FEARS that there will be an increase in the amount of radioactive waste transported to and from Hunterston B power station by road have been played down by plant owners EDF Energy this week.

In a story published in a Sunday newspaper, it was revealed that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has launched a public consultation on allowing the nuclear power generator to transport radioactive waste between its nuclear power stations at Hunterston and Torness in East Lothian.

Critics say this will mean more waste containers travelling across Scotland’s Central Belt – increasing the risk of accidents.

Pete Roche, an energy consultant and former government radiation adviser based in Edinburgh, warned a national newspaper: “Transporting nuclear waste is always going to be a risk, so the more you transport it, the greater the danger.” He described the plan as a “nightmare vision”.

But a spokesperson for EDF Energy said: “This change is purely a practical one to facilitate more flexible disposals by allowing waste to be collected temporarily at one site before being sent for disposal to an authorised facility.

“The Scottish environmental regulator SEPA authorises the routes for the disposal of low level radioactive waste from Hunterston B and Torness nuclear power stations.

“This low level waste consists of items like industrial clothing, waste paper and cardboard, plastic, metals and oils.

“This change could also lead to environmental benefits by allowing recycling or incineration through commercial treatment and disposal routes.

The consultation document can be downloaded from the SEPA website at sepa.org.uk/about_us/consultations.aspx.

The closing date for comments is October 3.