Capenhurst on MoD list to store radioactive waste from nuclear-powered submarines

9:37am Saturday 15th February 2014

CAPENHURST is among five facilities across the UK to have been identified by The Ministry of Defence as potential sites to store waste from disused nuclear-powered submarines.

A public consultation on the possible sites will take place  late this year and no decisions will be made until this is completed.

The sites, which are either owned by the MoD or the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, have been named as part of a submarine dismantling project

The MoD says the facilities already hold radioactive materials and have been identified as possible locations to store reactor components from submarines that have left naval service.

The ministry has 18 former Royal Navy nuclear submarines currently stored afloat in Devonport and Rosyth.

But the they can only be completely dismantled once the reactor components, which are categorised as radioactive waste, have been safely removed.

The site selected will be used as an interim storage area for reactor components until after 2040, when the UK’s geological disposal facility is planned to come into operation.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said: "This is another step towards a safe and sustainable solution for the disposal of radioactive waste from our submarine fleet. "All of the potential sites have a proven track record in handling radioactive material in a safe and secure way.

"We are committed to an open and transparent process and over the next year we will be working closely with local communities near to the potential sites as part of the consultation before a final decision is made."

Following an assessment of all the UK’s nuclear sites, five sites were considered suitable and have been placed on a provisional shortlist.

Capenhurst on the Cheshire-Wirral border is on the list, along with Sellafield in West Cumbria,  Atomic Weapons Establishments at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, and Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire.

* In January, hundreds of concerned campaigners signed a petition calling for plans to destroy Syrian chemicals in Ellesmere Port to be abandoned.

Waste management firm Veolia confirmed in January they would destroy 150 tonnes of industrial-grade substances from Syria’s chemicals weapons stockpile at their Bridge Road site.

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