Sellafield’s spent nuclear fuel ponds must be dealt with urgently, chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman said yesterday following the release of his report into the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
Action to deal with risks created by the close proximity of the spent fuel ponds at the Sellafield site in Cumbria was one of the key recommendations in the report. Loss of power at spent nuclear fuel ponds was blamed for causing a reactor explosion at the Fukushima plant in Japan in March.
“The fuel ponds at Sellafield were built over 50 years ago to a design we would not accept today,” said Weightman. He called for Sellafield site owner the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to establish its plan to deal with its waste legacy — for example, by constructing a geological disposal facility (GDF).
The Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to make an announcement on the UK’s nuclear waste legacy soon.