United Kingdom- Plutonium Investigation n°3

MOX Fabrication

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.

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