The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the closure of the MOX fuel plant at Sellafield. Its main business caused the shipment of large amounts of weapons-usable materials from Japan, exposing it to risk of piracy and terrorism. CND also pressed the government to rule out the creation of a successor plant, a plan the nuclear industry had been lobbying for in recent months.
The closure of the plant is directly related to the shut-down of Fukushima and other similar reactors in Japan which had been powered by the MOX fuel created at Sellafield.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “This hopefully marks the long-overdue end of a dangerous and expensive mistake. The MOX plant has cost the public over £1.4bn yet has produced less fuel in its whole lifetime than it was meant to make every two months. The whole idea of shipping hundreds of tonnes of plutonium-rich spent fuel half way round the world from Japan was madness from the start. Just 11 kilos of plutonium is enough to make a bomb, so to build a whole business on its transport across thousands of miles of sea on lightly-armed civilian ships was a disaster waiting to happen.
“The closure of this plant must draw a line under the whole costly business of nuclear reprocessing. The government must rule out the creation of the new multi-billion pound MOX plant that the nuclear lobby is calling for. The UK has a vast stockpile of plutonium which must be dealt with, but creating a plant that is likely to take shipments of foreign spent fuel – as well as reprocessing domestic waste – is a mistake that should not be repeated.”