LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Radioactive nuclear waste could be permanently stored deep underneath national parks after British lawmakers approved a new plan, local media reported Tuesday.
The move means protected areas including national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) would be potential sites for the construction of waste disposal facilities.
In order to find a proper store place for the nuclear waste in Britain, which is currently stored at surface sites across the country, the government launched a new plan earlier this year and put it under scrutiny by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.
After hearing evidence from key stakeholders, the committee has released a report in which they refuse to rule out protected areas as potential dumping sites.
The committee said they supported the government's view "that it is conceivable for a geological disposal infrastructure to be designed in a way that would be acceptable to communities, preserve the socioeconomic benefits that national parks and AONBs currently bring them and avoid any intrusive surface facility in conservation areas."
Environmental groups have reacted with horror to the decision, pointing to the damage such facilities could cause to areas of pristine landscape.
Nuclear reactors generate almost a fifth of Britain's electricity, but almost half of the current infrastructure will no longer be in use by 2025 as old plants are decommissioned.
Getting rid of radioactive waste is a tricky business, and some of the wilder suggestions in the past have included dumping it in the sea and blasting it into space.