Environment Secretary David Miliband has moved to quell fears that a nuclear waste dump could be built in the Warwickshire countryside.

Mr Miliband said the Government would not "force" on communities deep underground bunkers that would store Britain’s nuclear waste.

His comments follow concern by environmental campaigners that 12 locations previously earmarked as potential burial sites in the county are back on the table.

The locations include Hams Hall which is home to a number of corporations, including Sainsbury and Birds Eye which have food storage depots there.

They were initially identified, along with Meriden in Solihull, 16 years ago by nuclear waste management firm Nirex because of their geological suitability.

But the plans were shelved due to lack of support for underground disposal of toxic radioactive waste produced by the country's 16 nuclear reactors.

This summer saw a shift in attitude, however, following a report by the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoWRM) which claimed burying the material was the best solution.

Last week Mr Miliband challenged local authorities to come forward with sites that would be suitable for the project and offered cash incentives for councils which co-operated.

Mr Miliband told The Birmingham Post the process would be conducted openly with full consultation.

He also rejected the list of 13 Midland sites that was drawn up by Nirex in 1990.

"We are not interested in forcing a waste site on any community.

"The sites that were previously identified were part of an old model – it is not a model of Government," he said.

The Government has already given the green light to build a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Campaigners say that will put the 13 West Midlands sites back in the front line.

Warwickshire locations previously considered under the Nirex plan include Bearley, Bramcote, Gaydon Airfield, Hams Hall, Wroxall, Kineton, Kingsbury, Lawford Heath, Long Marston Airfield, Long Marston Depot, Wedgnock and Wellesbourne Airfield.

Oxfordshire-based Nirex said the fact that a location featured on the original list was irrelevant.