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Yorkshire Coast Nuclear Waste Proposal Being "Wound Down"

The Nuclear Waste Service says it is winding down it's work on the Yorkshire Coast after East Riding Council pulled out of a working group that was looking at the potential to site a nuclear waste disposal site in Holderness.

Councillors voted to withdraw from the discussions this week following strong local feedback.

Speaking at this week's full council meeting South Holderness resident Rachael Gray said local people had already been affected by the discussions.

The NWS says it will now focus on sites elsewhere in the country.

East Riding Council Leader - Councillor Anne Handley - says the authority has listened to local people's views.

Councillor Sean McMaster, ward councillor for South East Holderness, said there had been an “overwhelming response” from the community since the formation of the Working Group. He said that residents had voiced a range of concerns including over the lack of track record for the proposed type of facility..

Withernsea Councillor, Lynn Healing, said that the proposal, which would see the area benefit financially from just taking part in the discussions, was roundly rejected by local people at a series of information events.

In response to East Riding Council's decision to withdraw from the discussion the Nuclear Waste Service said:

"Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) fully respects the council’s decision to withdraw from the GDF siting process. Together with the Working Group Chair, NWS will now take the necessary steps to wind down the South Holderness Working Group and respond to outstanding requests for more information.

Since the launch NWS has met with over 1200 people and would like to thank those that have given up their time to learn more about the GDF Programme.  

NWS will continue to engage with the other three Community Partnerships currently involved in the GDF siting process and will consider other communities who are interested in learning more about this vital project and the benefits and opportunities it could bring.

A GDF is internationally recognised by governments and scientists as the only viable permanent solution for the safe disposal of higher-activity radioactive waste in the long-term. It involves isolating the waste deep underground in suitable geological formations, placing it in highly engineered vaults and tunnels, to keep it safe and secure over the many thousands of years it will take for the radioactivity to naturally reduce.  

The Government’s GDF Siting Process in England and Wales is consent-based and requires NWS to identify both a suitable site and a willing host community. As part of NWS’ role to find a host community for a GDF, the South Holderness GDF Working Group was established to begin a conversation with the people of South Holderness about the possibility of hosting a GDF."

Three Community Partnerships are currently engaged in the GDF Siting Process, two in Cumbria, Mid-Copeland and South-Copeland, and one in Lincolnshire, Theddlethorpe.

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