Nuclear Waste Services (the developers) have started desk-based site evaluations for both South and Mid Copeland.

We are told the studies will take two to three years to complete and “will look at a range of topics which have taken into consideration community feedback gathered since the formation of the Community Partnership.”

A quote from the Siting Director tells us, “The work we’ve now started will address the most common topics to have emerged from our discussions with local people. It will begin to give us a much better understanding of the suitability of the area and enable us to consider how different elements of a GDF could be delivered in Copeland.”

But they have clearly chosen to ignore many of the concerns raised during discussions with local people in particular the negative effects on the local communities whilst continuing to emphasise the so-called positives: “A GDF is a multi-billion-pound infrastructure project, which could bring significant economic opportunities and thousands of jobs to the area which eventually hosts it.”

The chair of the Community Partnership, Ged McGrath (re-elected for a second year) welcomes the news “as the information provided will help to answer many of the questions raised by members of the public and aid understanding as to whether South Copeland could be a suitable location to host a GDF. We will keep the community updated with the latest information as and when the findings emerge.” Will they?

A further ‘News’ item shares an interview with the Siting Manager and identifies ten of their priorities, the top one being to collate previous information on the geology of the search area (one would have thought they would have done this before spending thousands on the seismic surveys). The studies will also include “Identifying the deep borehole drilling techniques and investigations which could be used in the local area.” (Let’s hope they take into account the radioactive mud).

Another priority (although near the bottom of the list) is to “understand potential local land requirements to support early engagement and raising awareness of future GDF investigations.” It is not rocket science to realise that the only viable position for the site would be in Haverigg, although this has now been complicated because Drigg has been added to our search area.