Top military chiefs have been blasted for keeping the public in the dark over their Sellafield plans – and warned of the consequences of their continued secrecy.

The site has a contract to manage and treat historic waste, including weapons grade Plutonium as well as the legacy of nuclear subs, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

But councillors and industry bosses have expressed “frustration” at the MoD’s apparent

unwillingness to discuss details of their future involvement on the site with the wider community.

Copeland council’s nuclear portfolio-holder David Moore has written to MoD top brass to give them a shot across the bow over their lack of public engagement.

The move comes after MoD representatives were twice due to meet the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group only to cancel twice – the second time at very last minute.

However, it is understood that the project team were given very short notice of the invite to the last meeting and had to withdraw because they did not have enough time to prepare.

A department spokesman said the MoD understood the concerns raised and planned to have representives at the next ‘Spent Fuel Management and Nuclear Materials Working Group’ later this year.

Writing as the chairman of the west Cumbria site stakeholders, Mr Moore has outlined concerns over this lack of engagement to Sir Stephen Lovegrove, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.

He claimed that the Government department is also “reluctant” to talk about community benefit packages which the people of Cumbria are entitled to expect – and that this had to change if Sellafield Ltd was going to process MoD waste in the future.

The strongly-worded letter warns military bosses that it is “unlikely” that Sellafield would accept any more of their fuels in the future unless the MoD starts talking to the public.