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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 13:34 GMT
Plan to cut nuclear waste
BNFL Spingfields
The public are to be consulted on the plans
Plans are being made to reduce the amount of radioactive waste released into a river in Lancashire.

The Environment Agency has published proposals to cut waste from the British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) Springfields site near Preston, discharged into the River Ribble.

If the plans are put in place the impact of radioactive discharges on members of the public would reduce by 48% initially and 85% from 2008.

The Environment Agency is carrying out a consultation on its plans, which is due to finish in March next year.

It plans to hold surgery-style meetings for members of the public to discuss issues and concerns.

Consultation 'important'

Presentations will also be given to local councils.

Bernadette Carr, the Environment Agency's area manager, said: "Our proposals will reduce the potential radiation doses to members of the public.

"Consultations like this are important to us and we want to hear from people who have issues to raise.

"We will take into account the responses we receive before we reach a decision."

A BNFL spokesman said the company took its environmental responsibilities very seriously and stressed the current discharges at Springfields were "within the existing authorised limits".

"Within the next three or four years our liquid discharges will be significantly reduced as the chemical plants used to process uranium ore concentrates close," the spokesman added.

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