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Nuclear Waste (Disposal)

Volume 14: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will uphold the decision by Kyle and Carrick district council to refuse permission for test boring at Mullwharchar.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent the factor which determines whether deeply buried radioactive waste will be carried back to the environment is the hydraulic gradient of the rock the waste is buried in; whether this is dependent on local topography as well as the particular type of rock; and whether the proposed boring at Mullwharchar, near Loch Doon, will be gathering information on the suitability of granite in general or the suitability of local Mullwharchar granite for the disposal of nuclear waste.

The hydraulic gradient is one of a number of factors which would determine the rate of movement of constituents from deep buried radioactive waste back to the environment. It is influenced by local topography and by the nature of the particular type of rock but not exclusively controlled by them. The proposed boreholes at Mullwharchar would gather information on the movement of ground water: the results would describe water movement in the area of investigation and aid the interpretation of water movement in crystalline rocks generally.The proposal is part of a large international study, and carries with it no proposal for disposal of nuclear waste at Mullwharchar or anywhere else.