Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009

Nuclear waste plan put to public

About 70% of the waste earmarked for disposal is already stored at Sellafield

People in west Cumbria have the chance to find out more about government plans to store nuclear waste underground.

The West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Partnership is sending leaflets to all homes in the Allerdale and Copeland council areas.

There will also be a series of public meetings over the next three months.

It is the first step in the process to help people decide whether the councils should put themselves forward in the search for suitable storage sites.

The West Cumbria MRWS Partnership was set up in 2009 as an advisory, rather than a decision-making, body.

It will make recommendations to the councils on whether or not they should participate in the geological disposal facility siting process, without actually committing to host one.

About 70% of the country's radioactive waste earmarked for disposal in a geological repository is already stored at Sellafield.

For this reason, Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council have made "expressions of interest" in the formal Government process.

If the go-ahead was given it would be more than 10 years before any construction could start.

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