge underground nuclear waste depository is a body blow for government
The Guardian, Thursday 31 January 2013
Cumbria county council's decision to "dump the dump" by voting against a nuclear waste repository close to the Lake District has drilled a nasty great hole in the middle of the government's wider nuclear strategy.
Ministers had made clear that part of the agreement with the public over a new generation of atomic power stations would involve finding a safe and permanent home for the high-level waste created by the old ones.
Cumbria's decision is a body blow for government because though it may not necessarily have been the most geologically suitable spot, it certainly was the most politically suitable.
The "energy coast", as the region calls itself, is home to Sellafield, formerly Windscale, the largest nuclear complex in Europe with more than 5,000 well-paid jobs, as well as the nuclear submarine-building base at Barrow-in-Furness.
Now, if an area steeped in a nuclear culture is not prepared to countenance a waste dump, then who will?