Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Council rules out Cumbria greenbelt land nuclear sites

Councillors say any new station should be built at Sellafield

Councillors in Cumbria have come out against plans which could see new nuclear power stations built on greenbelt land.

Three sites - at Sellafield, Braystones and Kirksanton - have been highlighted by the government as being suitable for new generating stations.

But county councillors say they will only support a new station on the site of the existing Sellafield facility.

They say developing other sites will not benefit local communities.

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has said a new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) would be able to make decisions on nuclear station applications within a year of receiving them to avoid a repeat of previous lengthy inquiries.

Ministers hope to fast-track the construction of new plants so some can be producing energy by as early as 2018.

But Cumbria councillors say they are concerned about how and where waste from any new nuclear station would be stored.

Tony Markley, the council's cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: "Sellafield is clearly the preferred site in the county to build one of the next generation of nuclear power stations.

"At this stage, we're minded not to support any plans to build nuclear power stations in Kirksanton or Braystones as the impact on local communities and the landscape outweighs the potential benefits.

"Sellafield has always been the nuclear hub of Cumbria and the industry should remain focused on that site."

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