Questions to be answered by desk-based studies which have now begun in South and Mid Copeland (and probably in Allerdale and Theddlethorpe and Maplethorpe). Likelihood all moving forward at same pace.
Reality is that they will be looking at these questions for all four sites initially and then, once sites are identified as being a possibility, further geological studies (boreholes) will take place.
It could be all or only some of the sites already identified could move onto the borehole stage.
When are we likely to find out? They keep moving the date as to when the analysis of the seismic surveys will be available. Earliest likely date they will know (but not us) is possibly May 2023; later date September 2023. But again we do not know when they will tell us. An educated guess would be January 2024 as the Community Partnership was set up in January 2022 and we were then able to start applying for GDF funding. Once we have gone into January 2024 one assumes that would mean a third year to brainwash locals with GDF grant money.
The longer they keep the actual site a mystery the better for the developers as this will avoid more people coming out against it.
Once we move onto the next stage, ie boreholes, it seems more likely (or not) Cumberland will feel a need to inform solicitors requesting area searches for possible house buyers that the area is under consideration for a GDF; this will then influence the selling market and prices will drop as people are unable to sell their houses. Reaction from locals: greater opposition to a GDF being sited here.
FIRST QUESTION/S TO BE ANSWERED
- Geology – Collating existing information about geology in the Mid (sic, should read South) Copeland Search Area and the adjacent inshore area to provide an increased understanding of geology to help support further local studies. Seismic data collected last summer will be included when processed.
- Implications of local geology – Consider the implications of local geology which may influence the engineering requirements and design of a GDF to ensure safe and secure dispose of radioactive waste.
- Higher activity waste disposal – Consider the implications of local geology which may influence the disposal requirements and design of a GDF to ensure safe and secure disposal of radioactive waste.
(Are these three not the same thing? Certainly connected.)
- Future investigations – Identifying the deep borehole drilling techniques and investigations which could be used in the local area.
(They will need to do this irrespective of which area they choose. Let’s hope they take on board disturbance of radioactive mud.)
- Accessways (Tunnels) – Accessways is the underground tunnels or shafts which link a surface site to a disposal location. This will include looking at engineering feasibility such as number of accessways which could be required and appropriate mining methodology.
(Applicable to all sites?)
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED ONCE THE LIKELY SITE HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED ALTHOUGH THE LIKELIHOOD IS THEY ALREADY HAVE A GOOD IDEA WHERE THE ABOVE GROUND FACILITY WOULD BE AND SO COULD GET ON ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS AND IN ANY CASE WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT MASSES OF MONEY TO DO THE DESK-BASED RESEARCH:
- Land – understand potential local land requirements to support early engagement and raising awareness of future GDF investigations.
- Initial Transport Study – Gathering existing information about local transport to assess how a GDF may use the current transport infrastructure and consider what potential upgrades may be required.
- Utilities (power) – Identifying power infrastructure and capacity to understand local supply and assess how a GDF may influence future demand.
- Labour and skills – Identifying local skills levels to assess how a GDF may influence future employment and training opportunities.
- Proximity to nuclear licensed sites – Understanding any operational requirements from an existing nuclear licensed site which may have an influence on the operations of a GDF.