Unite, Britain's biggest union, says that the Public Accounts Committee's report into the legacy of nuclear waste at Sellafield illustrates the massive cost of Cumbria county council's decision not to press ahead with further studies into the long-term storage of nuclear waste.
According to the new report, the legacy of nuclear waste at the Sellafield site has been allowed to build up, with the cost of decommissioning the site reaching £67.5 billion, with no indication of when the cost will stop rising.
Last week Cumbria county council voted against proceeding with a study into a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste. The decision was met with immense disappointment by the workforce at Sellafield. Britain has been searching for a long term, national waste repository for over 30 years. The Sellafield workforce has the responsibility of looking after 70 per cent the UK's nuclear waste.
Unite national officer, Kevin Coyne said:
"It was extremely short-sighted of Cumbria county council to vote against continuing with a study into a storage facility for Britain's nuclear waste. This report from the Public Accounts Committee illustrates the huge cost of missing that critical opportunity last week. The council's decision means more drift and delay and billions being spent on nuclear waste with no permanent solution on the horizon.
"It is vital that the councils in Cumbria that backed proceeding with further studies into a long-term storage facility work with the government find a way forward."
Copeland and Allerdale councils voted to continue with the study.
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors: Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.