BUILDINGS housing nuclear waste at Sellafield are in such poor condition, they pose a risk to people and the environment, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The NAO said operators at the West Cumbrian plant had failed to properly plan for the disposal of radioactive waste over the past 50 years.

Coun Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Council’s portfolio holder for nuclear issues, said: “The report is a clarion call for immediate change and is completely separate from the quest for a deep geological repository to store high-level radioactive waste, which is likely to take decades. Any prospect of decades of concern and uncertainty about whether Sellafield’s waste is safe is simply unacceptable.”

Dr Ruth Balogh, of West Cumbria and North Lakes Friends of the Earth, said: “The UK’s failure to deal with highly hazardous nuclear waste at Sellafield is a national scandal that poses a significant risk to local people and the environment.

“The Government has completely ignored the urgent need for interim measures to deal with this radioactive waste.

“Instead, millions of pounds of public money has been spent trying to locate a disposal facility in Cumbria, near the Lake District National Park, where the geology is unsuitable.

“We shouldn’t build any new nuclear reactors in the UK if we can’t deal with the radioactive mess that’s already been created.”