GDF Community Partnership South Copeland

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Registration open for new GDF Community Forum in South Copeland

August 30, 2023

South Copeland GDF Community Partnership is holding its first Community Forum on Wednesday 20 September and will be discussing local people’s views on what a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) could mean for the area.

The public are invited to register to attend the event, where they can share their thoughts on geological disposal and find out more about it, by participating in round-table discussions with other members of the community. This is also an opportunity to help influence the work of the South Copeland GDF Community Partnership.

People can register in advance to attend the Community Forum here:

Date: 20 September 2023

Time: 18:00 – 20:00

Venue: Millom Guide Hall, St Georges Road, Millom LA18 4DD

Ged McGrath, Chair of South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, said: “I’d like to encourage people in South Copeland to register to attend the Community Forum to have a conversation, ask questions, and share your views.

“As a Community Partnership, we’re very keen to hear from the public, so that we can understand their questions and concerns, and fulfil their expectations of us as a Partnership.

“We’re still in the early stages of the GDF programme, but if a suitable site is found in South Copeland, it is ultimately the Potential Host Community that will decide if a GDF is built here. That’s why it’s really important that local people understand what a GDF is, why the UK needs one, and what this could mean for our area.”

A GDF is an underground facility designed to safely and securely dispose of higher activity radioactive waste.

South Copeland is one of four Search Areas in the UK which are currently taking part in the siting process for a GDF. Mid Copeland and Allerdale in Cumbria and Theddlethorpe in Lincolnshire are the three others.

The GDF programme requires both a suitable site and a willing community. If a suitable site is found in South Copeland – a process which could take 10-15 years – a GDF could not be developed until the Potential Host Community has taken a positive Test of Public Support. It would also require consent from regulators including the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency.

Community Partnerships are long-term groups made up of local people, the GDF developer and local authorities to consider the possibilities of hosting a GDF within an identified Search Area. Their role includes ensuring the community has the information they need when considering the possibility of hosting a GDF. This includes taking forward discussions around geological disposal and what it could mean locally by finding out people’s views and providing factual responses to questions and concerns.

Deep geology beyond the coast is being considered for siting the underground elements of a GDF in South Copeland. This means a surface facility on, or near, the coast would provide access to a disposal area deep in rock beyond the coast.