A pressure group wants more public consultation on nuclear waste being stored in the district.

The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) claims the site of Bradwell Power Station, Downhall Beach, is in danger of becoming a “regional store for nuclear waste”, after site managers Magnox were given permission to proceed with their planning application, without needing an environmental impact assessment.

Magnox asked Essex County Council in January whether it needed to draw up a full environmental assessment on plans to import nuclear waste from other power stations.

In February it was told the application was not “significant” enough to require a formal assessment.

This would see intermediate level waste (ILW) stored at Bradwell, from sites at Dungeness A and Sizewell A, which the company claim would save £200million of taxpayers’ money.

BANNG believes this move need “proper public consultation” and there should be no change from the policy of each site managing its own waste.

It claims “serious problems” would be raised by the transfer and that the site is vulnerable to flooding and inappropriate to store nuclear waste.

Group chairman Professor Andy Blowers said: “Storage should be perceived as long-term, requiring a proper siting process that includes wide engagement and public consultation.

“A piecemeal and ad hoc approach should not be taken- which is what this is.”

BANNG wants ECC to retain the planning restrictions on the transfer of ILW, saying the situation has not changed from 2004 when the restrictions were imposed on the site.

Professor Blowers said: “This is a controversial issue and there is a need for proper public consultation and BANNG will be pushing for this.”

The group are further protesting about lack of consultation on radioactive discharges from the dissolving fuel element debris into the Blackwater.

BANNG’s vice-chairman Barry Turner said: “The former power station cannot enter its care and maintenance phase until the dissolution of FED has finished.

“We do not gain any reassurance or confidence from this unsatisfactory state of affairs while they experiment with the estuary, radioactive substances and discharges.”

A Magnox spokesman said: "Magnox has revised its strategy for safely dealing with waste following extensive dialogue over three years with local communities and key stakeholders. We plan further engagement during the next few months as our plans progress.

"We are now in the process of applying for the necessary planning permissions to implement our strategy. The decision on whether an environmental impact assessment was needed at Bradwell rested with the local planning authority.

"Our revised proposals will save around £200 million of taxpayers’ money across the whole fleet, and will not compromise safety, security or the environment. They will offer significant benefits associated with reduced construction works at the other sites. "