Plan to store nuclear waste under Holderness for 175 years

An artist's impression of a Geological Disposal Facility. Credit: Nuclear Waste Services

Nuclear waste from across the UK could be stored below an area of East Yorkshire for up to 175 years.

Government agency Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) announced proposals today to build a storage facility beneath South Holderness.

A group has been set up to examine the proposals, but the agency's chief executive Corhyn Parr said the scheme would only go ahead with residents' approval.

She said: "This is a consent-based process, meaning if the community does not express support... it won't be built there."

Ms Parr added that the new geological disposal facility would bring benefits to the area, including thousands of jobs and transport improvements.

Two similar working groups are already established in Cumbria and at Theddlethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast.

Dr David Richards, independent chair of the South Holderness working group, said the aim was to work with local communities to discuss the potential of a series of vaults and tunnels being built deep underground, or under the sea, where the material would be buried.

He added: "My role as chair is to make sure local communities have access to information and to understand what people think."

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Steve Reece, of NWS, said South Holderness's geology was well-suited to the plan.

Plans to move nuclear waste by train could also mean a new railway line for the area, he said.

East Riding Council leader Anne Handley said: "Understanding what a GDF is and exploring the associated benefits is critical to the decision-making process for any community, because it will ultimately be the local community who decide."

Graham Stuart, the MP for Beverley and Holderness, said that he will be meeting with Dr David Richards to discuss the plans.

He wrote on Facebook: "I'll be asking for a copper bottomed guarantee that nothing would happen without public consent.

"I'll be asking about how the community fund of up to £1 million a year would be delivered - making sure it would be for the benefit of Withernsea and Holderness. And I'll be asking how long the consultation would last.

"I'll be fighting for Holderness on this."

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