Cumbrian councils to vote on nuclear dump

CUMBRIAN councils will vote today on whether to start the search for a site to store high level nuclear waste.

Copeland, Allerdale and Cumbria County must all agree before progressing to the next stage, which will involve geological investigations.

Currently, radioactive waste is stored above ground in various sites around the UK, mostly at Sellafield.

Six years ago the government invited local authorities to volunteer for a £12bn underground site. Cumbria is the last contender after Dungeness in Kent pulled out following protests from residents.

Waste would be stored in underground vaults at a depth of between 200m and 1,000m.

The nuclear industry says the store would be a vote of confidence in the sector, which employs around 15,000 people in the county. But many residents, and the Lake District National Park Authority, oppose the plan.