The British government has looked into the possibility of dumping nuclear waste in the north of Ireland. The Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) agency posted its findings on the government website in late 2018.
Its goal is to find a suitable place to build a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). The RWM identified the north of Ireland as a potential site for storage of the waste, as well as 12 regions in Britain.
Potential dumping grounds
RWM divided the area into four sub-regions. It identified Newry as one possible location “in which we may be able to site a GDF”. The agency mentioned the areas between Ballycastle and Cushendall, and Belfast and Larne, as spots where it might also “be able to site a facility”. Likewise, Coleraine, Ballymoney, south of Carnlough, Ballymena, and Magherafelt were all mentioned as practical sites for a GDF by RWM. It also identified the area between Derry and Omagh as possibly suitable for a nuclear waste disposal site.
RWM explains its findings in a number of videos on its website and YouTube channel:
RWM describes itself in these words:
Our mission is to deliver a geological disposal facility and provide radioactive waste management solutions.
It also says its goal is to put radioactive waste underground “so that it is safe and secure”. When the waste is underground, RWM says, “rock will shield people from the radiation”.
An environmental threat
The plans have angered many people in the area.
One group, Can’t Fathom It, pointed out that “No nuclear development exists currently on the island of Ireland” and said:
Why should we see our local wildlife suffer, our biodiversity be damaged and our health to be threatened, so that nuclear waste produced in Britain can be dumped on us here in Ireland?
Another group, Rostrevor Action Respecting the Environment (RARE), revealed that “all district councils in Northern Ireland were informed” about the plans a year ago. But the government and RWM are only widely sharing this information now.
Every vote counts
RARE has issued a call to action. It says that politicians will be voted out of office if nuclear waste is dumped in the north of Ireland:
The time has come to put environmental and public safety before private interest and for our elected representatives to match their words with action. If you can’t see our concerns, you won’t see our votes.
The British government has shown it’s willing to continue spending money on nuclear power. This being the case, disposal of new nuclear waste will remain an issue for the foreseeable future.
Featured image via YouTube – rwm_gdf_uk
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?