Geological Disposal – Working Group launches online events
Allerdale needs to talk about Geological Disposal – Working Group launches online events
The Allerdale GDF Working Group has launched two online versions of their community drop-in sessions to give more people an opportunity to join the discussion on whether Allerdale could be the right place to build a Geological Disposal Facility, or GDF, to securely dispose of the UK’s radioactive waste.
‘We need to talk about Geological Disposal’ is free to attend and takes place on Zoom on 26th August and 9th September. The sessions will be hosted by Community Organisers – a national charity, and the membership body and training organisation for community organising in England – who are independent of the Working Group.
The formation of the Allerdale GDF Working Group in January 2021 was the very beginning of a local conversation about geological disposal and a gradual, consent-based process to identify an initial ‘search area’ in Allerdale within which Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) will look for potentially suitable sites to build a highly engineered facility deep underground to dispose of the UK’s radioactive waste.
No potential site has yet been identified, and for now, anywhere within Allerdale is being considered, except for the Lake District National Park. However, a Geological Disposal Facility will only be built where there is both a willing community and a suitable site, and with permission from independent regulators, including the Environment Agency, who would need to agree that the facility can be designed, constructed and operated safely.
Establishing the Working Group was the starting point for engaging with the community in a process that will take several years, and before any decision is made, there must be a Test of Public Support by the community to demonstrate it is willing to host a Geological Disposal Facility.
Working Group member, Eva Chua said: “This first step in the GDF project is about listening to local people to understand their views and vision for their community and future generations.”
“These online events are a great opportunity for those who are not able to attend our face-to-face drop-in sessions to be part of this important conversation about what we should do with our radioactive waste and whether it would be right for a Geological Disposal Facility to be built in Allerdale.”
“As a Working Group we’re committed to hearing as many voices as possible, so I would encourage anyone who lives, works or has a business in Allerdale to sign-up to an online session or come and talk to us at a community drop-in.”
The hour-long online sessions will introduce attendees to the Working Group, before moving on to a series of ‘breakout rooms’ where participants will be able to ask questions, find out more information and discuss their thoughts with other participants.
Anyone wishing to attend can register through Eventbrite by visiting the ‘Get Involved’ page of the Allerdale GDF website: https://allerdale.workinginpartnership.org.uk/get-involved/
Three further face-to-face drop-in sessions are due to take place in Seaton, Northside and Workington on 19th, 20th and 21st August, with more events to be confirmed in the coming months as part of the Working Group’s ongoing plans for informing and involving the local community.
Further information and details of all events will be available on the Allerdale GDF Working Group website as and when they are known and anyone with comments or questions is encouraged to contact the group directly on 0300 369 0000 (those with hearing and speech impairments can call via Relay UK on 18001 (all calls are charged at local rate).