September 2003

Bid to store more waste at Sellafield

The Whitehaven News, September 18, 2003

Original address:

[Posted 18/09/2003]

BNFL has put forward proposals to store radioactive waste from nuclear submarines at Sellafield.

The Ministry of Defence says that five companies and consortiums have submitted outline plans on how to deal with the waste material and will be holding public presentations.

The companies are competing for a contract to store seven reactors from out-of-service submarines currently stor-ed at the Royal Navy shipyard at Rosyth in Fife and at Devonport.

State owned BNFL believes that its expertise in this area and the spare capacity offered by a new water inlet facility at the West Cumbrian site will help it clinch the contract.

The facility at Sellafield was built earlier this year specifically to store material from the MoD’s nuclear propulsion programme.

Spokesman Jamie Reed said: “We are one of five companies to respond to the Ministry of Defence’s invitation, but as we understand it, no decision will be taken on the method of storage or the site until a public consultation has taken place.”

An MoD spokesman stressed the consultation process was still ongoing. He said: “The companies will carry out a series of presentations with the local communities near to the sites proposed.

“Once that is done, over the coming months, we will then take everyone’s views and determine which proposal warrants further develop-ment. That process will take place early in 2004.”

A spokeswoman from anti-nuclear group Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (Core) said that Sellafield was running the risk of becoming a dumping ground for the world.

“We do not want them. It just shows that if the Sellafield plant ends up not working, it will just become the dumping ground for the rest of the world and for the rest of the country.

“They’ve got to realise that we’ve had our share here and our backyard is full.”

Companies interested in storing the reactors are Devonport Royal Dockyard; British Nuclear Fuels; Babcock Support Services and Motherwell Bridge Nuclear; Sir Robert McAlpine and Serco Assurance, Parsons Brincker-hoff and RWE Nukem.

A final decision will not be made for at least three years.

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