The operators of the Dounreay nuclear complex in Caithness have lodged a planning application for a £100m treatment and storage plant.
The site is being decommissioned at a cost of £2.9bn
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) proposes to construct three buildings at the site for handling intermediate-level waste.
Highland Council planning officials have recommended initial approval.
The UKAEA said it would be needed until a national disposal facility for waste becomes available.
According to the energy authority the plant will have a lifespan of 100 years by which time coastal erosion will be an issue for the site on the Caithness coast.