The UK Government has launched a new long-term plan to permanently dispose of the radioactive waste in the country.
The plan follows a consultation on improving the process of finding a site to host a geological disposal facility (GDF), which will safely isolate radioactive waste deep underground and inside multiple barriers in order to protect it for hundreds of thousands of years.
The new GDF will support the development of new, low-carbon, nuclear electricity generation in the UK while helping to permanently deal with waste from decades of generating low-carbon electricity from nuclear power.
A new and improved plan has been created by the government based on feedback and consultation for working with communities to identify a site for a GDF.
The government and experts will work jointly over the next two years for greater clarity on issues such as national geological screening, the planning process and the environmental impacts.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: "Geological disposal provides the secure, long-term solution we need to deal with the radioactive waste we have been creating for more than 60 years, and we can learn from the experiences of other countries who are also doing this.
"Building and running a GDF will be a multi-billion pound infrastructure project, which will bring significant economic benefits to a community.
"Today we're setting out our plan to find a suitable site, based on a fundamental principle of listening to people, to make sure we have the right process in place. The area that eventually hosts a geological disposal facility will benefit from significant investment in the community and hundreds of skilled jobs for decades to come."
Currently, the radioactive waste is temporarily being stored at secure nuclear sites across the country; a GDF will allow to dispose the waste permanently.
Image: The UK Government announces a new long-term plan to safely dispose of radioactive waste. Photo: courtesy of Victor Habbick / Freedigitalphotos.net.