A regional council in the UK has given planning permission for the construction of two new vaults and the extension of a third vault at the low-level radioactive waste repository near Drigg, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said.

NDA noted that the repository expansion project will ensure the future of the facility until 2050. The NDA said it expects work to begin in 2017. Planning permission also allows the construction of a final cap over existing and new vaults and seven clay-lined trenches, where waste was disposed of before the first engineered vault opened 1988. The repository was opened in 1957 as the only UK location for the disposal of solid waste containing low levels of radioactivity. It receives waste from a range of producers, including nuclear power stations, defence establishments, general industry, hospitals and universities.

The NDA said more than GBP100m $131m) has been invested in the site’s infrastructure over the past decade to maintain it as an important national asset.