The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority told Prime Minister Gordon Brown today that it expects to nominate land next to Sellafield as a potential site for nuclear new build.
The NDA told the PM, during his visit to the power station as part of a tour of Cumbria, that it will submit plans under the Government's Strategic Siting Assessment process, which identifies suitable sites for nuclear power stations.
The move is designed to enhance the value of the land and help generate income to help fund the UK's vast decommissioning process.
The nomination, supported by economic agencies West Lakes Renaissance and Cumbria Vision, will be submitted to the Department of Environment and Climate Change in mid 2009.
The NDA hopes to secure one or possibly two new reactors on the land and said there was enough reprocessed fuel currently in storage at Sellafield to power two reactors for up to 60 years, making the site "self sustainable" and saving more than £2bn. Using reprocessed fuel could generate up to £20bn of inward investment without the need for Government funding and avoid the creation of 0.5bn tonnes of CO2.
Sellafield is home to around 50% of the UK's civil nuclear workforce.