New Department of Energy and Climate Change minister Baroness Verma today called for a continued and strong focus on decommissioning at the Sellafield nuclear site as she praised the “dedication and professionalism” of the workforce on her first visit to West Cumbria.
Baroness Verma also met with Cumbrian council leaders to discuss the siting process for a geological disposal facility for nuclear waste.
Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said:
“Visiting Sellafield really does drive home the sheer scale and size of the challenge posed by our nuclear legacy, and why we must continue to focus relentlessly on our world-leading decommissioning efforts.
“Decommissioning and cleaning up the site will take many decades, but I am very encouraged by the progress being made and the dedication and professionalism of everyone at the site.”
Commenting on her meeting with Cumbrian council leaders, she added:
“Finding a long-term and sustainable solution for dealing with our legacy of nuclear waste is absolutely vital for Cumbria, and for the country as a whole.
“It has been extremely valuable to discuss with councillors in Cumbria the work that has already been done on the issue of siting a geological disposal facility, including the recent report by the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) partnership.
“In light of Cumbria councillors’ move to defer a decision on whether to take part in the next stage of the process, I want to be clear that Government remains completely committed to a community-led and voluntarist approach. We will also work closely with the councils to provide the information and clarification they need.”
Notes for editors
- Baroness Verma was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on 7 September 2012. A full biography is available on the DECC website.
- Decommissioning at Sellafield is overseen by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which reports to DECC. To learn more about the decommissioning challenge at Sellafield please visit the NDA website and the Sellafield website.
- For more information about identifying a site for a geological disposal facility for nuclear waste, please see the MRWS website.
Read the MRWS partnership’s report.
- A photograph of the Minister meeting Cumbria councillors is available from the DECC flickr channel.