Nuclear waste in your back garden?

Posted: 28/05/2012

It’s been over 60 years since the first nuclear power station opened in the UK and as of yet, no nuclear waste has been disposed of underground. However, this is set to change with Romney Marsh in Kent being selected as an ideal place to bury the mass amount of nuclear waste currently being stored in power stations.

There are 100 square miles of marsh land that has been deemed suitable for miles of tunnels, more than 3,000ft deep to be dug and nuclear waste deposited their. The waste would be kept in glass containers lined with clay or concrete after travelling through some of the most populated areas of the country via train, twice a week from power stations to the burial site. This could prove disastrous if a simple human error was made or a natural disaster struck and could also prove to be a potential magnet for terrorist attacks.

Kent County Council have promised to use ‘every tool in the box’ in order to fight this development, even though Shepway Council is in charge of the chosen area of Romney Marsh.

Romney Marsh is a rural area that has chilly, eerie beauty, especially when the early morning fog lifts from the moist mossy grass. Unfortunately, the area has double the amount of unemployment than the rest of the county, which is going to become an ever larger figure when the current Dugeness A and B power stations close in 2023. But if the Nuclear Research and Disposal Facility project gets the go ahead, this will provide jobs for thousands of local residents from 2025 onwards.

The project would cost an estimated £12 billion but the local community has to be persuaded first before any work can start. The Nuclear Free Local Authorities group state that nuclear waste would be unsafe underground and should be kept above ground where it can be constantly monitored for any changes. It would also be a safer option for future generations, who may not be aware the radio active waste is buried underground. There could also be detrimental damage made to many species of birds, insects, plants and other wildlife that thrive in the wetlands.

Shepway Council have sent letters to their local residents, asking if they would be prepared to allow nuclear waste to be buried in their back gardens.

Would you allow your council to bury nuclear waste in your back garden? Do you believe it is an outrageous proposal and will never get the green light or do you think it is the only option if the UK must use nuclear power stations to provide energy for the future generations?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(1) Comments council, nuclear waste, government, environment

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