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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 March, 2004, 11:13 GMT
Opposition to nuclear waste plan
View of Sellafield
The proposal is to transport solid low level nuclear waste for storage
Plans to transport nuclear waste from Scotland to be stored in Cumbria are facing fierce opposition.

Cumbria County Council is fighting the proposal by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).

It would mean low level nuclear waste would be brought from Dounreay to be stored at Sellafield and Drigg in Cumbria.

But the UKAEA says the Health and Safety Executive has insisted the waste is stored in Cumbria.

The council has issued a formal objection to the plans which is being supported by all political groups.

The proposal is to transport solid low level nuclear waste which comes from operational and decommissioning activities at Dounreay.

Exhausted facility

The council says it believes the waste generated at Dounreay should be stored there.

In a statement it said: "The application by the UKAEA to transport nuclear waste from Dounreay to Sellafield because Dounreay's nuclear waste disposal facility is almost exhausted is not acceptable to this county.

"Nuclear waste should be stored where it is created. If the Dounreay site is exhausted than the UKAEA should make plans either to extend it or to find another nearby site.

The UKAEA said it had originally planned to store the waste at Dounreay

"Taking the easy way out and bringing it to Cumbria is not the answer. Dounreay should look after its own nuclear waste.

"THE UKAEA cannot expect Cumbria to accept ever-increasing quantities of nuclear waste being stored at Sellafield, especially at a time when big job cuts are being threatened.

"This proposal will do nothing to secure future employment on the site and nothing to help the economic regeneration of the local area."

Colin Pulner from the UKAEA said its original plans had been to store the waste at Dounreay, but it had been instructed to dispose of it in Cumbria by the Health and Safety Executive.

He said the authority had made an application about transporting the waste to Cumbria to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and that application is the subject of consultation.

He said: "We recognise the sensitivities that exist about radioactive waste disposal and radioactive waste transport.

"The issue is the subject of consultation at the moment so I wouldn't say it is cut and dried by any means."

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