Sellafield new compound plans spark safety concerns

Sellafield Image copyright PA
Image caption Sellafield is a nuclear fuel reprocessing and nuclear decommissioning site

A facility that will treat historic plutonium at the Sellafield site in Cumbria looks set to get the go-ahead despite local opposition.

The compound would process and package waste which is currently stored across the site, transferring it via an internal link corridor.

Seascale Parish Council said it had "grave safety reservations".

But Sellafield Ltd said "rigorous" measures would be put in place to ensure the site was safe.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reported that the structure would take five years to build and include a processing plant and high-level bridges.

Blight on skyline

The re-packaged nuclear material would remain in storage until 2120.

Sellafield Ltd said it was exploring ways to cut the risks associated with the storage of lethal radioactive material which dated from the early days of the decades-old plant.

However, Seascale Parish Council raised concerns over the 100-year lifespan of the storage facility because the material it contains "is high risk for substantially longer".

It also said the towering structure would be a blight on the skyline, and would have a negative impact on the local seaside tourism industry.

The plan is expected to be approved when it is put before Copeland Borough Council's planning panel on Wednesday.

Sellafield, which is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, stores nearly all of the UK's nuclear waste.

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