Site Evaluation Consultation for Geological Disposal Facility
I attended the Manchester meeting hosted by Radioactive Waste Management as they host meetings around England and Wales as a platform to engage with members of the public and allow people to find out further information as to the process in identifying possible communities to host the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).
The site evaluation process as laid out in this document, is currently open on their website for consultation and I strongly advise anyone who is interested in the process or a community which has had the geology summarised by the National Geological Screening process to take a look and report their views.
Although there were fewer members of the public present than expected, many interesting questions were raised: principally about how the process would work and whether certain areas would be excluded from the screening process. The process is based on a voluntary approach and it was made clear at the meeting that if a community does not want to host the GDF it will not go there.
It's an interesting and large scale project which, so far, has gone relatively under the radar. It will be interesting to see how this work and the community engagement will develop over the next few years. The time scale for identifying potential willing communities in suitable areas is long, and the initial consultations with communities are likely to last 1-5 years before the actual site characterisation will start.
Upcoming meetings in England are Cheltenham – Tuesday 26 February, Exeter – Thursday 28 February, Darlington – Thursday 7 March and in Wales on the Tuesday 12 March Swansea and Llandudno on the Thursday 14 March. These meetings are open to everyone and I would encourage anyone with an interest to attend. Plus the lunch was excellent......