Working In Partnership Allerdale

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Welcome

“The Allerdale GDF Working Group has been formed to take the first step in a conversation about whether Allerdale could be the right place to build a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) – and whether a GDF would be right for Allerdale.

“Formation of the group is the just the beginning of a gradual, consent-based process. We have not committed to having a GDF here, and there will be a lot of further work needed to help communities find out everything they need to know ahead of making any decisions.

“I am passionate about protecting our natural environment, and also about the sustainability of our communities, so I look forward to starting this process, meeting local people and listening to their views.

“This website is full of useful information about the topic of radioactive waste and details of how you can get involved. We look forward to hearing from you.”

Jocelyn Manners-Armstrong, Independent Chair, Allerdale GDF Working Group

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What is a GDF?

A Geological Disposal Facility, or GDF, is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of our radioactive waste – specifically ‘higher-activity’ waste (the most radioactive kind).

It involves building a series of specially designed and engineered vaults and tunnels deep underground. It could potentially be three times deeper than the height of the Shard in London, Britain’s tallest building.

Once the waste is placed inside a GDF, the facility will eventually be permanently sealed. The way the facility is designed and engineered means it can be sealed to protect people and the environment for hundreds of thousands of years, without needing any maintenance, while the radioactivity fades away naturally.

Making sure it is safe

Scientists and other authorities all over the world agree that a GDF is the safest way to deal with ‘higher-activity’ radioactive waste (the most radioactive kind) for the long term. This international consensus comes after decades of scientific research.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency will review the designs for a GDF, the proposed site, and the science that informs them, to make sure it protects people and the environment. A GDF will only be built if it can be shown to be safe for both people and the environment. As soon as construction starts on a GDF, the site will have to meet strict safety standards.

Which area is being considered?

Allerdale Working Group will collectively identify the initial ‘search area’ within which RWM will seek potentially suitable sites for a GDF.

For now, anywhere within Allerdale is being considered with the exception of those areas within the Lake District National Park. As the search progresses, this ‘search area’ will be narrowed down. The community will be engaged in discussion throughout this process.

Further information can be found in the Working Group Area tab.

Once a Community Partnership has been formed it is expected that the initial ‘search area’ will be narrowed down. The community will be engaged in discussion via the Community Partnership throughout this process.

Who is part of the Working Group?

The Working Group comprises the interested party which originally raised an interest in the siting process, RWM, an independent facilitator, an independent chair, and Allerdale Borough Council.

To see a list of Working Group members click here.

Community and choice

Now that a Search Area has been announced, the next task for the Working Group is to identify and recruit prospective members for a Community Partnership to continue the conversation with the community.

To do this, the Working Group has considered the types of skills, knowledge, and experience that the Community Partnership might initially need.

Initial prospective members of the Community Partnership have been identified by a selection panel of Working Group members, which included the Independent Chair, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) and Allerdale Borough Council.

Further prospective Community Partnership members may be invited to join by invitation or application through an open and transparent process, with the aim of forming a membership that is reflective of the community in the Search Area.

This is only the starting point for the Community Partnership which will continue to evolve over time.

It’s important to note that no decision has yet been made by RWM and Allerdale Borough Council to support a Community Partnership.

Further detail can be found in the ‘Community Partnership Members – Attributes and Role Profiles’ page.

What is a GDF?

A Geological Disposal Facility, or GDF, is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of our radioactive waste – specifically ‘higher-activity’ waste (the most radioactive kind).

It involves building a series of specially designed and engineered vaults and tunnels deep underground. It could potentially be three times deeper than the height of the Shard in London, Britain’s tallest building.

Once the waste is placed inside a GDF, the facility will eventually be permanently sealed. The way the facility is designed and engineered means it can be sealed to protect people and the environment for hundreds of thousands of years, without needing any maintenance, while the radioactivity fades away naturally.

Making sure it is safe

Scientists and other authorities all over the world agree that a GDF is the safest way to deal with ‘higher-activity’ radioactive waste (the most radioactive kind) for the long term. This international consensus comes after decades of scientific research.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency will review the designs for a GDF, the proposed site, and the science that informs them, to make sure it protects people and the environment. A GDF will only be built if it can be shown to be safe for both people and the environment. As soon as construction starts on a GDF, the site will have to meet strict safety standards.

Which area is being considered?

Allerdale Working Group will collectively identify the initial ‘search area’ within which RWM will seek potentially suitable sites for a GDF.

For now, anywhere within Allerdale is being considered with the exception of those areas within the Lake District National Park. As the search progresses, this ‘search area’ will be narrowed down. The community will be engaged in discussion throughout this process.

Further information can be found in the Working Group Area tab.

Once a Community Partnership has been formed it is expected that the initial ‘search area’ will be narrowed down. The community will be engaged in discussion via the Community Partnership throughout this process.

Who is part of the Working Group?

The Working Group comprises the interested party which originally raised an interest in the siting process, RWM, an independent facilitator, an independent chair, and Allerdale Borough Council.

To see a list of Working Group members click here.

Community and choice

Now that a Search Area has been announced, the next task for the Working Group is to identify and recruit prospective members for a Community Partnership to continue the conversation with the community.

To do this, the Working Group has considered the types of skills, knowledge, and experience that the Community Partnership might initially need.

Initial prospective members of the Community Partnership have been identified by a selection panel of Working Group members, which included the Independent Chair, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) and Allerdale Borough Council.

Further prospective Community Partnership members may be invited to join by invitation or application through an open and transparent process, with the aim of forming a membership that is reflective of the community in the Search Area.

This is only the starting point for the Community Partnership which will continue to evolve over time.

It’s important to note that no decision has yet been made by RWM and Allerdale Borough Council to support a Community Partnership.

Further detail can be found in the ‘Community Partnership Members – Attributes and Role Profiles’ page.

Overview of siting process

This interactive diagram explains more about the GDF siting process.

Overview of siting process

This interactive diagram explains more about the GDF siting process.