Fears over nuclear waste plans

HIGHLY radioactive spent fuel from the Sizewell B nuclear power station could be stored in containers in a massive new building on the site.

HIGHLY radioactive spent fuel from the Sizewell B nuclear power station could be stored in containers in a massive new building on the site.

British Energy, part of EDF energy, has outlined plans to build a dry storage building to manage the power station's spent fuel from 2015.

The company has submitted an application to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for permission to build the facility near Sizewell B on the north Suffolk coast.

At the moment, spent fuel is kept in a fuel storage pond, which is expected to provide capacity until about 2015. If the application for the new dry fuel store is permitted, it will be built on the existing site and store spent fuel from 2015.


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The idea of a new fuel store was tabled last year and British Energy carried out a consultation before submitting finalised plans to the DECC this week.

However, local anti-nuclear campaigners have hit out at the proposals and said that anything which prolongs the life of the power station should be prevented.

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Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, said: “We are against any extension to the life of Sizewell B, and any plans to continue its life are rather lamentable. The spent fuel is highly radioactive and remains so for hundreds of thousands of years. There is no repository for spent fuel anywhere in the world, so it has to be stored on the site, meaning that Sizewell becomes a radioactive nuclear dump.

“It is really incredible that nuclear power is still being considered as an option when there are so many alternatives available - wind, wave, tidal and solar - which do not produce any dangerous waste.” A spokesman for British Energy said: “This is a mature technology, tried and tested all over the world.

“As part of this process the spent fuel is placed in a welded metal canister, cleaned and then placed within a large concrete cask. These casks are then stored in the dry fuel store.”

The proposed building is estimated to have a capacity to store about 3,500 individual fuel units in up to 200 containers. This would be sufficient to cover a potential 60-year lifetime for the power station

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