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Councillors say no to nuclear waste dump in the area

Created on 08/03/2019 @ 10:54
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The potential of a nuclear waste dump being set up in Montgomeryshire has been rejected after Powys county councillors adopted a motion making the county nuclear free.

The motion was put forward by Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, who said parts of north Powys might be considered for a radioactive waste dump as part of government plans.

Consultation meetings are being held across the UK by the UK government’s Radioactive Waste Management department to find a community willing to host radioactive nuclear waste.

Before Cllr Vaughan presented his motion, veteran county councillor, Cllr Tim Van-Rees believed the motion was “unneeded” as he recalled Powys had decided to be nuclear free since 1982.

Cllr Vaughan said: “The  English Government is assessing to identify the areas with the most potential and that includes a large part of Powys – especially Montgomeryshire.

“The aim is to have one underground centre for these isles run by Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM), a sub-company of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

“At the moment, there is 4.5m cubic metres of the most dangerous levels of nuclear waste stored with 1,100m cubic metres amongst the highest levels possible.

“Now, following emergency legislation that was rushed through Westminster before the last election, a nuclear dump can be imposed on communities.

“Under the new rules local planning rules can be by-passed by describing it as a strategic resource to include the most dangerous waste from nuclear power stations, arms and medical use.

“It is the Westminster Energy Minister who has the power to decide.”

Cllr Jackie Charlton endorsed the motion: “I support Elwyn and have a copy of the motion from 1981.

“And that says quite clearly there should be no nuclear weapons or storage or disposal within the boundaries of Powys.

“This has not been changed in any way and Elwyn is bringing to attention the need to get rid of the nuclear waste that has been piling up for the last 60 years.

“And they are looking for a site and enticing communities to consider a planning application with considerable amounts of money.”

Education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander wanted the message to be loud and clear: “All our representatives at Westminster and the Welsh Assembly should raise this issue as a matter of urgency that Powys has said NO.”

Cllr Pete Roberts pointed out that the geology in the county was “very limited” for a nuclear dump but stressed there was the need to send a message.

Cllr Tim Van-Rees recalled the debate in the early 1980s during the Cold War when he was still a serving soldier.

“I wanted to maintain our ability to defend ourselves with every means possible, however, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than 99 just men that need no repentance.”

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

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