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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 January 2008, 16:43 GMT
Nuclear waste store plan pondered
Hunterston power station
Hunterston is one of Scotland's two nuclear power stations
New nuclear waste stores could be built under proposals being considered by Scottish ministers.

The plans could lead to low-level and medium waste kept near Scotland's two nuclear powers stations.

The plans mean it would no longer be sent to a dump near Sellafield power station in Cumbria.

First Minister Alex Salmond told the BBC that Scotland would not become a dumping ground for high-level waste from across the UK.

His comments came after the Westminster Government announced plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations south of the border, but Holyrood ministers said they would oppose any planned for Scotland.

The number and location of the waste stores in Scotland are still a matter for discussion.

'Future generations'

However, long-term storage facilities could, for example, be built near the nuclear power stations at Hunterston in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian.

The Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness, which is being de-commissioned, already takes responsibility for its own waste.

The proposals were dismissed by British Energy, which runs Torness and Hunterston, but the first minister told BBC Scotland's Politics Show that his government's approach was the sensible course of action.

He said: "It is one that is being pursued in Scotland at the present moment of course, in the case of Dounreay, and it is entirely right that we store things safely in the place where they're generated as opposed to digging some massive hole in the ground somewhere and hoping beyond hope that's going to be all right for future generations."

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government said the generation capacity for renewable energy sources in Scotland was now "well ahead" of nuclear power stations.

New figures stated that the installed capacity for renewables was now 2,731 MW, compared with 2,400 MW of nuclear.

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