Scotland says no to nuclear waste

27th June 2007
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The Scottish Executive has firmly refused to have nuclear waste buried north of the border, when asked as part of a new government consultation exercise.

But it appears that the Executive's decision was based on a technicality. First Minister Alex Salmond made his decision not to allow 'deep geological disposal' - burying waste at a depth of many hundreds of metres underground - but said that 'near surface disposal' would have been a suitable option.

'We do not accept that it is right to seek to bury nuclear waste, which will remain active for thousands of years, in a deep geological facility or to expect any community to host such a facility,' Salmond said. 'This out-of-sight out-of-mind policy should not extend to Scotland.'

The Scottish Labour Party accused the Scottish Executive of 'choosing the path of unnecessary conflict.'

Duncan McLaren, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, described the government's consultation as a 'sham':
'That decades after the start of the nuclear industry this country still doesn't have a safe solution to dealing with this country's radioactive waste legacy is further evidence that creating further waste from new nuclear power stations should not be countenanced.'

This article first appeared in the Ecologist June 2007

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