Another UK community expresses interest in hosting geological disposal facility

31 January 2024

Nuclear Waste Services (NWS), part of the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has welcomed the establishment of a new Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) Working Group in South Holderness, East Riding of Yorkshire. The GDF Siting Process in England and Wales is consent-based and requires NWS to identify both a suitable site and a willing host community.

A GDF involves isolating the waste deep underground in suitable geological formations, placing it in highly engineered vaults and tunnels, keeping the waste safe and secure over the many thousands of years it will take for the radioactivity to naturally reduce.

Establishing a GDF Working Group does not mean that a GDF will be built in that area but represents a starting point for a conversation with a local community on the issue. NWS is engaged with three other communities across England about what hosting a GDF would mean: two in Cumbria (Mid Copeland and South Copeland) and one in Lincolnshire around Theddlethorpe.

“We are delighted to see the formation of the South Holderness GDF Working Group,” said NWS CEO Corhyn Parr. “South Holderness joins three other communities involved in the GDF siting process who are already learning more about this vital project and the benefits and opportunities it could bring, such as the creation of thousands of jobs and opportunities for investment in local infrastructure.” He added: “We are looking forward to meeting local people, providing more information, answering questions, and listening to all views. This is a consent-based process, meaning if the community does not express support for a GDF it won’t be built there.

Working Group Chair Dr David Richards said his role as Chair “is to make sure local communities have access to information and to understand what people think about a GDF. We look forward to meeting local people and listening to their views”. According to Dr Richards: “The South Holderness GDF Working Group marks the beginning of finding out more about what a GDF is and gives our community an opportunity to share their thoughts about what it means for them. We want to work with local communities to discuss the potential of a GDF and the establishment of a Community Partnership, which if formed would benefit local good causes through grants of up to £1m per year.”

NWS will be a member of the South Holderness GDF Working Group, along with the Dr Richards, independent facilitator Invest East Yorkshire (the Interested Party), East Riding of Yorkshire Council and members of the community. In discussion with Invest East Yorkshire, and based on readily available information about the geology of the area and awareness of existing economic priorities in the region, it is proposed that the Working Group will focus its initial engagement in the southern parts of Holderness. It will gather information about the area, share information about geological disposal, and begin to understand any issues or questions the local community might have. The first in a series of community engagement events will start in February and information is also available on the dedicated South Holderness GDF Working Group website.

Image: An illustrative example of a geological disposal facility (courtesy of Nuclear Waste Services)

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.