A DECISION on whether Sellafield can continue storing 11,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste in one of its Seascale buildings is due to be made tomorrow (Tuesday).

Sellafield was granted permission to build a five-storey building in 1992 for interim storage of encapsulated intermediate-level waste.

However the permission expires at the end of 2021, due to a condition imposed at the time by Copeland council.

The nuclear firm now wants to have permission to continue storing the waste, as a more permanent solution is not yet available.

The county council’s development control and regulation committee will discuss the application at a meeting at 10am.

A report prepared for the authority said: “The building is required to be retained for the continued storage of intermediate-level waste (ILW) which is required to be stored until alternative facilities come on line.

“The alternative storage solution is likely to be the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), which is currently out to consultation on host site availability, and until such time as the GDF is made available a suitable interim storage place for ILW is required.

“It has always been the intention that the storage of ILW would be temporary on the Sellafield site until alternative facilities become available for more permanent facility.

“At this current moment in time there is no alternative available storage facility available, whether temporary or permanent.”

Both Seascale and Ponsonby parish councils have objected to the proposal.

The report said that the Seascale authority wanted Sellafield to submit a full planning application.

“When constructed these [facilities] had a 50-year life and Copeland put a time limit of 30 years to allow time for future storage options; these amendments need a full planning application.

“Seascale Community are living with what are described as health and quality of life risks and this needs to be taken into account.”

However planners said that Sellafield’s request was not an amendment to the application submitted 28 years ago, rather an application to amend conditions attached to that permission.

The meeting is due to take place virtually. For more information on how to join the meeting, visit the council’s site cumbria.gov.uk