Energy Minister Graham Stuart opposes Holderness nuclear waste site

Graham Stuart MP
Conservative MP Graham Stuart has asked for East Riding Council to withdraw from discussions about the proposed nuclear waste site

A MP said he is supporting efforts to oppose plans to bury nuclear waste in East Yorkshire.

Beverley and Holderness Conservative MP Graham Stuart called on East Riding Council to withdraw from discussions with Nuclear Waste Services (NWS).

The government agency has named South Holderness as a potential site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

Mr Graham, who is also the Minister for Energy Security, had previously called for a public vote on the proposals.

He now says he is supporting a motion by two local Conservative councillors, Lyn Healing and Sean McMaster, asking that the local authority stop talks with NWS.

'Community says no'

"South Holderness is a special place, and the news that the area was being considered as the site for the UK's GDF shocked many in our community," Mr Stuart said.

"It is the people of Holderness who should determine what happens in their area and they have made clear their opposition to these plans."

He added: "Our community says 'No' and Lyn and Sean have my backing to seek our withdrawal."

Ms Healing and Mr McMaster said their motion to withdraw from discussions would be submitted to a full council meeting on 21 February.

"Yes, investment in Holderness is badly required but is this the right investment? We now believe it isn't," the councillors said.

Analysis - Paul Murphy, BBC Environment Correspondent

Unsurprisingly, the proposal to bury radioactive material under the East Yorkshire countryside grabbed the attention of the entire community.

A social media group set up to oppose it is currently coordinating a leaflet drop on a scale the area has rarely seen before.

Angry emails have been flying into the inboxes of councillors and to the local MP Graham Stuart.

There are those who believe a nuclear facility could bring jobs and long-term economic improvement, but the groundswell of opposition looks far more powerful.

The UK has been using nuclear power for 70 years.

That's a lot of dangerous waste to permanently dispose of, but the chances of a facility being built in East Yorkshire must now be in serious doubt.

The GDF would see waste stored under up to 3,280ft (1000m) underground until its radioactivity had naturally decayed.

Officials from NWS said the project could create thousands of jobs and investment in local infrastructure in the area.

The proposed South Holderness site is one of three areas being considered.

NWS said locals "would have to express explicit support for a GDF before anything could be built" and that the council could "withdraw the area from the process at any time".

"This is a consent-based process and government policy requires us to identify both a suitable site and a willing community," a spokesperson said.

They added that the agency was running a series of events to provide information to the public.

"If after answering all their questions, the local community decided they don't want it, it won't be built," they said.

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