NUCLEAR waste will not be stored in mid Cheshire’s salt mines and cavities.

A Government invitation to store radioactive waste underground was turned down by Vale Royal Borough Council at a meeting on Thursday.

DEFRA is looking for communities willing to host ‘geological disposal sites’ for such material but a report to the borough council’s executive committee states that there is nowhere suitable in Vale Royal.

Clr Arthur Wood, a member of the executive group, said: “If there was ever a suggestion of this people locally would, quite rightly, be up in arms.

“But the executive decided that conditions in mid Cheshire were not suitable and do not match the criteria.”

The report said the council had received enquiries from official bodies and consultants so had to show evidence it had considered the issue.

It states that the area’s operational rock salt mine, Salt Union at Winsford, and the solution mined cavities, used mainly for gas storage and brine production, may be seen as suitable.

But it goes on to say that there are no salt domes, which are the Government’s ideal solution, and that areas used for gas storage should be excluded.

It states: “The geological repositories that are formed through mined rock salt extraction and solution mining are not thought to be suitable for the storage of wastes of this type, either because the beds are too shallow or because the cavities are used, or are planned to be used, for gas storage.”

It recommended that the council should not express an interest in hosting a disposal facility for radioactive wastes and the executive committee agreed.