Community Impacts Report

The South Copeland GDF Community Partnership was set up (December 2021). In their own words, this is a partnership whose main purpose is to help local people “understand more about the Community Partnership and Geological Disposal, including what a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) is, why it is required, and what it means for our community.”

Since December 2021 many of us have been asking the Community Partnership what the potential negative impacts of siting the GDF (nuclear dump) are likely to be here in Haverigg and Kirksanton. 

During this period all the Community Partnership (aka Nuclear Waste Services) have done is promote the so-called ‘positive’ effects and manipulate local people to believe the GDF would be good for our area through the provision of biased information and grants to voluntary organisations (and if you dare to oppose the GDF you are told you are stopping local organisations receiving much needed funding). They have repeatedly ignored our requests for more impartial information which gives both positive and negative effects.

It was agreed at a meeting of the Community Partnership a few months ago that they would commission a report to look at the potential impact, this, they are calling, the ‘Community Impacts Report.’

In response to a request for information about the report, here is the response of the Community Partnership:

“The Community Partnership is in the process of drafting the scope of the Community Impacts Report. They are then hoping to commission it as a piece of academic research and hope to publish the report by the end of March 2024.”

A fellow activist who strongly opposes the siting of the GDF here has come up with the following list of potential impacts:

Largest UK engineering project equivalent to 6 channel tunnels 10-15 years, 24 hour construction site then a site handling the transference of Highly radioactive containers mainly from Sellafield but from around the country by rail and road. The need to mitigate for blasting, dust, light, noise, environmental impact etc.

Destruction of environment both onshore dunescape and landscape and undersea with borehole testing taking place before public opinion is tested.

Prison closure and loss of associated employment streams.

Tourism and tourism potential loss.

Agricultural loss.

Compulsory purchase land and property Haverigg / Kirksanton similar to HS2.

Offsite car park and bussing in of personnel.

Need to accommodate construction personnel.

Need for railway sidings and on site station to deliver personnel and waste.

Transport of 150,000 containers of Highly Radioactive Nuclear Waste from mainly Sellafield but also around the country.

Transport of heavy machinery, generators, cranes etc.

Estimated 500,000 wagon loads of tunnelling spoil dumped at Haverigg / Kirksanton to be used at a later date to back fill the dump and or moved by road and rail.

Twice daily movement of personnel on a 24 hour site.

Fenced highly secure 24 hour armed guard presence.

Terrorism threat increasing area surveillance cctv etc.

Permanent protest camps around the area and clash potential.

Activist disruption.

Impact on World Heritage Status of the Lake District National Park.

No ability to use technological advances in the future to more safely manage the waste or repurpose it.

The need to trust scientists geologists etc who have been badly wrong in the past and are making a decision for future generations on a project with a massive time scale of 100,000 years until the highly radioactive waste is deemed safe.

Loss of public services due to difficulty of attracting professionals to an area associated with a dump.

Association of this beautiful area with label of “toxic coast” as the nuclear coast of the Lake District National Park is extended.

Loss of funding streams which can’t coexist with a dump e.g. agriculture, tourism.

The admittance of the need for service provision from the developer for damage to mental health and wellbeing.

The admittance of the need for compensation packages for the affects to business land and property values.

Only 3 councils from over 300 in the Country have chosen to participate in the process.

Cumbria County Council would not take part due to Sellafield long term job losses and the huge loss of income to the County in business rates but the new Cumberland Council support the process without knowing the will of our community.

Split site with logistical jobs retained by the developer away from the area. Similar to Sellafield operations.

The need to state the dump in searches if selling property or land.

New infrastructure bypassing the area akin to Egremont.

Members of the Community Partnership and local councils need to ask themselves:

Is it really worth the short-sighted gain of funding being made available for local voluntary organisations when, in the long term, there will no longer be a Haverigg or Kirksanton left for our children or grand-children or great grand-children, to enjoy this beautiful part of the country in the same way that current and previous generations have enjoyed?

Here is what someone who loves coming to this part of the world has to say about the proposal:

We have had a caravan on Butterflowers and previously Harbour Lights when it was just getting on its feet. We feel our time up here is a little bit of heaven and everyone we meet are so friendly.

We would be so upset to see it go the same way as our childhood holiday home at Drigg. Here the storage area was right next to holiday and permanent homes, these now lie dormant and a very close community of people moved on in the way of progress!!