Sellafield's Thorp plant to close
A nuclear reprocessing site
which has been in operation for 20 years is to close in 2018 after
current contracts are completed, it was confirmed today.
The Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) at Sellafield in Cumbria, which employs up to 800 workers, was commissioned in the early 1990s.
The Prospect union said the news had come as a "great disappointment", adding that only a fraction of the existing workforce will remain during the clean-out phase prior to decommissioning.
National officer Mike Graham said: "Today's announcement comes as a great disappointment to our members at Thorp who believe firmly that the plant has a future and have been actively campaigning for new reprocessing contracts.
"The announcement, though not surprising, is sudden and it is fair to say that the way this was communicated to the workforce could have been better.
"The closure will see a reduction in the numbers employed on the plant once operations cease, with only a fraction of the existing staff remaining during the clean-out phase prior to decommissioning."
Prospect said it will press the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) on the potential redeployment of staff affected by the decision.
The NDA said in a statement that the closure decision was confirmed after it completed a strategic review of the options for the management of oxide fuels.
It added: "Oxide fuels include the remaining overseas-derived spent fuels that are being stored at Sellafield pending reprocessing in Thorp and also the spent fuels coming from the UK's fleet of AGR (advanced gas-cooled reactors) power stations owned and operated by EDF Energy.
"The strategic review confirms the NDA's position that completing the reprocessing contracts at Thorp remains a viable and cost-effective strategy.
"Any remaining AGR fuel, including any future arisings, will be placed into interim storage pending a decision to dispose of it in a geological disposal facility.
"This will result in the reprocessing contracts being complete by 2018, at which time Thorp would cease reprocessing activities and enter a post-closure and clean-out phase prior to decommissioning."
Other decommissioning and reprocessing facilities and waste treatment plants on the Sellafield site remain in operation.
- 1 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Isis terror threat: Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group
Israel-Gaza crisis: YouTube footage shows scale of destruction after 50 days of shelling
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£70000 - £75000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Katie Robinson +44 (...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare: Ashdown Group: IT Support Ana...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: KS1 Teaching Specialist Leic...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Key Stage 2 specia...