Proposals to transport nuclear waste to Hinkley Point near Burnham-On-Sea ignore public health and safety, it has been claimed this week.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is considering using the Hinkley Point A site to store waste from the former Dungeness power station in Kent.

But West Somerset Council’s cabinet has this week heard a report recommending that it objects to the proposal.

Bill Hamilton, from the NDA, said their priorities were focussed on safety, security and cost-saving.

Moving Dungeness’ waste to Hinkley Point A is one of eight options being considered by the NDA.

The other options, involving seven former power stations, include each site storing its own waste and a reduction in storage sites meaning waste would be received from one or two other sites.

A second proposal is also running on whether Hinkley Point A could be used for the treatment of fuel element debris (FED) from other sites.

Mr Hamilton told the BBC that the radioactive waste would be the rubble, steel and materials from the buildings in and around the reactor.

He said it was “held very securely and very safely” encased in concrete and kept in secure metal boxes in a safe building – well away from people and the workforce.

“We were brought in to existence back in 2005 by the government to, on behalf of the nation, take a look at all the old nuclear plants across the UK. What we’ve been doing is developing a strategic overview of all of our sites in order to be able to plan ahead to keep this stuff safely and securely before it can go down a geological disposal facility which will be built in the next 20 or 30 years.”

Mr Hamilton said one or two preferred options would be chosen by the end of the year with further consultations being held before a final decision is made next spring.

 
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