Handouts for nuclear 'risk'

By Alex Cameron, Somerset County Gazette, 5th September 2007

COMMUNITY projects in West Somerset look set to get cash handouts to compensate for the risk of having a radioactive waste site on their doorstep.

At a meeting of West Somerset Council's cabinet committee last night (Wednesday), members were due to examine a proposal gain community benefits' from a proposal by Magnox Electric to create a low-level radioactive waste site at Hinkley Point.

Members will be asked to allow council leaders to join with counterparts at Sedgemoor Council and negotiate with the company in a bid to create a common good fund'

As reported, Magnox, the operator involved with the decommissioning of Hinkley Point A , wants to create a permanent disposal facility on the site for low-level radioactive waste.

A report before councillors last night says that West Somerset Council is aiming to ensure that the community should be suitably compensated for enduring elements of "risk"'.

The report states: "In this case, the establishment of a permanent disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste means that a continuing element of risk' will continue for the foreseeable future and, as such, communities should derive a benefit."

It adds: "The proposed negotiation with Magnox Electric will, therefore, seek to deliver a substantial financial contribution to a common good fund' which will be held jointly by West Somerset Council and Sedgemoor District Council, and will be used to deliver community development projects.

"While the socio-economic benefits as a result of the activities at Hinkley Point A and B are unquestionable, the plain fact now is that the agenda has moved on, and the Government has recognised that communities should benefit more directly from the siting of radioactive disposal decommissioning/commissioning of nuclear facilities."

To find out more on the meeting, read next week's West Somerset County Gazette.



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