Letter: Nuclear industry earns Britain billions

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Sir: Llew Smith MP (letter, 15 August) dismisses lightly the impact of the billions of pounds in existing and potential business that the nuclear industry earns Britain. He seems to ignore the fact that Britain has been safely and efficiently handling nuclear waste for almost 50 years.

BNFL'S hard-won contract to separate uranium from nitric acid will not add an ounce to the world's stockpile of radioactive waste. One useless product, radioactive nitric acid, will be turned into two useful and valuable substances by BNFL. Waste does not enter into the equation.

The British Nuclear Industry Forum, did, indeed, push the potential pounds 500bn market for nuclear exports in our submission to the Government's nuclear review. Unashamedly, we want to see Britain at the very forefront of modern manufacturing technology. Britain's nuclear industry can be a world leader. To take just two examples: BNFL's Thorp plant has pounds 9bn in orders, much of it from overseas, and Nuclear Electric is competing for a contract to build a new power station in Taiwan.

In this context, we find Llew Smith's 'concerns' bizarre. The real concern is that Britain will be left behind in this exciting world market because of lack of firm political support at home.

Yours faithfully,



British Nuclear Industry Forum

London, SW1

15 August