Whitehaven News

The Whitehaven News


Thursday, May 10, 2001

By Alan Irving

Another boost has come the way of the Sellafield Mox plant which awaits a government licence before it can operate.

BNFL has now taken on board a Swedish order on top of the major German contracts announced last week.

In Sweden, Framatome ANP has signed up with BNFL to have Mox fuel manufactured from plutonium at Sellafield and sent to the Oskarshamm site for re-use in the nuclear reactor there.

It follows hard on the heels of the huge German deal which gives the Mox plant its biggest single contract so far and which BNFL hopes will encourage the government to grant an operating licence.

The plant was built four years ago and costs have spiralled to more than 400 million.

BNFL hope to get the go ahead to put the plant into production following the latest round of public consultations into the plant's economic viability.

The company says the German and Swedish deals "strengthens an already robust case for the operation of the plant."

It also discloses that the plant "now has contracted\reserved business close to the break even sales level."

Chief executive Norman Askew said: "This is yet another contract showing that our customers want Mox fuel. These new orders signal strong support for the plant. What we look forward to now is the plant opening so we can start to fulfil these orders."

The fourth round of public consultations started on March 28 and will be completed by May 23.

BNFL is anxious to get the go ahead by the end of July - the cut off point for at least one of the existing Mox contracts.

Meanwhile, there is renewed confidence that Japan will place vital new orders after having its confidence shaken by the Mox fuel data falsifications scandal which occurred in the Sellafield plant used to demonstrate BNFL's ability to recycle the plutonium material.

n Public representations should be made to Claire Herdman, Radioactive Substances Division, DETR, 4\F6 Ashdown House, 123 Victoria St., London SW1 E 6DE.