Residents "nervous" over Fylde nuclear plans

PLANS have been unveiled to potentially increase the amount of radioactive waste buried at a Fylde landfill site.

Material from nuclear power plants across the north is already handled at Clifton Marsh.

SITA UK now wants to take more very low level radioactive waste (VLLW) and low level radioactive waste (LLW) from a "wider range of nuclear facilities".

Some local councillors last night told The Gazette they were "nervous" about the plans for the Clifton Marsh site, located between Freckleton and Clifton, on the banks of the River Ribble.

SITA UK will now hold a series of public exhibitions to allow local residents to learn more about the proposals.

Phil Holland, the company's decommissioning development manager, said: "The very low level and low level waste materials make up a small proportion of the waste at Clifton Marsh where they represent a very low level of risk, and we don't see the proportion of these wastes increasing significantly in the future."

Mr Holland added: "The site does not and will not accept any intermediate or high level radioactive wastes or liquid waste of any kind."

But the scheme has raised concerns with local councillors.

Freckleton councillor, Tommy Threlfall, said: "I will be at the meeting to listen to what they have to say.

"We are a bit nervous about it, but we will go and listen to what they have to say with an open mind.

"We were under the impression the site was going to be closing."

His Freckleton colleague Coun Trevor Fiddler, also Fylde Council's cabinet member for planning, said: "Obviously residents have a great fear about radiation and hopefully transparency will put those fears to rest."

The Clifton Marsh site already accepts waste from Springfield Fuels complex, Sellafield in Cumbria and the old BNFL site in Capenhurst, Cheshire,

Materials dumped at the site include building rubble, soils, steel framework, pipework and reinforcement materials from the dismantling of facilities at nuclear sites.

Contaminated equipment from facilities where radioactive materials are handled will also be handled along with small volumes of materials from laboratories and hospitals.

The site will continue to accept household and commercial materials which will still make up more than 90 per cent of the waste.

The Environment Agency will decide the application to dump more waste while the firm has also applied for permission to Lancashire County Council to continue to operate as a landfill site until 2020.

* Two public exhibitions will now be held at Freckleton Methodist Hall on Monday July 6 between 1pm and 8pm and Tuesday July 7 between 10am and 4pm to explain the proposals and give people a chance to comment before any application is submitted.