South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on the storage of nuclear waste, voicing her serious opposition to the selection of the Chapelcross site.
Earlier this year, the MoD - which needs to find somewhere to store waste from 27 nuclear subs – revealed Chapelcross was one of five shortlisted UK sites.
In her response to the ‘Submarine Dismantling Project’ consultation Ms McAlpine said:
“The MoD consultation document outlines that defence is a UK Government responsibility and that that Scottish Government policy long term management of radioactive waste is superseded by UK government policy. This seems to be in contradiction to the respect agenda that has been talked about post-referendum.
“Was the Chapelcross site to be chosen, this creates the risk of setting a precedent for accepting future nuclear waste, contradictory to Scotland's national policy.”
The SNP MSP added:
“Most importantly, this would put at risk current plans for a more positive sustainable future to be built on the former nuclear site. Given the lack of socio-economic benefits offered, it is pivotal not to put at risk economic development in the area.
“It has been convincingly argued, not least by the Nuclear Information Service, that transporting radioactive material is one of the nuclear industry’s riskiest activities. Indeed, it was reported in 2012 that there was an alarming increase in accidents related to the
transportation of radioactive materials – 38 in 2011 compared to 30 in 2010.
“This is very concerning – particularly given that the local transport routes include a series of minor roads that are entirely unsuitable for such transportation and creating risks to community safety.
“I would like to record my serious opposition to the storage of nuclear waste at the Chapelcross site and hope that Scotland will not be turned into a dumping ground for this radioactive material.”