Even though no power plant unit will use MOX fuel, the UK is constructing
an industrial MOX fabrication complex. BNFL already operates a demonstration
MOX fuel plant at Sellafield, called MOX Demonstration Facility (MDF).
Most of the MOX has been produced for a Swiss utility and was transported
by aeroplane to Switzerland from a local commercial airport at Carlisle.
BNFL has also been building a large 120 tonne per year MOX fabrication
plant which is in its final construction stage. An initial public consultation
was held at the beginning of 1997. The Environment Agency, to which
BNFL has submitted the licensing application in November 1996, has requested
an independent assessment of the "economic case for operating" the plant.
This assessment was opened to another public consultation on 19 January
1998 for two months (see box page 4). A public consultation concerning
application to modify BNFL's radioactive discharge licenses (mainly
upwards) is also being conducted currently.