Sellafield clean-up means another blank cheque for the nuclear industry

Posted by Richardg — 7 November 2012 at 12:32pm - Comments
A nuclear power plant at night

The cost of dealing with the UK's nuclear waste has risen by almost a billion pounds in just 12 months. It's yet another reason why we shouldn't build any new nuclear reactors.

It's official: nuclear recycling plant is a staggering waste of taxpayers' money

Posted by jossc — 7 April 2009 at 3:48pm - Comments


Backers of the controversial MOX plant at Sellafield, which promised to turn toxic waste into a useable fuel that could be sold worldwide, had claimed the plant would make a profit of more than £200m in its lifetime, producing 120 tonnes of recycled fuel a year.

But an investigation published in today's Independent newspaper reveals what the government has been trying to keep secret - that technical problems and a dearth in orders has meant it has produced just 6.3 tonnes of fuel since opening in 2001.

Since building work began in the 1990s the plant has absorbed over £1 billion in public subsidies - money which could have been far better invested in developing renewable energy projects.

Nuclear waste company says, "Whoops, some of our files are missing"

Posted by jamie — 17 February 2009 at 2:12pm - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers protest about plutonium shipments between the UK and Japan

Back in 1999, Greenpeace was protesting about plutonium shipments destined for the Mox plant at Sellafield. Now the plant may have to close © Greenpeace/Sims

In the 'funny if it weren't so scary' category we have the advert which ran last week in the Whitehaven News, the local paper for west Cumbria where Sellafield is to be found. As reported in the Guardian at the weekend, LLW Repository Ltd - the company which has recently taken over managing the site - have found there are significant holes in records detailing what radioactive waste was dumped in the repository at nearby Drigg; so they're appealing for people who worked at Sellafield in the 60s, 70s and 80s to rack their brains and fill in the gaps. 

More cracks appearing in nuclear waste plans

Posted by jamie — 26 August 2008 at 3:41pm - Comments

Some unsettling news appeared in the Independent over the weekend, which revealed that an Environment Agency report has said that containers at Sellafield (where most of the UK's waste is stored) may not be as stable as was thought. The document effectively destroys Britain's already shaky disposal plans just as ministers are preparing an expansion of nuclear power.

Big fat bribes for anyone willing to live with nuclear waste

Posted by jamie — 12 June 2008 at 3:01pm - Comments

We've known for quite some time that the government's preferred solution to that nagging problem of all the nuclear waste currently lying around the place is to dump it in a big hole in the ground. Nice. However, they've had trouble finding anywhere in the country which has been willing to live with this waste bubbling away beneath their feet but now they've come up with the perfect solution: bribery!

Black Tuesday blights Brown's nuclear vision

Posted by jossc — 29 May 2008 at 11:32am - Comments

Major ongoing problems at Sellafield have been hidden from the public

Sellafield: major ongoing problems have been hidden from the public

Yesterday, Gordon Brown felt compelled to go on the record to announce that the UK needs to not only maintain but to increase its nuclear power capacity. And yet the nuclear industry is not exactly hale and hearty because, let's face it, it's been a terrible week for the poor dears.

Looking back at the Windscale nuclear disaster, 50 years on

Posted by bex — 10 October 2007 at 12:18pm - Comments

Today is the official end of the government's nuclear "consultation" (more on that coming soon). It's also the 50th anniversary of the world's second biggest nuclear disaster - at Windscale, now known as Sellafield, in West Cumbria.

Jean McSorley, a nuclear consultant, has written about the disaster in today's Guardian. It's powerful stuff, so I'm posting an extract here:


"I opened the gag-port and there it was - a fire at the face of the reactor. I thought: 'Oh dear, now we are in a pickle.'" Those were the words of the late Arthur Wilson, the instrument technician who discovered the Windscale fire on October 10 1957, in No 1 of the twin plutonium piles. It signalled the beginning of the world's second biggest nuclear reactor accident.

Haven't we got enough already - why is more nuclear waste heading our way?

Posted by jossc — 1 October 2007 at 12:56pm - Comments

Despite the close attentions of coastguard ships and helicopters, not to mention an anti-terrorist task force, 30 Greenpeace activists in inflatable boats intercepted a British Nuclear Group ship this morning as it headed towards Sweden to pick up a cargo of nuclear waste. The intense level of protection around the Atlantic Osprey meant that its arrival was only delayed by an hour or so before docking at the nuclear facility at Studsvik, where it will pick up 4.8 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel, due for reprocessing at Sellafield's MAGNOX plant.

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