National parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) could become the new burial sites for highly radioactive nuclear waste under government plans, supported by a committee of MPs.
The deep geological burial method is seen to be the only permanent solution to storing nuclear waste that will continue to be radioactive for thousands of years.
New plans proposed by ministers were published in January to bury the material after previous attempts to choose a site for a £12 billion facility were shattered when the proposal was rejected by county council.
The business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) select committee of MPs has approved the plans to store nuclear waste underground, stating the safest site must be chosen, regardless of location.
Labour’s Rachel Reeves, who chaired the committee, said: “We decided against adding an exclusionary criterion for national parks and AONBs as in our view it is right for safety matters to prevail over environmental concerns in this case.”
Meanwhile, Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, said: “It’s outrageous to think of companies burying nuclear waste and fracking for gas in some of the most beautiful places in the country. Tussles over which communities have to put up with this toxic material bring us all to shame.”
After fifty years of nuclear power in the UK, which has generated 750,000 cubic metres of waste, the country has not yet developed a permanent disposal solution.