The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced it continues to seek alternatives for managing the UK’s plutonium stockpile this week.
The NDA is seeking alternatives from the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s preferred strategy of reusing the plutonium as mixed-oxide (Mox) fuel for future nuclear power stations. The NDA said the government remains “open” to other options provided they can offer better value or less risk.
The UK’s plutonium stockpile has been accumulating since the 1950s – largely from the reprocessing of spent fuel at Sellafield – and NDA has been seeking ways to manage it. This has included constructing a large geological disposal facility.
NDA announced last year it was shutting its existing Mox plant – built for the export market – following the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.
Engineering giant GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) unveiled plans to re-use the UK’s legacy plutonium stockpile for a new nuclear power station in Sellafield, West Cumbria last year.
Interested parties have until the end of March to submit expressions of interest in alternatives.