Anger at new nuclear waste plan

ANTI nuclear power campaigners have blasted British Energy plans to build more spent fuel storage at Sizewell B.

Tom Potter

ANTI nuclear power campaigners have blasted British Energy plans to build more spent fuel storage at Sizewell B.

The energy giant is this month set to consult on proposals to build a new dry storage facility to manage the plant's spent fuel from 2015, when an existing fuel storage pond is due to reach capacity.

Under proposals, a 110 metre long dry storage unit, which the company says is the “most suitable option” for the plant, will be built on car parking spaces at the Sizewell site near Leiston.

But vocal campaigners say the move would increase the risk of nuclear disaster or terrorist attack and the subsequent danger of fallout.

Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shutdown Sizewell Campaign, said: “We are resolutely opposed to any extension of storing highly radioactive spent fuel on site at Sizewell.

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“It will increase first of all the possibility of a nuclear accident and secondly the very real risk of terrorist attack. Either of these events would result, depending on wind direction, in a radioactive cloud covering East Anglia.”

Under current arrangements, the fuel storage pond is likely to provide allowable capacity for spent fuel until around 2015.

With Sizewell B due to operate until 2035, and the possibility of life extension beyond that, British Energy must ensure a suitable plan is in place for managing spent fuel from 2015 onwards.

Following a Best Practicable Environmental Option study, the company chose the dry storage option over several alternatives, including reprocessing the fuel and creating new wet storage ponds, because it deems it “a safe, mature technology that requires very little bespoke design.”

But Mr Barnett argued there were other, safer options available for generating energy, saying: “We of course want to see the whole nuclear industry shut down, and it is folly to increase the hazard it already poses.

“We think there is more energy conservation and efficiency in environmentally benign sources of energy through wind, wave, solar and biomass power.”

Consultation on proposals, ahead of a final planning application in January, will be held at the United Church Hall, High Street, Leiston, from 1pm to 7.30pm on Tuesday, November 24 and from 9.30am to 2pm on Saturday, November 28.

For more information on the proposals and the consultation call 0800 9755852 or contact