of Separated Plutonium"
The Royal Society
14 pages, February 1998
Price : £12
In late 1996, a Working Group of the Royal Society Scientific Aspects
of International Security Group (SAIS) was established by the Royal
Society Council to undertake a scoping study on the status of the scientific
basis for management of civil plutonium in the UK. The working group
is comprised of former industry members, including a former Deputy Chairman
of UKAEA and a former Deputy Chief Executive of BNFL, and other scientists.
Here are some highlights of the group's stunning critique of the British
"The current stockpiling policy should not be maintained without
careful study of alternative policies."
"The present lack of strategic direction for dealing with civil
plutonium is disturbing. The Society urges the Government to commission
a comprehensive review by independent experts of the options outlined
above, covering technical, economic, environmental and security
aspects, energy policy issues and taking account of public acceptability
and of the opportunity costs of each option."
"The stockpile of separated civil plutonium at Sellafield poses
a greater security threat than would spent fuel".
"The surest anti-proliferation measure is to stop reprocessing
spent fuel and to reduce the quantity of separated plutonium in
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