National Geological Screening for a GDF - Bristol and Gloucester region
Our work shows that we may find a suitable geological setting for a GDF in most of this subregion.
Rock can be seen at the surface in this subregion at rocky outcrops such as Glastonbury Tor and in man-made excavations such as quarries or road cuttings. However, some deep boreholes and geophysical investigations, give us an understanding of the rocks present and their distribution.
There are clay-rich rock layers under the whole subregion in which we may be able to site a GDF. There are also layers of rock salt around Burnham-on-Sea and extending under the Bristol Channel, and slates and similar strong rocks around Langport and south of Frome, in which we may be able to site a GDF. We would need to do more work to find out whether these rocks have suitable properties and thicknesses.
Even where individual clay-rich rock layers are found not to be thick enough to host a GDF they may support the siting of a GDF in deeper rocks as they could act as a barrier to groundwater flow from depth. This is important because movement of groundwater is one of the ways in which radioactive material could be carried back to the surface.
The area around Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea has Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences to allow companies to explore for oil and gas. This exploration is currently at an early stage and it is not known whether oil or gas in these licence areas will be exploited. RWM will continue to monitor how this exploration programme progresses.
For further information, read the report below.
We have also produced a summary of the geological attributes of the Bristol and Gloucester Region.