Cumbria 'interested' in hosting UK repository

09 December 2008

Cumbria County Council announced that it has agreed to make an "expression of interest" without commitment in the formal UK government process to select a site for a deep geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. The expression of interest covers Copeland, where an expression of interest has already been submitted by Copeland Borough Council. Cumbria County Council said that 23 out of 35 town and parish councils had supported a county council expression of interest. Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member responsible for nuclear issues, said: "Today's decision doesn't involve any commitment but it does formally bring Cumbria County Council to the table. It ensures that any decision in whether Cumbria is the right place for a deep geological repository will take on board the views of the democratic body representing everyone in Cumbria." Some 70% of the UK's high-level waste is already stored at Sellafield in Cumbria. The current provisional timeframe laid out by the government is to identify two candidate repository sites by April 2012, investigate sites between 2014 and 2015, announce the preferred site by 2025, put the first nuclear waste in by 2040, put the first spent nuclear fuel in by 2075 and close the repository by 2128.