UK only in early stages of finding permanent site for underground storage of hazardous spent fuel

As Boris Johnson prepares a new push for nuclear power, the £131bn problem of how to safely dispose of vast volumes of radioactive waste created by the last British atomic energy programme remains unsolved.

The hugely expensive and dangerous legacy of the UK’s 20th-century nuclear revolution amounts to 700,000 cubic metres of toxic waste – roughly the volume of 6,000 doubledecker buses. Much of it is stored at Sellafield in Cumbria, which the Office for Nuclear Regulation says is one of the most complex and hazardous nuclear sites in the world.

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