Page last updated at 07:57 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 08:57 UK

Nuclear waste site plan opposed

Sellafield
The firm hopes to dispose of low level waste from Sellafield

Plans to dispose of radioactive waste at the site of a former opencast pit in Cumbria have met with opposition.

Recycling and waste management firm Sita UK wants to buy land at Keekle Head, near Whitehaven, for the disposal of low level radioactive waste.

But Willis Metherell, of Copeland Council, said locals had not been part of discussions about the project.

But Sita has pledged that if the project is approved, members of the community will be consulted.

A company spokesman confirmed informal talks had already taken place with local councillors and planners at Cumbria County Council.

My reaction has been one of dismay and bitter disappointment
Willis Metherell

But Councillor Metherell said: "What effect is this going to have on the environment?

"My reaction has been one of dismay and bitter disappointment for the local communities.

"There are villages half a mile from this site and there has been a lack of consultation.

"We have not been involved in any discussions."

Sita UK's, regional general manager, Phil Holland, said: "Waste classed as 'very low level radioactive' includes construction waste created as facilities such as office buildings are demolished as part of the decommissioning process at the Sellafield site.

"This waste is appropriate for landfilling at facilities such as Keekle Head.

"Mining on the site has created a substantial void which is ideal for the disposal of waste materials.

"Our scheme would include early high quality restoration of parts of the site and after the landfilling is complete, final restoration as heathland."

Cumbria County Council said a planning application had not yet been submitted.


SEE ALSO
Review launched to tackle waste
14 Feb 06 |  Science/Nature
Q&A: Waste incineration
18 Jan 06 |  Science/Nature

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