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NDA has responsibility for the following

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) also has responsibility for the following:

* AGR spent fuel reprocessed so far                  2,300 tonnes
* AGR contracted to be reprocessed                  2,500 tonnes
* AGR spent fuel un-contracted                          4,100 tonnes
* Overseas oxide fuel still to be reprocessed         600 tonnes
* Exotic Fuels                                                           150 tonnes (1)

Nuclear dump under fire

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RESIDENTS have slammed plans for a nuclear waste dump on their doorstep. The proposals, which would see an underground storage facility built between Millom and Whitehaven, were discussed at a drop-in session yesterday.

The session, organised by the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely Partnership, took place in Millom Network Centre and was attended by more than 100 people. The partnership was formed in 2008 after the government launched a search for an underground storage facility for nuclear waste.

Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council are so far the only authorities to register their interest. However, the decision on whether to have the facility rests with the public. The site would be situated between 200m and 1,000m below the surface and despite an initial geological survey being completed, no potential sites would be named for another five to 10 years. Millom hosted the first of 10 drop-in sessions to gauge public opinion to the sch…

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Full investigation is under way

Whitehaven NewsThe four Thorp workers said they felt unwell while working on a chemical pumping system and were kept in hospital for observation. The men have since returned home.

Thorp was still shut down at the time for routine maintenance, as part of which work was taking place to replace a stand-by pump in the chemical plants.

A Sellafield spokesman said: “This is a routine operation which has been undertaken on many occasions using the same methodology without complication.

“There has been no release of radioactivity and extensive checks undertaken have confirmed that all plant parameters are normal. Any incident that compromises the health and safety of the workforce very seriously.”

The company said a full investigation is under way.

Worst-case scenario sheer quantity of radioactivity that might be released

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B215 is just one of the many unprepossessing structures that make up the vast nuclear reprocessing complex at Sellafield in Cumbria. Inside, however, are 21 concrete and steel tanks containing more than 1500 cubic metres of high-level radioactive liquid waste.

Reprocessing involves dissolving old fuel rods in acid and extracting the plutonium. The leftover liquid, which contains a mixture of wastes including caesium-137, is stored in the tanks in B215. It is so radioactive that the tanks have to be constantly cooled to prevent their contents from boiling and leaking out.

No one can be sure what would happen if a hijacked airliner plunged into B215. But the impact would almost certainly break open some of the tanks. The accompanying explosion would fling a plume of radioactivity into the atmosphere, according to Gordon Thompson, executive director of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Afterwards, the burning fuel would continue to pump radioact…

Removing Sellafield nuclear waste is priority, says Cumbria council

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Removing radioactive material from legacy ponds at Sellafield should be the top priority for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Cumbria County Council says.
The council has responded to the authority’s second five-year strategy, which takes effect from April 2011. Councillors are concerned about the potential risk from toxic decaying fuel rods and contaminated metal and cladding stored underwater at Sellafield in buildings such as B30 and B38.

These will have to be removed by robots then vitrified for long-term storage. The council’s response, approved by its ruling cabinet yesterday, says: “Driving down risk to ‘tolerable’ levels must be the main priority. “The greatest risks are associated with the legacy ponds and silos on the Sellafield site.
“Cumbria County Council considers that retrieval of unconditioned mobile wastes from ageing legacy facilities is a critical, time-urgent issue that must continue to be supported by adequate Government funding.”
It adds: “L…

The nuclear industry plays a major role in Sellafield

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Cumbria County Council's Cabinet is encouraging the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to work in closer partnership with the county council and local people to ensure continued public confidence in the Sellafield site over the next decade, particularly as reprocessing operations wind down.

In its response to the NDA's consultation on its business strategy for the next five years, Cumbria County Council stresses that investment in the local community, as required by the Energy Act 2004, will continue to be essential.

The council's response underlines that the NDA has made significant progress in defining the decommissioning and site restoration tasks across its estate, but the Sellafield site continues to face significant challenges in the future. The reduction and stabilisation of the most hazardous wastes at Sellafield must continue to be the first site restoration priority. Sufficient funding will need to follow to ensure that risks can be reduced in an acce…

Plutonium

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On February 17, 2005, the UK Atomic Energy Authority reported that 29.6 kg (65.3 lb) of plutonium was unaccounted for in auditing records at the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. The operating company, the British Nuclear Group, described this as a discrepancy in paper records and not as indicating any physical loss of material.

In worst case

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