Thirteen Midland locations are back on the table to become dumping grounds for nuclear waste.

The sites, 12 of them in Warwickshire and one in Solihull, were first identified for underground burial of radioactive material in 1990 but ruled out due to public outcry at the time.

However, earlier this year the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoWRM) recommended underground disposal as the best way forward for the disposal of nuclear waste, following a three-year study.

The Government is widely expected to endorse the CoWRM's findings this month which, according to campaigners, puts the 13 locations back in the front line.

They believe a plot of land in Hams Hall near Coleshill in Warwickshire could be identified as one of the most likely spots for the country's main nuclear burial ground due to its proximity to the M42, M6 and the M6 Toll.

Those in Warwickshire are Bearley, Bramcote, Gaydon Airfield, Hams Hall, Wroxall, Kineton, Kingsbury, Lawford Heath, Long Marston Airfield, Long Marston Depot, Wedgnock and Wellesbourne Airfield, along with Meriden in Solihull.

They were primarily selected due to the geological suitability for high to medium level nuclear waste disposal.

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Last night Nirex, the Government-owned company responsible for the management of radioactive waste, claimed any new selection process would start from scratch with public consultation.

However, the Oxfordshirebased firm admitted geology would play a key part in the decision, sparking renewed concern over the choice of sites.

Nathan Argent, an anti-nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace, said: "Government acceptance of CoWRM's recommendations will mean organisations like Nirex will have to go back and revisit the sites to see if they are still suitable.

"It may mean the list will be even longer depending on what the new criteria is."

Greenpeace believes burying radioactive waste is unsafe in the long term and could prove fatal to future generations.

"If something goes wrong, you can't get to it if it is underground," said Mr Argent.

"A waste dump is about one kilometre underground. Radioactive waste remains hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years. If you put it underground and it starts to leak it is almost impossible to deal with. We think that is unacceptable."

According to local Green-peace activists, Hams Hall - home to international companies including Birds Eye Walls, BMW, Chubb and Sainsbury's - was whittled down from an initial list of 537 possible sites earmarked by

Nirex as among the most suitable. However, Nirex claims neither Hams Hall nor any other site in the West Midlands featured on its shortlist of the ten most suitable locations in the UK.

John Dalton, spokesman for Nirex, said: "The key thing to note is the fact that the old site list was done 20 years ago.

"Things have changed dramatically since that was done. The fact that you were on the old list is irrelevant."

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