Allerdale Borough Council looks set to formally respond to the Government’s consultation on how it proposes to evaluate potential host locations for its controversial nuclear waste store.

The executive will meet later this week to discuss the hunt for multi-million Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) re-launched at the end of last year.

Members will be asked to agree to the draft response and then submit it to Radioactive Waste Management - an organisation established by the Government to plan and deliver the nuclear waste store.

The report from Richard Griffin, the council’s nuclear policy manager, will go before the council’s decision-making body on Friday.

He said: “There are only two options – we either respond or we do not. There is no impact on the Authority from either option but, given our extensive experience of these issues from our involvement in the last GDF siting process and from our close proximity to the Sellafield site, it would seem to be a wasted opportunity if we were not to respond.”

Geological experts would first have to rigorously assess any site’s suitability and the people would have the final say – possibly in a referendum.

Expressions of interest from landowners, including district authorities, would trigger the forming of a community partnership.

But only organisations within the partnership would have a say, so a council choosing not to be a member would have no power of veto.

But Allerdale council’s response also revealed that the council has several unanswered questions and concerns about the process.

It said: “The proposed process is unclear as to how it would manage a situation where RWM spend years in discussions with a potential host community and then, say ten years down the line, a part of West Cumbria expresses interest in possibly hosting a GDF? Would the West Cumbrian Community immediately become the front runner? Would the process be paused until they had caught up? How much money are RWM/Government prepared to waste before they stop pretending all communities are equal?”

The authority also wants more information about how a nuclear waste is viewed internationally, and greater use of “easily understandable maps and graphics” as well as the use of “non-technical language”.

Because the waste is already stored in West Cumbria, in neighbouring Copeland, Allerdale will be affected regardless of the outcome.

The plans caused huge controversy in West Cumbria when first mooted, before being rejected by Cumbria County Council in 2013.

Public opinion was split at the time, with geologists and environmental campaigners making impassioned pleas to reject the plans.

The nuclear waste repository could potentially be based anywhere in Wales, Northern Ireland or England.

At this stage no sites have been earmarked for the huge storage vaults which would be built many hundreds of metres beneath the ground - a major undertaking creating hundreds of jobs and taking many decades.

The Government re-launched a public consultation in response to claims communities were not sufficiently involved last time around and that the process had not been clearly explained.