Nuclear waste treatment plant looks set for approval

The new building would be on the Gareloch at Faslane.
The new building would be on the Gareloch at Faslane.

Note: for the committee decision, see the story published on January 21

A new building which would release nuclear waste into the Gareloch looks set to win approval– despite more than 700 objections.

The Ministry of Defence proposals for HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane – first revealed here – will be decided by members of Argyll and Bute Council on Wednesday.

Construction of the new building would take two and a half years
Construction of the new building would take two and a half years

Planning officials have recommended the nuclear support hub building for approval, pointing out that 97% of the 732 objectors do not live in the area.

The two-storey building, 45 metres long and 31 metres wide, will replace older facilities treating waste from nuclear-powered submarines.

Environment agency SEPA had no objections to the plan, saying radioactivity levels near the base were already within agreed limits and the new building would reduce the levels still further.

A report by head of planning and regulatory services Angus Gilmour lists the reasons given by objectors, which include opposition to nuclear weapons and to the Faslane base being extended, but says ‘political comments are not material to the determination of this planning application’.

The building would be alongside the Ship Lift at Faslane (click image to enlarge)
The building would be alongside the Ship Lift at Faslane (click image to enlarge)

It adds: “As this is a planning application, the acceptability of the proposal relates to land use issues and its compliance with the adopted development plan.”

Approval is recommended subject to conditions, including noise assessment and site waste management plans being submitted and approved, ecological mitigation measures being taken and there being no work until the condition of the land and seabed is assessed by the council and any contamination treated.

The 15-member planning, protective services and licensing committee will meet in Lochgilphead on Wednesday.

To view the agenda click here.

6 Comments

  1. “Environment agency SEPA had no objections to the plan, saying radioactivity levels near the base were already within agreed limits and the new building would reduce the levels still further.”
    SEPA appear to be unaware of the 2012 evidence from many international sources that there is no safe level of exposure to liquid or gaseous nuclear radiation. Planning approval for the Faslane new building must be conditional on there being NO discharges at all from the new building or the site, or from the transport and storage of the nuclear submarine waste products.

  2. 700+ people have objected to a plan which would reduce pollution? Have I missed something? Oh yes – they don’t live here, in most cases. So they’re not affected by this particular issue

  3. IS THIS A JOKE!

    I object to this, I don’t live in the area anymore but my family does, why should my family and these people be subjected to this waste?

    This is just ridiculous!

    • It seems people have the wrong end of the stick here. This is what they already do at Faslane. This is a new building with new treatment facilities so that they can deal with the waste in a more efficient manner than they currently do in an older building no longer fit for purpose. I don’t want Faslane however that has nothing to do with this planning application.

  4. It is not what they do now if you believe the press – the plan is to increase the amount of radioactive waste and discharge into the Gareloch.
    The liquid waste is from the submarines nuclear reactors and as the fleet docked at Faslane is increased from 5 to 14, the waste dumped locally will be increased proportionally.
    Has an ecological impact study been carried out and is a report on such a study available to local residents and concerned citizens of Scotland who regularly frequent the area?

    • No, the plan is for a building which will be more efficient and reduce the amount of waste. You’re right about the number of submarines of course but is the SEPA agreed discharge level getting worse? No. Therefore unless SEPA agree to more waste, there won’t be more waste provided that they do their job.
      As an aside, whatever your view of this particular building it’s good that the MOD now has to deal with the local planning authority.
      Oh, and have a look at the conditions (mentioned in one of the stories here). The MOD has to allow an outside body to inspect the current condition of the seabed.

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