Nuclear Waste

The search for a location for a nuclear waste deep burial site is now expected to reopen in mid 2018. The process has been repeatedly delayed but the Times and Star now reports that the national geological screening report is due to be released soon. The report is supposed to identify areas of potentially suitable geology within the UK, however its neutrality has been brought into doubt since the project developer, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) has insisted on restricting the data sources from which it is derived and producing the narrative itself. Cumbria Trust is concerned that the vast quantity of data produced by the £400m Nirex investigation, which found Cumbria to be unsuitable, has to a large extent been excluded from this new report. While we have yet to see the new report, the process used to construct it does not inspire confidence. It will be very closely scrutinised by Cumbria Trust and the experts who advise us on its release. Worryingly, we have heard from a number of sources that Copeland have been showing a keen interest in volunteering before seeing the geological screening report. The whole idea behind the national survey was to encourage councils from potentially geologically suitable areas to volunteer, to avoid a rerun of the last failed search process in which Copeland and Allerdale were the only borough councils in the country to volunteer despite previously being declared unsuitable.

Cumbria Trust 13th Dec 2017 read more »

A new search to find a site to develop a geological disposal facility to store the UK’s high radioactive waste is expected to begin next year. Ann McCall, siting and engagement director for Radioactive Waste Management, told the Nuclear Industry Association annual conference in London that find a long-term and safe solution to storing waste, the vast majority of which is currently stored at the Sellafield site in West Cumbria, remained “mission critical” for the Government. She told delegates at the event in London that RWM hoped to launch the siting process, supported by a new “campaign” website focusing on the importance of geological disposal, after securing government sign-off to proceed. She confirmed consultations on a framework for future planning decisions and a new approach to working with local communities in the siting process will begin in the next few weeks. A national geological screening has been completed and outputs are being finalised.

Times and Star 11th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 13 December 2017


Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Draft Business Plan 2018 to 2021 consultation open until 4th February 2018.

NDA 11th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 December 2017

US – radwaste

Officials at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository are flipping the switch on an interim ventilation system this week, allowing mining to resume for the first time since a 2014 radiation release contaminated part of the facility. Still, they caution it will take a few years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars before the flow of air is enough to meet the pace of operations before the leak. Bruce Covert, president of the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for the federal government, said testing was done and the U.S. Energy Department approved starting up the air handling system.

SF Gate 11th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 12 December 2017


Workers at Dounreay nuclear plant are to be balloted from today on whether to strike over a pay row.

Energy Voice 8th Dec 2017 read more »

Posted: 8 December 2017


A framework agreement by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) has been secured by Wood to provide industrial services for the nuclear decommissioning site in Thurso.

Energy Voice 28th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 3 December 2017


US-based diversified energy technology company Holtec International has bought a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) from heavy lift systems specialist Enerpac Heavy Lifting Technology. The SPMT600 hauling transporter is being used to move spent nuclear fuel to EDF Energy’s new dry store at the Sizewell B nuclear facility in the UK.

KHL 30th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 1 December 2017


GMB members employed as ancillary staff by contractor Mitie at Sellafield to strike after management offer real terms pay cut. It is simply wrong that people doing hard, dirty and difficult graft at the sharp end on a nuclear plant should be in receipt of pay rates which many then have to supplement with in-work benefits says GMB. GMB, the union for nuclear contractor workers, has called a 24 hour strike of ancillary staff employed at Sellafield by private contractor Mitie after the company offered them a real terms pay cut.

GMB 24th Nov 2017 read more »

Thousands of staff at the Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria have walked out today in two separate strikes. The workers, including ancillary staff employed by Mitie, are taking part in the action, said the union GMB. Some 3,000 members directly employed by Sellafield Ltd walked again for 24 hours from 6.01am today (November 29) until 5.59am tomorrow (November 30). It is the third time they have taken industrial action amid a long running pay dispute dating back to July. In a separate dispute, around 300 staff employed by Mitie, according to the union some of the lowest paid workers on site, will also strike for the same period.

Business Desk 29th Nov 2017 read more »

Independent 29th Nov 2017 read more »

Energy Voice 29th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 November 2017


SELLAFIELD nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria in north-west England will be hit by co-ordinated strike action by thousands of workers this week in two pay disputes. A total of 3,000 directly-employed staff who are members of general union GMB will walk out on Wednesday. Around 300 cleaning, catering and security workers employed by contractor Mitie at the plant will strike at the same time, as well as the site’s firefighters, who will stage their third 12-hour strike from 6am to 6pm. The strikes follow a 24-hour walkout over pay by 2,000 skilled workers represented by Unite on Wednesday last week. The strikes are indicative of an increasingly confrontational and chaotic management at Sellafield, which deals with radioactive waste material from 15 nuclear reactors at Britain’s seven nuclear power stations. Management at Sellafield Ltd acts under the direction of the government and is owned by the state’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Morning Star 27th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 November 2017


The Sellafield site in west Cumbria is facing two days of strikes. Thousands of workers are preparing to hold separate walk-outs in differing disputes. The latest to be confirmed today is that firefighters on the nuclear site will hold a 12-hour strike on Thursday.

Whitehaven News 27th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 November 2017


New year strikes loom. GMB Scotland organiser Liz Gordon said: “This pay offer makes a mockery of DSRL’s claim that they want to be recognised as a European reference site and global leader for nuclear decommissioning. “Dounreay is the focal point of the Caithness economy and this is a highly localised workforce, so it is absolutely imperative that pay matches the cost of living to help deliver prosperity not just for our members but also our local communities. “We are in the business of defending the interests of our members who deliver the decommissioning of this safety intensive site and we will settle for nothing less than the proper recognition and reward for this workforce. “Our members have helped generate healthy profits for DSRL and its executives but this below-inflation pay offer is derisory. “DSRL need to think again if they want to avoid industrial action in the New Year.” The unions claim DSRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of its parent body organisation Cavendish Dounreay Partnership, increased its profits in 2016 for the second consecutive year to over £9million.

Press & Journal 25th Nov 2017 read more »

Posted: 26 November 2017