Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Sunday, 15 March 2009

Nuclear site plan to be revealed

Cumbria's existing nuclear plant at Sellafield is being decommissioned

Communities near the Sellafield complex in Cumbria are to hear details about plans to develop adjoining land for further nuclear facilities.

A public meeting in Whitehaven on 18 March will be the first opportunity for residents to learn of plans for the 617-acre (250 hectare) site.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority-owned land has been earmarked as the site of a new nuclear power station.

The NDA says the plans could create thousands of jobs in west Cumbria.

The event is being hosted by the West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group, made up of councillors and regeneration agency officials.

Chairman David Moore said: "The journey from nomination to new build could take a decade, so it is important that the public are aware of the process and timescales.

"The event is about raising awareness, so the public are properly briefed before the formal public consultation period begins.

"New build is of huge importance to west Cumbria."

Rosie Mathisen of West Lakes Renaissance, added: "Nuclear new build is of vital importance to the west Cumbrian economy, with the potential to create thousands of jobs and attract billions of pounds worth of inward investment.

"The area boasts a world-renowned skills base so it is vital that we maintain and strengthen the expertise which has been developed over 50 years since the opening of Calder Hall."

The decommissioning of the existing Sellafield site is likely to take about 17 years.

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