Continue to watch what happens – the Department of Energy & Climate Change politicians and civil servants are keen to stress that 2 local authorities – Allerdale & Copeland – voted to continue the MRWS process. They take this as evidence that ‘communities’ are willing to volunteer – but these are not ‘communities’ – they are local Councils. According to the Cumbria Association of Local Councils CALC, 49 out 88 Councils took votes on whether to support the process going to the next stage. 32 said NO, 13 said YES, 4 said they took no view. So who are the communities?

Here are some points we asked people to cover in letters about the MRWS process:

6. The MRWS process was also flawed because it consisted largely of a new form of public relations exercise called ‘Public and Stakeholder Engagement’. MRWS members were trained to ‘answer difficult questions’ from the public at specially orchestrated ‘drop-in’ events, and debate in the local press has been played down or manipulated. Yet the scientific issues have hardly been addressed.

An example of this is the MRWS’s rejection of the idea that Prof David Smythe (a leading geologist) might need 45 minutes to speak at a public meeting in Whitehaven in summer 2011, on the grounds that 15 minutes should be quite enough to put the case against W Cumbrian geology being suitable!

The whole process was premature and misleading – we still don’t know what will go into the dump (the ‘inventory’), and there are issues that have hardly been discussed yet:

the waste spoil heaps and their impact, the problems with disposal itself what alternatives there might be how is the waste that we already have going to be handled how heat generating waste can be buried along with other waste the full impact of above-ground facilities the impact on house and land prices and the non-nuclear sectors of the Cumbrian economy

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