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OFFICIAL REPORT IS DAMNING

An official report from the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate has just been published which damns the Dounreay nuclear site. The report was produced a year ago but has been kept secret until now.

The report by the nuclear safety watchdog says that some parts of the plant were "simply unacceptable". There was a particular concern that there could be a nuclear accident at the site - "it is difficult to see, with regard to criticality assessments, how the UKAEA is still meeting its licencees duty of maintaining control".

Waste Management practices within the Fuel Cycle Area where used fuel is reprocessed were said to be "either short term or absent". "Some of the FCA plants are already awash with waste and more will be arriving as decomissioning proceeds".

"Drummed waste in increasing quantities and redundant equipment, including many flasks, were being accumulated in operating areas in some plants. In one case, spent fuel was being stored in a plant that had been declared to be in a care and maintenance regime and was being operated by a contractor."

"Some of the waste has been transferred to paint cans but much has either been accumulated into piles or simply left where it was found."

The practice of dumping intermediate level nuclear waste into the wet silo on the site was described as "unacceptable". The government wants to reopen the D1206 plant in order to reprocess the 14 tonnes of used nuclear fuel which is on the site. The D1206 plant is condemned in the NII report which says that it is "very old and its condition is sometimes uncertain and unpredictable". Lorraine Mann of Scotland Against Nuclear Dumping (SAND) called for all reprocessing to stop and said "It's rather like having a car which has failed its MOT but is continuing to drive. You may not hit anything but then again you may."

Dounreay

 
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