July 1999

British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to consult public on future of DOUNREAY reprocessing

Edited from the NFLAs press release

[Posted 28/07/1999]

In his last decision as Energy minister, before being replaced by Helen Liddell in UK ministerial reshuffle on 28 July, John Battle agreed 27 July to consult the public on future UKAEA proposals for the management of used nuclear fuel at Dounreay. This concession comes in a letter to the UK Nuclear Free Local Authorities, which have been pressing for this over the last year on behalf of their 17 Scottish and 100+ UK local authority members.

To resume reprocessing, the UKAEA needs up to 100 million for a new dissolver for its D1206 reprocessing plant and for investment in safety. The UKAEA must persuade its sponsoring Department, the DTI, to make this investment and it is the UKAEA's proposals to the DTI that the public will be consulted on when they have been finalised. If the dissolver is not replaced, plutonium-recovery from reprocessing used (spent) nuclear fuel at Dounreay will be over and different ways of managing waste fuel currently on the site will have to be considered.

it is believed that this is the first time that DTI will have consulted the public on a specific investment decison involving
the nuclear industry.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities oppose resuming reprocessing at Dounreay on environmental, proliferation and cost grounds.

*For more information, please phone Jamie Woolley,
Legal Adviser, Nuclear Free Local Authorities on: + 44 114 220 4452

Copies of the relevant correspondence are available on request.

*J.K.Woolley, Solicitor, LLB (Hons), MA (Environmental Law) Legal Adviser, Nuclear Free Local Authorities (UK) Solicitors Office 2-10 Carbrook Hall Road, Sheffield S9 2DB, England
Tel +44 114 220 4452 or 273 5920
Fax +44 114 220 4452 (prior alert by tel)

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