Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Decision to dump nuclear waste at King's Cliffe nearer

A lorry driver signing in at Kings Cliffe hazardous waste management site
Augean plc wants to dispose of low level nuclear waste

Approval to dump low level radioactive waste at a rural Northamptonshire landfill site is a step nearer.

The Environment Agency has decided nuclear waste to be handled by the King's Cliffe site is not hazardous.

A final decision has yet to be made and local people are being invited to give their views before the county council will give planning permission.

But residents formed a protest group to campaign for low level nuclear waste to be disposed of nearer power stations.

The site at King's Cliffe near Peterborough is operated by Aegean who call it the East Northants Resource Management Facility.

Simon Mitchell, from the Environment Agency, said: "I know this application has caused concern within the local community.

"But I want to reassure the public that we would not authorise any disposals of low level radioactive waste to any landfill unless we were satisfied people and the environment were protected.

"We will not make any final decisions about this application until we have considered the responses to this consultation."

Safety uncertain

The King's Cliffe protest group believe the site will be taking construction rubble from decommissioned nuclear plants because the national low level waste repository at Drigg in Cumbria is filling up.

What they have discovered is that the landfill would be the first to take radioactive material from the nuclear industry, nowhere near any nuclear plant.

The group has said: "No one knows how safe the material will be.

"We are in the centre of England. Why can't they locate disposal sites on, or close, to the decommissioned plants on the coast, where people are already used to the nuclear industry on their doorstep?

"What's the point of sending lorries thousands of miles over time, right across the country?"

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