GDF Community Partnership South Copeland

Contact us

I'm looking for...


South Copeland GDF Community Partnership Resident Research, November 2023: Results

February 29, 2024

Between 1 and 20 November 2023, research consultant Yonder oversaw a survey of 203 adult residents who were interviewed in person across the wards of Millom and Millom Without. An overview of the outcomes of this survey are presented below.


The results of the latest survey demonstrated that residents remained engaged with the subject matter. 77% of respondents stated that they were able to recall seeing or reading or hearing something about radioactive waste or geological disposal over the past year. Three-in-five (60%) attributed their awareness to a leaflet or newsletter in the post.

Half (53%) were aware of the UK’s current storage method for its higher activity radioactive waste (in that they believed it was stored at interim surface or ground-level storage facilities at sites across the UK).

A similar proportion (50%) were able to identify the accurate description of a GDF. One-in-ten (10%) thought they were deep underground facilities that were currently used in the UK for the permanent disposal of nuclear waste, whilst only 4% thought that they were near-to-surface sites where the UK currently buries low-level radioactive waste. 29% said they had heard of the term ‘GDF’ but knew nothing of it, whilst only 8% had never heard of the term.

A majority (84%) claimed to be aware that a Search Area had been identified within South Copeland for further investigation of its suitability for a GDF.

When considering the construction of a hypothetical GDF in the South Copeland Search Area, 15% opposed it and half (50%) were supportive. 35% were neutral towards a proposed GDF within the South Copeland Search Area.

When asked about what kind of information they would like to receive regarding the subject matter, respondents most often requested information relating to safety (16%), the potential location of the site (15%) and general information about the approach (14%). One-in-three (32%) said that they did not want to receive any further information.

Reaction of the Chair of South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, Ged McGrath:

“The latest results provide another snapshot in time of local people’s views on geological disposal, and guide our role in seeking and providing the information that our community require about a GDF and the siting process.

“We are currently surveying members of the public three times per year, to ensure that we have a clear picture of the local people’s views and information needs, and this helps to inform the Partnership’s communications and engagement approaches going forward.

“It’s important that our community have confidence in the information provided to them about the siting process, potential impacts and relevant scientific and technical issues, in order to make an informed decision if or when a Test of Public Support on GDF is held – and this is our goal as a Community Partnership.”

Previous survey results are available to view within the Community Partnership website News section:

 Methodological statement

Yonder is a member of the Market Research Society (MRS) and founding member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. The Market Research Society (MRS) is the UK professional body for research, insight and analytics. As the regulator, it promotes the highest professional standards throughout the sector via the MRS Code of Conduct.

The research programme conducted by Yonder, is not carried out by the Community Partnership, NWS, or members of the community, which maintains its impartiality.

Quotas and weights were employed to ensure the random sample was representative in terms of the relative populations of the two wards and the age and sex profiles of the area in question. With a sample of 203 and a 95% confidence interval, a margin of error of +/-7% is expected.

To ensure the representativeness of the surveying, Yonder utilises random probability sampling. Random probability sampling guards against sample bias. In addition, Yonder uses the latest ONS and Census population data to ensure the sample is representative of the local area’s population (in terms of geographic balance, age and gender). With this information, quotas are employed to ensure the resident sample is representative of the relative populations of the two Search Area wards. Following fieldwork, Yonder then employs weighting to review the interviewed sample, examine any differences between quotas and the achieved interviews and correct any differences by weighting up under-represented groups and weighting down over-represented groups. This ensures the resident samples which inferences are based are representative in terms of the age and sex profile of the population in question. Utilising this approach permits justifiable inferences to be drawn from the sample to the population, at quantified levels of precision.

 Yonder – South Copeland Resident Research Report: