Greenham Common-style protests could spring up across the country if the Government gives the green light for under-ground disposal of nuclear waste, campaigners have warned.

They believe grassroot groups opposed to radioactive dumping in their locality are likely to emerge when potential sites are identified.

Government support for a new generation of nuclear power stations may also fuel the creation of new opposition groups.

"There is a possibility that it could come back again," said John Nott, a fundraiser with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

"Once the Government starts making specific proposals that could happen. In the 1980s there were a lot of independent campaigns against specific plans. That would be likely to happen again.

"We hope the Government will see sense and scrap these plans."

Greenham Common became a world-famous symbol of grassroot opposition to 96 American nuclear cruise missiles being sited at an RAF base in Berkshire.

It began with a group of Welsh women who in 1981 created a "peace camp" at the base after their call for debate was ignored and lasted 19 years.

CND campaigner Monica Frisch, who now sits on the group's national executive, believes similar protests could be effective in the future.

And she claimed the Anti-Nuclear Campaign - a group that practically disbanded after the Chernobyl disaster shelved plans for future nuclear plants - may be reactivated.

"I remember being an activist in the North-east in 1978 and there was a plan for the Cheviot Hills to be used as a nuclear waste burial site," said the 54 year old.

"That went to a public enquiry in 1980 because there was a lot of local opposition. A year later the Government scraped plans to use it for high level nuclear waste.

"Local opposition had something to do with that."

Ms Frisch, who now lives in Cambridge, said there was a lot of speculation about potential nuclear dumping sites in the 1980s.

"As a result, there were a lot of anti-nuclear groups around the country at the time who were active in their own areas.

" There are protest groups at the moment but they are more diffuse.

"If everyone was campaigning as one big organisation it would be very impressive. But just because there is not one big organisation doesn't mean there are less people campaigning."

Ms Frisch claims though not so vocal in recent years, there exists a lot of people across the country who share her anti-nuclear views.

"For me and for a lot of people in the CND the issue is not about the threat of nuclear war, it is about the immorality of nuclear weapons.

"They don't prevent wars, if anything, they make the world a more dangerous place."