The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Agency is seeking proposals on potential alternative approaches for managing the UK’s plutonium stocks alongside providing support to the Government as it progresses its preferred policy of converting the material into Mixed Oxide fuel (MOX) for reactors.
Both the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the NDA have already held extensive public consultations over possible management solutions for the existing civil stocks of plutonium, which have accumulated since the 1950s, largely from the reprocessing of spent fuel at Sellafield, and are currently held in secure storage pending the development of a long-term solution. More than 100 responses were received to the DECC consultations.
The responses were considered in detail and DECC subsequently set out its preferred policy of re-using plutonium as MOX in December last year. However, government remained open to considering other options if they can offer better value or less risk and NDA is therefore seeking to gather more data on other options.
The NDA and DECC are currently in discussions with various parties about re-using the plutonium as MOX and in addition are seeking approaches from third parties to review whether alternative technologies may represent credible options.
NDA Strategy Director Adrian Simper said: “We are currently working with the Government to establish that re-using plutonium as MOX fuel remains the best option and wish to assess whether any other parties are able to propose credible alternatives.”
For further details, or to express interest, go to: http://www.nda.gov.uk/news/plutonium-management.cfm.
Expressions of interest must be received by 31 March 2012.
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