Bosses at the site have applied to the Environment Agency for a review of its permits “given the projected reduction in radiological discharges”. The reprocessing mission is set to be completed in 2020, with the role changing to one of “decommissioning and environmental remediation.” The Environment Agency has the power to grant permits allowing Sellafield to operate facilities leading to “radioactive” discharges. David Moore, nuclear portfolio-holder for Copeland council, described the move as a “good news story” which showed “confidence” that discharges were dropping. He said: “One of the biggest issues has been discharges in the Irish Sea, but this has started to reduce. I think it is notable that we have had no complaints lately from Ireland and Norway. It is right that we get the [radiation warning] levels set right.” The proposed changes include the removal of specified site limits, which would see the “minimum number” of limits introduced.
NW Evening Mail 25th Dec 2018 read more »
Adam Vaughan’s excellent assessment of the long-term, expensive failure of the reprocessing ‘atomic adventure’ at Sellafield suggests that the plutonium extracted by using the recently closed Thermal Oxide (Thorp) reprocessing plant was extracted “for bombs.” I have no doubt Sellafield’s owners, the state-owned Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), would deny this. However the truth is complex, but very important, and has significant Brexit fallout complications. Under a new so-called “voluntary safeguards agreement (VOA) signed on 7 June this year between the UK and the UN international watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to replace the existing trilateral agreements between UK-IAEA and the EU nuclear watchdog body, Euratom, under Brexit arrangements, it includes in its very first article, the following exclusion: “The United Kingdom shall accept the application of safeguards, in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, on all source or special fissionable material in facilities or parts thereof within the United Kingdom, subject to exclusions for national security reasons only, with a view to enabling the Agency to verify that such material is not, except as provided for in this Agreement, withdrawn from civil activities.”
David Lowry’s Blog 24th Dec 2018 read more »