The UK will make the world’s largest shipment of weapons-grade uranium as it steps up attempts to clear nuclear material from Scotland. Under a deal with the Obama administration, Britain will ship 700kg of highly enriched uranium from the Dounreay nuclear facilities in Scotland to the US, where it will be processed for medical use and returned to Europe. The deal comes as Barack Obama gives a final push towards improving the security of nuclear materials, which he signalled in 2009 would be an important strand of his administration. It will be announced at the president’s final nuclear security summit on Thursday in Washington, which will be attended by heads of government including the UK’s David Cameron. “It is an opportunity for us to show some leadership to the rest of the world,” said a British official. The UK has a n undisclosed quantity of highly enriched uranium stored at Sellafield in Cumbria and in Dounreay in the Scottish Highlands. Dounreay is due to be closed by 2030, enabling the wider area to be cleaned up. Under the deal to be announced on Thursday, the US will not charge for processing the waste. It will return uranium in a different form, together with some of its own nuclear waste, to the European Atomic Energy Community’s facilities in France, where it will be available for medical use by EU countries.
FT 31st March 2016 read more »
David Cameron is to announce plans for the largest ever shipment of nuclear waste from the UK to the United States. In return, the US will send highly enriched uranium to Europe where it will be used to help diagnose cancer. The prime minister will make the announcement in Washington at a summit on civil nuclear security. The BBC’s James Landale said the PM’s aim was to show that it is possible to think differently about how to dispose of nuclear waste. One British official, he added, described the agreement as a landmark win-win deal. Mr Cameron will tell world leaders in Washington that Britain will transport 700 kilograms of highly enriched uranium to the US. Officials said this would be the largest ever such movement of nuclear waste, which the US has more capacity to store and process. In return, a different form of used uranium will be transported from America to the European Atomic Energy agency (Euratom) where it will be turned into radio isotopes that are used to detect and diagnose cancer. At the fourth Nuclear Security summit, to be chaired by US President Barack Obama, Mr Cameron will also announce Britain and the US are to hold a joint exercise to test both countries’ ability to prevent cyber attacks on their nuclear stations and waste facilities.
BBC 31st March 2016 read more »
Independent 31st March 2016 read more »