GDF Community Partnership Mid Copeland

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Want to find out more about safety and technical aspects of a GDF?

February 16, 2023

Mid Copeland Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) Community Partnership is holding a series of interactive events for people to find out more about what a GDF could mean in our area.

Community feedback in Mid Copeland has highlighted that people want to know more about the safety, transport and technical aspects of a GDF.

These events will include experts to explain how waste is currently being packaged to be passively safe; what GDF transport could entail and how a GDF would be safely constructed, operated and closed.

A GDF is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste.

An illustrative view of a GDF

An illustrative view of a GDF

On display will be an example model of what a GDF could look like above ground, plus an interactive display board showing what it could look like underground.

Go along to find out more and ask questions:

Friday, March 10: Thornhill Social Club, 12-7pm;

Saturday, March 11: Gosforth Public Hall, 10am-3pm;

Friday, March 17: Windscale Club, Seascale, 12.30-7pm;

Saturday, March 18: Drigg and Carleton Village Hall, 10am-3pm.

Andy Pratt, Chair of Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership, said: “Please come along to the events and have a conversation, let us know what you think and ask your questions – we want to hear from you.

“We always take on board community feedback and use it to try and shape our future events by providing information people require. So, this time we are concentrating on safety, transport and technical aspects.

“We’re still in the early stages of the GDF programme. If a suitable site is found in Copeland – a process which could take 10-15 years – a decision to develop a GDF here in Mid Copeland could not be taken until the community in the electoral wards directly affected has had a say and taken a positive Test of Public Support.”

Community Partnerships are long-term groups made up of local people, the GDF developer and local authorities to consider the possibilities of hosting a GDF within an identified Search Area.

The Mid Copeland Search Area currently includes the electoral wards of Gosforth & Seascale and Beckermet. After April 1, the Search Area for Mid Copeland will change due to Local Government Reorganisation when the current electoral ward boundaries of Copeland Borough Council cease to exist from April 1, 2023.

The new wards will follow the same boundaries as the current county council divisions. This means the Mid Copeland Search Area will cover the electoral division of Gosforth which includes Seascale, Gosforth, Beckermet, Calderbridge, Haile, Thornhill, Nethertown and Braystones.

The parishes of Drigg and Carleton and Irton with Santon will sit outside the Mid Copeland Search Area in the Millom Without ward and will instead be in the South Copeland Search Area. The full parish of Lowside Quarter will be included in the Mid Copeland Search Area.

Deep geology beyond the coast is being considered for siting the underground elements of a GDF in Mid Copeland. This means a surface facility on, or near, the coast would provide access to a disposal area deep in rock beyond the coast.

The GDF programme requires both a suitable site and a willing community.

The Mid Copeland area now has access to its second £1million of Community Investment Funding (CIF) per year from the GDF programme. The Partnership awarded £1million in CIF to local projects during its first year.