Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Unified Campaign Group

Press Release                                                                                   30 December 2010
New Alliance Warns of Pre-Emptive Strike by Nuclear Industry
The nuclear industry is already starting site preparation works at two of its favoured locations for new power stations - even before it has applied for permission to build the plants. This warning that the industry is “jumping the gun” comes from a new alliance of local organisations opposed to the government’s plans for a nuclear revival.
Communities Opposed to New Nuclear Energy Development (CONNED) brings together groups around seven sites earmarked for possible development – Hinkley Point in Somerset, Sizewell in Suffolk, Bradwell in Essex, Wylfa on Anglesey, Oldbury In Gloucestershire and Sellafield in Cumbria and Hartlepool in County Durham.1
• At Hinkley Point, Electricite de France (EdF) has already dug trenches and boreholes across a 430 acre stretch of previously untouched countryside, but now wants to devastate the whole area, moving enough earth to fill Wembley Stadium twice over.
• At Sizewell, planning permission has been granted for large amounts of clay and peat to be moved to investigate the local topology and geology. Rare reptiles, including biodiversity action plan species such as adder, will be displaced. A series of test bores have also been undertaken, damaging local footpaths.
“It’s clear that the industry wants to give the impression that everything is signed, sealed and delivered, hoping that the opposition will fade away,” says CONNED spokesman Crispin Aubrey. “In fact this is far from being the case. Opposition is strong and some investment analysts even argue that it will be extremely difficult for the companies to finance these expensive white elephants2. Our local countryside will then have been trashed in vain.”
A series of hurdles still have to be overcome by the companies wanting to build new nuclear plants before they even get planning permission. These include regulatory approval for their new reactor designs, agreement on how much they will contribute towards decommissioning and waste costs and, crucially, building consent from the Infrastructure Planning Commission. All these will take much more than a year to be finalised.
The government also still has to gain approval for a new bundle of financial support measures announced in December 2010, including a guaranteed carbon price, without which the nuclear industry says it cannot operate new power stations economically. The latest cost estimate for the Hinkley Point twin reactors is £9 billion, an increase of £1 billion from just a year ago.
CONNED argues that the country is in danger of sleep-walking into a future where Britain is once again in hock to an industry with a massive legacy of dangerous waste and a voracious appetite for public subsidy.  
1. Although Kirksanton and Braystones in Cumbria were excluded from the government’s most recent list of approved sites, the developers are planning to appeal.
2. Evidence by Peter Atherton, Citibank investment advisor to House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee, 14 Dec 2010
What is happening on the ground
At Hinkley Point, EdF is applying to West Somerset Council for permission to devastate 430 acres stretching from the Severn Estuary to the village of Shurton. This involves filling in a beautiful valley and even starting excavation of the power station foundations. The plans include:
• Removal of the majority of trees and hedges.
• Closure of existing footpaths and bridlepaths, including the coast path.
• Stripping topsoil and vegetation to make a terraced area for the proposed nuclear reactors.
• Re-routing underground streams.
• Excavation of more than 2.3 million cubic metres of soil, sub-soil and rocks. This would be enough to fill Wembley Stadium twice over.
• Construction of a jetty out into the sea.
At Sizewell, permission has already been granted for earthworks to test the hydrology and topology of the site. A further 650,000 cubic metres of soil and subsoil could later be moved from an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
• Clay and peat are being moved onto nearby land as part of a “heathland regeneration project”, but the significant amount of clay in the spoil and lack of preparation of the ground mean that this new area is never likely to return to heathland.
• Adder, slow worm and grass snake are all present on the site, as are badgers, otters and water voles. All are being displaced as part of the preparatory work.
Communities Opposed to New Nuclear Energy Development brings together the following local groups:
Bradwell: Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group, Bradwell for Renewable Energy
Heysham: Heysham Anti-Nuclear Alliance -
Hinkley Point: Stop Hinkley -
Oldbury: Sheppardine Against Nuclear Energy -
Sellafield: West Cumbria & North Lakes Friends of the Earth
Sizewell: Shut Down Sizewell -, Communities Against Nuclear Expansion –
Wylfa: People Against Wylfa B -
The aim of CONNED aim is to raise public awareness about the consequences for health, the environment, safety and security of potential new nuclear power developments, as well as supporting alternative energy strategies. The alliance is supported by national campaign groups, including Greenpeace, the Nuclear Consultation Group and Nuclear Free Local Authorities.
For more information:
Crispin Aubrey, Hinkley Point ( or 01278 732921)
Pete Rowberry, Sizewell ( or 01728 602814)
Andrew Blowers, Bradwell ( or 07932 739677)
Reg Illingworth, Oldbury ( or 07796 447880
Sioned Huws, Wylfa ( or 07827 786112)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

SANE attends meeting with Charles Hendry in the New Year

SANE will be represented by Professor Gareth Williams of Rockhampton in Westminster on the 12th January with members of the other so say suitable sites.

As always we, as representatives of SANE and its significant community ,will not be receiving a halfpenny from quangos such as the NDA or any expenses from hard pressed local councils....we are Cameron's Big Society.

Let us hope , the erstwhile representative from the Oldbury SSG, will feel that he or she should make their own way to London without contribution from the hard pressed taxpayer or electricity consumer.

We know that Steve Webb and Matthew Riddle ,our proper elected representatives ,will agree with us in this matter!

The old NDA Taliban must realise that they have no mandate to represent the people of The Severn Vale.

Our inspirations are the great men of peace Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi....true people of courage.....

We thank all of the inner core of SANE including Reg Illingworth, Sarah Thompson,Gareth Williams, Alan Pinder, David Price, Abigail Stuart Menteth, Tom Barnes,Angie Moran, amongst others , for their amazing contributions in 2010.

Power to the People of Shepperdine and The Severn Vale for 2011.......We will prevail....



Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Chernobyl is Crumbling.....who will pay?

Who Should Pay for the New 'Tomb' at Chernobyl?

Now you see it, later you won't.
Now you see it, later you won't.
The old concrete sarcophagus encasing the burned reactor at Chernobyl is crumbling. Although a European consortium has agreed to entomb the site in a metal vault, it is still unclear exactly where all the money will come from. Moscow, for its part, appears reluctant to pay up.
When Chernobyl's Reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, Ukraine was politically still part of the Soviet Union. Now it's an independent country, and its ties to Moscow have been strained at times. The Chernobyl reactor, which was hastily sealed in concrete and lead after the meltdown, remains a point of contention.
Chernobyl went down in history as the worst accident of the nuclear age, and the ruins need a new protective shield because the old sarcophagus leaks radiation. The project is expected to cost around €2 billion ($2.6 billion). At the moment, €740 million has yet to be raised. Russia likes to see itself as a successor to the vast Soviet empire in certain other contexts, but so far it has donated little to guard against the mess in Ukraine.
The new metal shield will resemble an airplane hangar, 150 meters (490 feet) long, meant to slide over the ruins and entomb them for about a century (see graphic). The covering should also make it possible for workers to dismantle the reactor within that span of time.
"Chernobyl will not exist anymore," is how Yves-Thibault de Silguy, chairman of a French company called Vinci, described the project in 2007. A consortium of French and German nuclear-engineering firms collectively called Novarka won a contract that year to build the vault.
Fixing Old Leaks
The old, Russian-built seal around the reactor started to crack in the 1990s, and now it lets in rainwater. Novarka wants to build a waterproof shelter to prevent water from reaching the reactor core.
When it's finished, perhaps by 2015, the vault is expected to be the largest movable structure in the world. Costs have risen since 2007. Originally the budget was reported to be about €380 million, but it bulged because of stricter safety requirements, according to Ukrainian officials.
Financing the vault has been a joint project of the EU and G-8 governments. Russia belongs to the latter group, but so far it has promised only 1 percent of the final cost -- €23 million. Around half the promised funding comes from European governments or from Brussels, and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso raised the delicate topic at a recent EU-Russia summit.
Moscow has been more generous to other sectors of the nuclear industry. In 2010 alone, it spent €1.7 billion on nuclear power-plant construction. A dozen new reactors are slated to go live in Russia by 2020. The state firm Rosatom is currently constructing, or plans to construct, other new plants in nearby countries like India and China.
The Kremlin, meanwhile, pays Chernobyl survivors in Ukraine about €50 each per month.

Invite to round table talk with DECC Minister


I too feel there would be little benefit from you returning to Thornbury prior to 24th January!

We valued your visit and the opportunity to ask some more questions.

Thanks for the invite for the 12th January, unfortunately I will be away on holiday and will not be able to make it.

I will circulate this email to the inner core of SANE and I am sure we will have a representative there to contrast with the views of our local SSG Chairman

I will continue to attend the NGO meetings and look forward to meeting Charles Hendry and Chris Huhne in the months to come.

Wish Hergen,Margaret, Sam, Julliette and Helen all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

I hope we can provide you with enough information to remove the Shepperdine site as a suitable site.

I think you understand my views on new nuclear!

Thank you


From: McDonald Peter (Office for Nuclear Development)
Sent: Tuesday, 21 December, 2010 10:38:48
Subject: Nuclear National Policy Statement


I would like to repeat my apology for our late arrival at Thornbury last Thursday, but believe we were still able to have a good question and answer session and we were pleased we had the opportunity to hear the presentation by Gareth Williams.

I know you are keen for us to come back again, but the pressure of trying to accommodate meeting at other sites before the consultation closes on 24 January, means that this is not going to be possible.

However, on 12 January the Energy Minister, Charles Hendry has called a meeting to discuss the 8 sites currently included in the revised draft Nuclear NPS and wants to meet local representatives.  I can confirm that you have been invited to this meetingas well as the Chair of the site stakeholder group, to represent the views of your local community. Given the points raised last Thursday about how decisions are reached in Government I hope you will feel this is an important opportunity to engage directly with the Minister.

We would of course encourage everyone who attended the meeting, or who is interested in the NPS, to submit written responses to the revised draft Nuclear NPS, which we will consider as part of this consultation. We will send a second e-mail after Christmas to all respondents to the consultation reminding them of the closing date and what they need to do to respond.


Peter McDonald
Office for Nuclear Development 

Department of Energy and Climate Change 3 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2AW Telephone number: 0300 068 5872 
Mobile: 07881 811698

Cumbrian Earthquake!!

Will the government and the NDA proceed with the GDF in Cumbria?

Minor earthquake hits Cumbria

Whitehaevn News,  08:30, Wednesday, 22 December 2010
An earthquake shook buildings across Cumbria last night prompting floods of calls to police from concerned residents.
Related: Cumbria earthquake page on British Geological survey 
Related: Cumbria earthquake page on US Geological Survey 
The quake - classed as 'minor' - was felt across Cumbria and in Lancashire, south-west Scotland, parts of Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Isle of Man.
The Brtish Geological Survey said the tremor - which happened just before 11pm - measured 3.5 on the Richter Scale and was centred on the Coniston area.
It occurred about nine miles underground.
There are no reports of any injuries or damage to buildings.
Mr Peter Kelly, owner of the Yewdale Hotel in Coniston, said: "It was quite noiceable. We were just closing up the bar with a few residents in and we just felt like a bang and then a rumbling but we couldn't decide what it was".
Hotelier Alan Robertson, who was in his 30-bed hotel in Eskdale, added: "The entire building shook. I ran out of the front door to be confronted by my guests running out of their part of the house. We couldn't believe it".
One man, who lives in High Harrington, near Workington, said: "It lasted a few seconds and sounded like a dull rumble. My wife felt the ground shake as she was sat on the settee in the living room.
"Our daughter came running down stairs saying her bed had moved and a wardrobe door had opened."
Christopher John Gabbott, writing on Facebook, said: "We just had an earthquake in Windermere. I was typing an email and there was one hell of a noise and a rumbling, thought a building had fallen down outside somewhere."
Nicola O'Hare wrote: "[I] thought the house was going to fall down!!"
And Neil Wilkinson said: "Bed shaking earthquake in Cumbria a few minutes ago, glad it didnt last long, the whole house shook."
Dale Grant, of the US Geological Society, which also records global seismic activity, said quakes were not uncommon in the area.
He added: “We have had 'quakes dating back to 1976. This is a seismically active area.
“The largest that we have ever recorded is a 4.3 (magnitude tremor) on November 21, 2002."
Mr Grant said the 3.5 tremor, initially reported to be 3.6, “would have got people's attention”.
“But this is not the type of magnitude that would lead to extensive damage,” he added.
“It is something that will be roundly felt in the area but, quite fortunately, it's not any bigger than it is.”
Quakes between 3.0 and 3.9 on the Richter Scale - used to rate the amount of energy released - are classed as minor. They are often felt but rarely cause damage. There are an estimated 49,000 of these quakes across the world each year.
A quake measuring 3.7 was recorded in Ulverston last April. One of 4.4 struck Lancaster in 1835.
BGS Head of Seismology Dr Brian Baptie said: "We get an earthquake of this size somewhere in the UK roughly every 12-18 months.
"An earthquake of this size and depth might be felt 80-100km away. The quake has probably made windows and doors rattle and small objects may have been displaced".
It came around 24 hours after quakes of a similar magnitude were felt on the Norwegian Coast.

An earthquake shook buildings across Cumbria last night prompting floods of calls to police from concerned residents.
Have your say
I was on the sofa when i heard it, i thought it was a large lorry going past, my son came down the stairs and said everything vibrated in his bedroom, then texts started coming in from friends, saying it was a tremor. I thought it may have been caused by underground mines from the Cleator moor area.
Posted by Tracey on 22 December 2010 at 10:30
i felt it i was downstairs on the sofa when our walls and floor began to shake in our living room it scared me i thought it was an earthuake but very minor our house shook to but not very loud from emily
Posted by Emily Howard on 22 December 2010 at 10:01
a.pearson - who does your Dad think he is, do you not think that Cumbria has suffered enough recently?
Posted by Jackie on 22 December 2010 at 09:41
I hope copeland and allerdale will now put to bed the idea of an underground depositary for nuclear waste once and for all, this is the sixth earthquake to happen in six years within a 40 mile area(US met data).time to face up to it the ground is not adequate, unless your those people who don't care "because you won't be here", in the future years.
Posted by James O on 22 December 2010 at 09:36
My wardrobe started shaking like something off the exorcist last night around 11pm.
Posted by Laura on 22 December 2010 at 09:35
We were in bed, I just put it down to my boyfriend passing wind
Posted by Stacy on 22 December 2010 at 09:02
Was sitting on the floor and the earth moved for me!
Posted by Michelle on 22 December 2010 at 09:02
never felt a thing flat out in bed only found out when wife told me when she came to bed
Posted by john on 22 December 2010 at 08:42
Is there any implication for burying spent waste ?
Posted by Charlie Osborne on 22 December 2010 at 07:59
...which shows just why we shouldn't be an area chosen to store nuclear waste underground!
Posted by Dave Evans on 22 December 2010 at 07:33

Times & Star, 19th Feb 2009

Without a new high-level waste dump, the Government’s plan for a new atomic power station would be hard to achieve, but disposing of this highly dangerous materials in a heavily faulted area is not a good idea.
Geologically, this region is not safe and we have a duty to ensure that future generations are protected from any possible radioactive leakage.
Councillors should also take heed that a scientist has warned that recent studies have shown there is a link between atomic sites and incidents of cancer.
The dynamic processes affecting the geology of the earth’s crust continue, and the rocks of West Cumbria are unstable.
They are heavily faulted and folded and have been subjected to considerable earth movement in the past.
Beneath Cumbria, gravitational surveys have proved that there is a large granite pluton that is slowly continuing to rise, placing increasing stress on our surface rocks. Additional stress is caused by the North Sea basin gradually sinking.
Undoubtedly, in time, this will lead to further folding and faulting of the strata, with the strong possibility of earthquakes when there is a sudden release of pressure.
In Britain we average about 200 earth tremors each year, although our country is much safer than some other parts of the world.
A number of sizeable earthquakes have been recorded in recent times. In Cumbria, there have been several; Kirkby Stephen on August 9, 1970, measured 4.9 on the Richter scale, with another near Carlisle on Boxing Day 1979 and even more recently, on Boxing Day 2006, centred near Dumfries.
The most famous of all British earthquakes happened in 1580AD and was centred under the Straights of Dover. Much destruction was spread throughout the home counties and debris falling from St Paul’s Cathedral cost several lives.
It is clear that careful thought and planning must be given for the long-term storage of this extremely dangerous material and it needs to be placed at a considerable depth within stable rocks, but Cumbria is not the right place and there are other areas of Britain which would be preferable.
Cumbria Geological Society


Geological report of West Cumbria published as part of Managing Radioactive Waste Safely process (Press Release)

We must progress implementation of geological disposal, the long-term sustainable solution for dealing with radioactive waste.
(Charles Hendry)
28 October 2010
Press Release 2010/114
Government today welcomed delivery of an initial geological report for West Cumbria. The study looked at the Copeland and Allerdale areas, where a local Partnership is talking to Government about the siting process for a deep geological disposal facility for nuclear waste.
The screening does not show where a facility would eventually be located, but is simply intended to avoid unnecessary work in areas which are clearly unsuitable based on high level geological exclusion criteria.
Minister of State for Energy Charles Hendry said:

“We must progress implementation of geological disposal, the long-term sustainable solution for dealing with radioactive waste.
“Today’s report, commissioned from the British Geological Survey, is a step forward. The geological disposal facility site selection process is based on voluntarism and partnership and these results do not present any reason why West Cumbria cannot continue to consider whether or not to participate in that process.”
The exclusion criteria were derived by two independent expert groups, were high level and were primarily based around the risk of intrusion by future generations seeking to extract resources and the need to protect the quality of exploitable groundwater.
The study was desk-based and used available geological information. If a community chooses to proceed further, increasingly detailed geological and other criteria assessment would have to be undertaken.
The work is part of the Government’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safely programme and the invite for communities across the Country to find out more about the siting process remains open.

Notes for Editors:

  1. The ‘Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria’ report commissioned by DECC and carried out by BGS is available from:[External link]
  2. The Managing Radioactive Waste Safely White Paper was published in 2008 and includes the geological exclusion criteria at annex B. The White Paper is available at:[External link]
  3. The geological exclusion criteria were derived by two independent expert groups, each comprising of scientists with high calibre experience. Their draft criteria were part of Government’s 2007 Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) consultation and the Chairs of both expert groups then reconsidered the criteria in light of the responses received before final publication in the MRWS White Paper. Information on the work of the independent expert groups is available at:[External link]

Initial geological unsuitability screening of west Cumbria

On 28 October 2010 a report was published setting out the results of the high-level geological unsuitability screening for the Copeland and Allerdale areas of west Cumbria undertaken by the British Geological Survey (BGS). The geological screening was a desk-based study only, using currently available information and not involving new field investigations. It used basic high-level geological criteria, set out in the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) White Paper, to rule out areas that could not host the underground workings of a geological disposal facility for higher activity radioactive waste.
The study covered an area for which local authorities had expressed an interest in entering ‘no commitment’ discussions with Government about the siting process. Its purpose is to exclude from further consideration areas which would be clearly unsuitable to host the required underground workings and allow communities and Government to avoid unnecessary discussions in relation to such areas.
The study did not consider any non-geological factors and does not show where a facility would eventually be located. This is an early stage in the siting process and further, increasingly detailed, assessments applying more localised geological and other criteria will only be made IF a community decides to participate further.

A copy of the main report (with figures 3-14 as separate pdf files), the non technical summary and other information can be downloaded using the links below:
FAQ: Sub-surface unsuitability screening Size: [138 KB] File Type: [.pdf]
Page last modified: 27/10/2010 12:15:32

Managing Radioactive Waste Safely:
Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening
of West Cumbria: Non Technical Summary
Commissioned Report CR/10/072
CR/10/072 MRWS: Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria
Managing Radioactive Waste Safely: Initial
Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria
Non Technical Summary
In 2001 the UK Government began the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely1(MRWS)
programme with the aim of identifying a long-term solution for the UK’s higher activity
wastes that:
• achieved long-term protection of people and the environment
• did this in an open and transparent way that inspired public confidence
• was based on sound science, and
• ensured the effective use of public monies.
In 2003 the independent Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)2was
established to consider the available options and make recommendations to Government. In
October 2006, the Government accepted CoRWM’s recommendations that geological
disposal, preceded by safe and secure interim storage, was the best available approach.
Government also accepted that an approach based on voluntarism, and partnership with local
communities, was the best way of siting a geological disposal facility (GDF).
Geological disposal involves placing radioactive waste within engineered, multi-barrier facilities
deep inside a suitable rock formation where the facility and geology provide a barrier against the
escape of radioactivity. Internationally it is recognised as the preferred approach - it is being
adopted in many countries including Canada, Finland, France and Sweden - and is supported
by a number of UK learned societies including the Royal Society, the Geological Society and
the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Following further consultation, the White Paper ‘Managing Radioactive Waste Safely
(MRWS): A Framework for Implementing Geological Disposal’ was published in 2008; it
sets out a staged approach to siting a geological disposal facility. The process starts with local
communities initially ‘expressing an interest’ in opening up discussions with Government. At
each stage, the process allows all those involved to take stock before deciding whether or not
to move to the next stage at a particular site. Up until late in the process, when underground
operations and construction are about to begin, the community has a Right of Withdrawal - if
it wished to withdraw then its involvement in the process would stop. Figure 1, below, shows
the main stages in the process.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) have since published an additional document
‘Geological Disposal: Steps towards implementation’which provides further information on
what will be required for the successful implementation of geological disposal.

CR/10/072 MRWS: Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria
Figure 1. Stages in the site selection process (after Defra et al., 2008); this report addresses
Stage 2.
Initial screening out of unsuitable areas
Following an expression of interest, the White Paper sets out the second stage, in which the
British Geological Survey (BGS) undertakes a high level geological screening of the area
using basic geological exclusion criteria that can be applied using existing knowledge. This
screening is desk based, uses existing information and will not produce sites that could
definitely host a facility, but will rule out areas that definitely could not host a facility for
obvious geological reasons. At further stages of the site selection process increasingly
detailed assessments would be made of any potential sites, applying more localised
geological and other assessments. Areas which are ruled out in this initial sub-surface
screening exercise might still be suitable locations for the surface facilities of a GDF.
Geological exclusion criteria
The geological exclusion criteria were derived during 2007 by two independent expert
groups, each comprising of scientists with high calibre experience, and established following
discussion and nominations from the Royal Society, the Geological Society and the Royal
Academy of Engineering. One group (Criteria Proposals Group) proposed a suitable set of
screening criteria and the other (Criteria Review Panel) then peer reviewed them to ensure
that they were workable. The results were consulted on by Government in 2007 and the
Chairs of both groups then reconsidered the criteria in light of the responses received before
the final publication of the MRWS White Paper in 2008.
It is important to note that the exclusion criteria were derived to provide an initial ‘first cut’,
solely to remove any obviously unsuitable geology from further consideration. The criteria
could not be area specific and had to be suitable for application to any area of the country that
‘expressed an interest’. The criteria need to recognise the early stage of the site selection
process in which they are applied and, as such, have to be applicable across potentially large
geographical areas using existing information only. They are strictly geology based and, at
this stage, they cannot consider detailed site-specific information such as local small scale
geological features, the environmental impact of a facility, potential transport routes,
population density, etc. Detailed examination and assessment of criteria based on these
aspects will necessarily come later in the process if, and when, a community decides it wants
to be involved further in the site selection process and actually begins to consider specific
The final exclusion criteria agreed by the expert Chairs of the two groups are summarisedin
Table 1.
Table 1. Summary of initial sub-surface screening criteria
The final exclusion criteria are high level and largely based around two key issues - the need
to exclude areas in order to reduce the risk of intrusion into a facility by future generations
seeking to investigate and extract resources, and the need to protect the quality of exploitable
The criteria groups also considered the case for and against a number of other geological
exclusion criteria such as risk of earthquakes, geological faults, specific complex geological
environments, erosion, etc. Following detailed consideration, the two expert groups
concluded that these characteristics, although absolutely crucial in the investigation and
For the authoritative explanation of the exclusion criteria the CPG/CRP full advice and subsequent review document
should be read. Available at
“Shallow”, in this context, means less than 500 metres below the surface. Therefore, “deep” and “at depth” mean more than
500 metres below the surface.
Rock mass consisting of carbonate rocks (e.g. limestone) characterised by dissolution through the action of slightly acid
surface and groundwater
To be applied
as exclusion
Reasons/explanations and qualifying comments
Natural resources
Coal Yes Intrusion risk to depth, only when resource at >100m
Oil and gas Yes Intrusion risk to depth, for known oil and gas fields
Oil shales Yes Intrusion risk to depth
Metal ores Some ores Intrusion risk only where mined at depths of >100m
Disposal of
wastes/gas storage
Yes Only where already committed or approved at
>100m depth
Aquifers Yes Where all or part of the geological disposal facility
host rock is located within the aquifer
Yes Where all or part of the geological disposal facility
host rock would be provided by permeable formations
that might reasonably be exploited in the future
Specific complex
Yes Deep karsticformations and known source rocks for
thermal springs

CR/10/072 MRWS: Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria
assessment for a geological disposal facility, can only be properly considered later in the
process at a site-specific level when more in-depth investigations can take place on the details
of a particular site.
The initial geological unsuitability screening of west Cumbria
Since Government’s call for communities to ‘express an interest’ in finding out more about
the geological disposal siting process in 2008, three local authorities (Allerdale Borough
Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council) have expressed an
interest for the areas of Allerdale and Copeland.
The Councils have set up the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS)
Partnershipto ensure that people living in the area are involved in making an informed
decision about whether or not to proceed with the facility siting process. The Partnership
includes a wide range of local organisations and, following initial public engagement, it was
content for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to commission the British
Geological Survey to undertake the application of the sub-surface unsuitability test described
This work does not show where a facility might eventually be located. It is at an early stage
in the site selection process and simply intends to avoid unnecessary work in areas which are
clearly unsuitable for obvious geological reasons. A more rigorous assessment, based on a
comprehensive range of criteria will only be undertaken if a ‘decision to participate’ in
further stages of site selection process is taken.
The geological sub-surface screening report covers the known geology of Allerdale and
Copeland and, at the request of DECC, an adjoining area 5 km offshore. The report considers
areas that have clearly unsuitable geology for an underground geological disposal facility for
radioactive waste, the depth of which is likely to be somewhere between 200 and 1000 metres
below ground surface, but this will depend on the geology at the site in question.
This initial screening out exercise and report is based on the analysis of existing records,
reports, BGS ‘memoirs’ and maps, and relevant published scientific literature on the geology
of the Partnership area in relation to the recommended high level, sub-surface geological
screening (or ‘exclusion’) criteria (Table 1).
The Partnership area has a varied geology including formerly worked mineral resources (e.g.
coal and metal ores) and some exploitable groundwater resources. A general account of the
geology and hydrogeology of the Partnership area is illustrated with simplified geological
maps and cross-sections in order to provide a background for the non-geologist. The subsurface
screening criteria have been systematically applied to the geology and hydrogeology
of the West Cumbria Partnership area and are discussed in detail. Figure 2 summarises the
outcome of the sub-surface screening exercise and shows the areas that are screened out
(‘exclusion areas’) where one or more of the exclusion criteria apply to the whole rock
volume between 200 m and 1000 m depth.
Natural resources exclusion criteria (Table 1) most relevant to the Partnership area
comprise: (a) coal and coal-bed methane (intrusion risk to depth), (b) oil and gas (intrusion
risk to depth), and (c) metalliferous ores (where mined at greater than 100 m depth).
Areas known to be underlain by coal and hematite (iron) ore at greater than 100 m depth are
screened out. These areas (Figure 2) comprise parts of the Partnership area extending northwest
from Egremont and Whitehaven to Wigton and the Solway coast, and a small area near

CR/10/072 MRWS: Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria
Millom. The areas represent sub-surface rock volumes where there is a potential risk of
inadvertent intrusion into a geological repository by future generations seeking to investigate
and extract resources. Other metalliferous ores have been historically worked in the
Partnership area, but these lie at shallow depths, less than 100 m, and the areas are not
Exploration for oil and gas (‘conventional hydrocarbons’) has taken place in the north of the
Partnership area, but no resources have been proved. Consequently, although a part of north
Allerdale is currently licenced for oil and gas exploration, the area has not been screened out
at this stage since it does not represent a known oil and gas field. Similarly, gas derived from
thick beds of organic-rich shales (known as ‘shale gas’) has not been proved in the
Partnership area. Minor amounts of oil have been reported historically from coal-bearing
rocks, which are excluded at depth (see above), but there are no known potentially
exploitable oil shales resources in the Partnership area. There are no committed or approved
areas (rock volumes) for the disposal of waste/gas storage in the Partnership area.
Groundwater exclusion criteria (Table 1) have been applied to exploitable groundwater
resources in aquifers (e.g. Sherwood Sandstone Group) and shallow permeable formations, as
well as specific complex hydrogeological environments.
Some, but not all, of the rock volume in areas where aquifers and shallow permeable
formations are present in the Partnership area are excluded. However, nowhere does the
exploitable aquifer rock volume extend over the whole of the depth range between 200 m and
1000 m below ground level and, consequently, the total area is not excluded at this stage. The
isolation of a GDF from exploitable water resources will be a major issue for providing the
eventual suitability of any proposed GDF. These aquifer rock volumes will need to be
considered in more detail at later stages in the MRWS process if, and when, a community
decides it wants to be involved further in the site selection process and actually begins to
consider specific sites.
From the information available there are no known specific complex hydrogeological
environments such as deep karst (extending to hundreds of metres depth) or thermal springs
in the Partnership area.
Increasingly detailed regional and site specific geological assessments and other studies will
be required at later stages in the MRWS process to establish the potential suitability of any
sub-surface areas (rock volumes) for a geological disposal facility. This initial report will
provide a background to any potential future studies.
The report includes an extensive glossary of technical terms, together with the sources of
information consulted. Information consulted in the report may be obtained via the BGS
library service, subject to copyright legislation (contact for details).
Bibliographical reference for the full report:
POWELL, J.H., WATERS, C.N., MILLWARD, D, and ROBINS, N.S. 2010. Managing
Radioactive Waste Safely: Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria.
British Geological Survey Research Report, CR/10/072. 73pp.

CR/10/072 MRWS: Initial Geological Unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria
Figure 2. The West Cumbria MRWS Partnership area showing areas screened out (exclusion areas) where one
or more of the exclusion criteria apply to the whole rock volume between 200 m and 1000 m depth. The
Excluded Area is shown overlain on the 1:1 m scale Ordnance Survey base map. All information other than the
Excluded Area (shown in pink) and the boundaries of the screened area (shown in blue) is taken from the
Ordnance Survey base map and is shown for context only. Dashed blue line indicates the Allerdale-Copeland
boundary. Topographical base is OS topography © Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. 100017897/2010.

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