A VILLAGE near Ilminster could have turned into a dumping ground for the nation's nuclear waste, it was revealed this week.

Secret files released under the Freedom of Information Act show RNAS Merryfield, near Ilton, was among 537 locations UK-wide considered for a radioactive waste repository during the 1980s.

The list of possible sites was drawn up by Nirex, an organisation established in 1982 to research, develop, and operate radioactive waste disposal facilities on behalf of the nuclear power industry.

The Ministry of Defence-owned airfield was considered in December 1984, before being ruled out of contention for the dubious honour on geological grounds. The search for a repository was abandoned in 1997, but the possibility of RNAS Merryfield being considered again has not been ruled out.