CAMPAIGNERS opposed to nuclear weapons and power say questions must be asked over the safety and cost of waste from disused nuclear submarines being stored at Capenhurst.

Last week the plant - on the Wirral/Cheshire border - was one of five across the UK to be identified by the Ministry of Defence as potential sites to store the waste, with consultation due to take place later this year.

The sites, which are either owned by the MoD or the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, have been named as part of a major submarine dismantling project.

Merseyside Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said the announcement raises questions and concerns including: how the material will be safely transported, whether roads will have to be upgraded, who will be responsible for maintenance of storage areas and how much it will cost the taxpayer.

A spokesman said: “The prospect of radioactive material being kept at Capenhurst will no doubt worry those in the local community.

“What will happen to this waste once it has been realised there is no safe place it can be moved to?

“This proposal clearly shows the link between nuclear weapons and nuclear power, both of which present a great danger to us all.”

In a statement last week, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said: "This is another step towards a safe and sustainable solution for the disposal of radioactive waste from our submarine fleet.

"All of the potential sites have a proven track record in handling radioactive material in a safe and secure way.

"We are committed to an open and transparent process and over the next year we will be working closely with local communities near to the potential sites as part of the consultation before a final decision is made."

Capenhurst is on the shortlist along with Sellafield in West Cumbria,  Atomic Weapons Establishments at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, and Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire.