Waste shipment from Germany suspended following Thorp leak

8 June 2005

Swedish energy group Vattenfall has reportedly suspended a shipment of nuclear waste from Germany to the UK’s Sellafield site, location of the Thorp reprocessing facility where a recently discovered leak of radioactive material went unnoticed for months.

While Vattenfall has not explicitly referred to the leak and subsequent shutdown of Thorp as a reason behind its decision, the move was partly due to the fact that facilities in Germany were sufficient to store the waste.

The shipment would have been the last from Germany to reprocessing plants in Britain and France under plans to phase out nuclear power.

In an unrelated move, it has also been reported that some 500 jobs are to be shed at the Sellafield site over the next two years as part of a management shake-up to cut unnecessary bureaucracy. The 500 from the current 10,000 employees are expected to come through natural wastage rather than compulsory redundancies.

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