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Green light for transfer of spent nuclear fuel from Dounreay (Eco news)


Green light for transfer of spent nuclear fuel from Dounreay
John O'Groat Journal reported

THE quango in charge of cleaning up the UK’s civil reactor sites has given the green light for the transfer of spent fuel from Dounreay to Sellafield in Cumbria.

Anti-nuclear organisations are against the proposed rail haulage of the highly radioactive material, due to get under way next summer.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority okayed the plans to move loads from the former UKAEA reactor sites at Dounreay and Harwell for reprocessing at Sellafield.

Friends of the Earth Scotland has condemned the movements as unnecessary and exposing the public to unacceptable risks of an accident or sabotage in transit.

The Dounreay material comprises 44 tonnes of uranium plutonium fuel used to power the DFR reactor. While 33 tonnes has still to be extracted from the reactor, 11 tonnes has been removed and is being made ready to be transported.

There would be about 50 movements over five years of the fuel flasks on the 300-plus mile journey from Caithness to Cumbria.

The haulage would be carried out by Direct Rail Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NDA.

Claiming the movements are the best environmental option, the NDA maintains the transport of nuclear material to and from UK has an exemplary safety record.

A spokesman said: “Nuclear materials are transported on a daily basis across the UK and it has an excellent safety record.

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