Stop Hinkley Press Release 11 August 2005

Prompt decommissioning strategy welcomed

Stop Hinkley campaigners have welcomed the key proposal in a new strategy paper to dismantle nuclear reactors in a twenty-five year timescale.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has today launched its strategy document for consultation with a key recommendation for 'prompt' decommissioning of Magnox reactor sites, such as Hinkley 'A', Oldbury and Berkeley, bringing them to greenfield status 25 years after closure. This proposal overturns the previous so-called 'safestore' plan by BNFL to leave the reactors in situ for 80 to 125 years.

The NDA offers a list of environmental benefits to its earlier timetable including:

•  removes the burden on future generations

•  removes the hazard earlier

•  utilises the skills of the existing workforce

The NDA Chief Executive, Sir Anthony Cleaver said in the document and on Radio 4's Today programme: "Prompt decommissioning has multiple benefits and is the preferred approach".

Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley spokesman said: "We welcome the sea-change in thinking that seems to have occurred regarding decommissioning. We have campaigned hard for this for several years and are delighted to hear our own approach now reflected so unambiguously by the NDA."

He added: "Leaving the radioactive reactor hulks dormant for a century would have left them to the vagaries of the environment and terrorism, landing our great grand-children with a problem not of their making. Cleaning them up within a generation is the correct thing to do."

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