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Nirex reassures public on nuclear waste sites

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AREAS IDENTIFIED as possible locations for a nuclear waste repository in the 1980s are not necessarily in the running for future disposal sites, Nirex said this week.

The nuclear waste consultant moved to dispel fears that 10 sites on a previously secret shortlist published this week would be in pole position when the subject is revisited.

ther communities may want to volunteer to host disposal facilities to capitalise on employment opportunities, said a Nirex spokesman. This had happened previously in Finland.

The Commission on Radioactive Waste Management is due to report to the government next year, with fresh site selection possibly under way in 2007.

The previous study focused on publicly-owned, 400ha sites with the required capacity and accessibility. This eliminated over 500 candidates.

But Nirex said the previous drive to find a deep geological site, which ended with the government refusing to allow construction at Sellafield, may no longer exist.

And the need to dispose of high-level, heat-generating waste was not considered when the original list was drawn up.

Sites on the shortlist were Bradwell and Potton Island in Essex, Dounreay and Altnabreac in Caithness, Fuday and Sandray on the Western Isles, Killingholme in Humberside, Stanford in Norfolk, two sites at Sellafield and two offshore locations.

Essex County Council leader Lord Hanningfield said Thames Gateway regeneration plans now ruled out further consideration of the Essex sites.

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