The firm running Sellafield nuclear power station is to be prosecuted over allegations that it sent bags of low-level radioactive waste to a nearby landfill site, it was confirmed today.
Sellafield Limited faces eight charges brought by the Environment Agency and one brought by the Office for Nuclear Regulation relating to an alleged incident in 2010.
The Environment Agency said the joint action followed "an extensive investigation which has led to allegations that the company sent and disposed of four bags of low-level radioactive waste from its site in west Cumbria to Lillyhall landfill site in nearby Workington in 2010."
Responding to the announcement a spokesperson from West Cumbria and North Lakes Friends of the Earth said: "It's shocking that Sellafield seems to have breached these statutory limits, whether through incompetence or not.
"The government and the nuclear industry must recognise the importance and complexity of the nuclear waste issue and deal with its many problems at the Sellafield site, rather than focusing attention on the plan to bury radioactive waste in West Cumbria, which is doomed to failure."
In a statement on its website Sellafield said: "The Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive have summoned us to attend Workington magistrates' court in relation to offences arising from the consignment of waste bags to Lillyhall in April 2010.
"As this matter is subject to court proceedings we are unable to comment further at this stage."
The case will come before Workington magistrates' court next month.