Experts say that the site of the current Hunterston B power station could be available for use again in around 90 years.

Details of the upcoming decommissioning process for the nuclear site have been revealed as part of a public consultation over the next stage of the power station site’s life.

Defuelling of the site is currently under way, with decommissioning expected to start in 2025/26 and it will take around 12 years to demolish the majority of buildings.

A long period of inactivity, thought to be around 70 years, will follow before the remaining site will be decommissioned and potentially ready for reuse.

Following defuelling, operators EDF will hand over responsibility to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The authority’s subsidiary Magnox will deliver decommissioning activities for the decades to come.

A report drawn up for the consultation reveals that a giant ‘safestore’ will be created from the existing reactor building, which can shield decaying radioactive materials for up to 100 years.

It says: "Buildings and structures will be demolished to ground level, with basement areas and tunnels backfilled and regraded using material produced from the decommissioning process.

"The reactor buildings will remain on site and will be enclosed within a safestore, to enable the decay of residual radioactive materials to a level that is safe for final deconstruction and removal.

"Offshore, in the Firth of Clyde, the power station’s cooling water infrastructure will also be decommissioned."

The report says that it is proposed that the intake and jetty are removed to seabed level and that the tunnels are left below the seabed. Meanwhile new buildings may have to be built.

The document says: "Some new construction may be required for waste management, processing and packaging, and existing buildings, on the A or B sites, will be refurbished for this purpose where appropriate."

Two facilities will be required to process ‘intermediate and low level’ waste from the site. Members of the public are being invited to give their views on the plans.

Feedback is being accepted until September 19 and people can find out more at power-stations/hunterston-b.

Print copies of the consultation documents can also be viewed at the libraries in Fairlie, Millport, Largs and West Kilbride.

Station director Joe Struthers said: “We understand that now generation has ended people will have questions about what will happen next at the site.

“We want to take this opportunity to try and answer some of those questions and to hear from people in nearby communities.

“These views will help to inform the decommissioning proposals which will be submitted to the Office for Nuclear Regulation for approval before decommissioning can proceed.

“We want to make this consultation as accessible as possible so as well as a series of community events and the ability to respond by post, we also have a virtual exhibition which people can visit to view all of the relevant documents and to feedback.”