No nu­clear dis­posal fa­cil­ity de­ci­sion yet

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - Opinion -

SIR, – I re­fer to the ar­ti­cle “Nu­cleus knowl­edge on show" (Press and Jour­nal Fe­bru­ary 14) which re­ports the good news that around 20 staff will be em­ployed at the archive near Wick Air­port which will con­tain the UK nu­clear archive and the Caith­ness Col­lec­tion.

HANT (High­lands Against Nu­clear Trans­port) notes that the archive will also ful­fil an im­por­tant role for the “fu­ture GDF (ge­o­log­i­cal dis­posal fa­cil­ity) that is be­ing de­vel­oped for the UK", act­ing as a cen­tral de­pos­i­tory for de­tailed waste records.

This is news to HANT as in a White Pa­per pub­lished in 2014 by the pre­vi­ous Depart­ment of En­ergy & Cli­mate Change it stated that “the fi­nal de­ci­sion to site a GDF in a com­mu­nity will not be taken un­til there has been a test of pub­lic opin­ion that demon­strates com­mu­nity sup­port for de­vel­op­ment at a spe­cific site".

To date no com­mu­nity has been iden­ti­fied or con­sulted and no agree­ment has been reached.

In both Fin­land and the US where sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties are be­ing built they are be­hind sched­ule, hugely over bud­get, have not been li­censed and en­gi­neers doubt if a fa­cil­ity that has to last 100,000 + years is ge­o­log­i­cally or tech­ni­cally pos­si­ble as its never been done be­fore.

So whilst it may be planned to de­posit the waste records of a fu­ture GDF at Nu­cleus it won't be in the near fu­ture and maybe never.

HANT's view is that all nu­clear waste should be stored above ground un­der con­stant mon­i­tor­ing and se­cu­rity which would re­tain and cre­ate jobs at all nu­clear sites in the UK. Tor Jus­tad, chair­man of High­lands Against Nu­clear Trans­port, Ord Ter­race, Strath­p­ef­fer, Ross-shire

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