Allerdale GDF Community Partnership

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Search Area – understanding the potential

A Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) has to be built deep underground, in solid rock. The rock along with several other engineered barriers plays an important part in keeping people and the environment safe while the waste naturally becomes less radioactive. The Working Group has identified a Search Area in Allerdale that could be investigated as part of the Community Partnership.

The GDF team will study any proposed areas to see if a GDF could safely be built there.

No areas which fall within the Lake District National Park or Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will be considered.

The Search Area is shown on the map below.

Search Area Map

How did we get here?

Discussions with the GDF developer were initiated by an Interested Party in the Borough of Allerdale. As part of these initial discussions, the GDF developer undertook evaluation work to understand whether the area identified by the Interested Party had the potential to host a GDF.

A Working Group subsequently formed in Allerdale in January 2021 as a result of the initial discussions with the GDF developer and the initial evaluation work. An important task for Working Group was to identify a Search Area. The Search Area is the geographical area within which the GDF developer would seek to identify potentially suitable sites to host a GDF.

As the Allerdale Search Area is different from the area that was considered as part of RWM’s initial evaluation work, a further high level evaluation of the Allerdale Search Area was undertaken. This concluded that the Allerdale Search Area and adjacent inshore area have potential to host a GDF.

The results of these evaluations are available in the documents at the bottom of this page.

The initial Search Area incorporated 13 Allerdale Borough Council electoral wards. The Lake District National Park and Solway Coast ANOB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) were and remain excluded from the Search Area.

The Allerdale GDF Community Partnership was formed in January 2022. In January 2023 the Partnership announced changes to the initial Search Area. These changes were introduced on 1st April 2023 to align with Local Government Reform and the new Cumberland Authority.

The current Search Area now comprises the eight Cumberland Council wards of Dearham and Broughton; Maryport North, Maryport South, Harrington, Moorclose & Moss Bay, Seaton, St John’s and Great Clifton, and St Michaels.

Allerdale’s geology

Allerdale is covered by Northern England subregions 3 and 5 in the National Geological Screening for a GDF study.

Click on the link for more information.

Northern England Subregion 3

Northern England Subregion 5

RWM Evaluation Reports