17 Feb 2009

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has gone beyond remit

Oldbury4websiteAs we know Oldbury has been nominated by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) as one of four sites to have a new nuclear reactor built.

Greens consider the NDA has now gone completely beyond its remit of cleaning up nuclear sites (see our letter to local press here). Indeed it was not long ago their chiefs were saying they're not in the business of nuclear new build. Since that letter appeared in the press I've had contacts from several people saying they are also not happy with the role of the NDA.

There is basically a serious contradiction regarding one of their key objectives for 2009-2012 being to "maximise commercial value from our existing assets and operations." This means in the words of one commentator: "continuing to operate old Magnox reactors, to "invest" in Thorp and SMP on the failed promise they might work, and at some point repay investment by earning revenue, and to "nominate" some land at NDA-owned sites, as prospective locations for nuclear new build."

Yet each of these purported revenue earning activities will result in increasing - in some instances massively both by volume and radioactivity - the radioactive waste burden of the nation. This is in direct contradiction to another stated "principle objective" of “identifying opportunities for reducing liabilities."

Why has the NDA not told ministers its remit it impossible to deliver while containing two mutually contradictory objectives? So far no satisfactory answer. I have written to David Drew MP regarding this.

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