Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell has stated that this is his own opinion, but that he is pursuing a timetable for a final decision on intermediate level radioactive waste from 27 ex-Royal Navy subs.
Mr Mundell had been pushed for answers at his Dumfriesshire constituency surgery last Friday by constituent Paul Cowan, who said: “I wanted a question I asked him a year ago about where he stood on this issue, and eventually I got that answer – and got more than I expected, actually.”
Mr Cowan says that it was through his persistance last year that the area’s politicians revealed whether they supported housing the materials inside a purposely constructed store at Chapelcross – which is one of five shortlisted locations.
But he said: “I’m just glad that it looks like it’s not coming.”
Mr Cowan says that under questioning last Friday, Mr Mundell let slip that Chapelcross would not host the materials.
A spokesman for Mr Mundell said: “David expressed his opinion that it wasn’t going to go ahead and he offered to seek clarification from the UK Government about Chapelcross being used, as well as seeking a timetable from the Ministry of Defence on when a decision would be reached.”
While it has been described as Mr Mundell’s ‘opinion’, Mr Cowan has welcomed the statement – having campaigned against storage at the former nuclear power plant.
Mr Cowan said: “If the Secretary of State is saying it’s not coming here, that’s fantastic.
“It has to be based on something, otherwise he wouldn’t come out and say that. These kind of people don’t make mistakes, and if he did make a mistake he shouldn’t have done as he’s the Secretary of State for Scotland and it’s an important issue.”
AWE Aldermaston in Berkshire, AWE Burghfield in Berkshire, Sellafield in Cumbria and Capenhurst in Cheshire are the other sites on the shortlist to house the submarines’ reactor pressure vessels until it can be processed and sent to a proposed geological disposal facility (GDF) some time after 2040.