Nuclear Waste: Augean submits appeal
27 May 2010, 09:17 | Updated: 27 May 2010, 11:57
Augean Plc has formally submitted its appeal having been told that its Kingscliffe landfill site would not be allowed to store low-level radioactive material.
Augean had applied for a licence to start burying up to 249,999 tonnes of 'low level' radioactive waste - things like soil and building material from decommissioned power stations every year.
Northamptonshire County Council's Chief Planning Officer had recommended the proposal - but the Development Control Committee unanimously voted to reject the application back in March.
3,000 local people had signed a petition against the plans and members of the local campaign group WasteWatchers staged a demo outside the council meeting. [you can see more pictures from the demo below.]
Then committee chairman Ben Smith said the arrangement of bringing waste from nuclear sites across the country to store them at Kingscliffe was not the "best available technique."
The authority also argued that there was no national level ‘planning’ policy or guidance that specifically deals with the management or disposal of low level radioactive waste (LLW) and granting the application may be premature.
Augean now say they find that "surprising."
Heart has learned that the company is also planning to offer a "community fund" should planning permission be granted. It would "provide positive financial support for various social and economic projects in the local community to counter-balance any perceived impacts of the development together with any negative perceptions within the local community." The amount of money involved has not been revealed.
You can read the company's full appeal by clicking here
The appeal, which will be heard by the Secretary of State is expected to last at least 8 days and will hear from several different experts.
Augean would have been the first company in Britain which is not directly involved in the nuclear industry to be licensed to deal with this kind of material.
Low level radioactive waste has always been sent an official 'repository' in Cumbria near to the Sellafield power station - but that is going to be full up by 2037.
The government is currently consulting on other options for the future - building a new official repository, burying the waste at existing nuclear sites, or paying licensed contractors to dump it in private landfill sites.