MacDonald “relieved” Rosyth dropped as dumping ground for decommissioned nuclear submarines



Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has voiced his relief following confirmation from the UK Government that nearby Rosyth docks will not be a dumping ground for nuclear waste from decommissioned UK submarines.


The UK Government’s Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne MP has written to the SNP MSP advising him that Rosyth has been dropped from any plans for long term storage of Intermediate Level radioactive Waste (ILW) following the withdrawal of the site for consideration by site operators Babcock.


The MOD’s Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) is developing a solution for the dismantling of 27 Royal Navy nuclear submarines, once they have left Naval service and have been defueled.


They include 11 submarines currently stored afloat at Devonport and seven at Rosyth, as well as nine submarines that are still in service.


The plan proposes the safe temporary storage of the radioactive waste which comes as a result of dismantling, until it can be disposed of in the UK’s planned Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), which is not expected to be available until sometime after 2040, according to the MOD.


Commenting on the announcement, Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said:


“It is certainly a relief that Babcock and the Ministry of Defence have withdrawn Rosyth from further consideration as a long-term storage facility for Intermediate Level radioactive Waste (ILW) . Rosyth’s close proximity to the Falkirk East constituency has always been of concern to me, and this news will be of some comfort to my constituents.”


Five nuclear facilities across the UK have been identified as potential sites to store waste from nuclear-powered submarines that have left Naval Service, as part of the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP).

The sites, which are either owned by the MOD, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) or industry, already hold radioactive materials and have been identified as possible locations to store reactor components from the disused submarines.

The MOD has 9 former Royal Naval nuclear submarines currently stored afloat at Rosyth but the submarines can only be completely dismantled once the reactor components, which are categorised as radioactive waste, have been safely removed. Nine submarines that are currently still in-service will also be dismantled under the SDP, when they reach the end of their service lives. The initial dismantling
process will support up to 60 skilled jobs.

Following an assessment of all the UK's nuclear sites, five sites were considered suitable and have been placed on a provisional shortlist.

Following the dropping of Rosyth as a potential site the following sites are still being considered:

* the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and
Burghfield in Berkshire, which are owned by the MOD and run by AWE Plc;
* Sellafield in West Cumbria, owned by the NDA;
* Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire, owned by the NDA;
* Capenhurst in Cheshire, which is run by Capenhurst Nuclear
Services.

A public consultation on the possible sites will take place in late 2014 and no decisions will be made until this process is completed. Whichever site is selected will be used as an interim storage site for the reactor components until after 2040, when the UK's Geological Disposal Facility is planned to come into operation.

Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:

"This is another step towards a safe and sustainable solution for the disposal of radioactive waste from our submarine fleet. All of the potential sites have a proven track record in handling radioactive material in a safe and secure way. We are committed to an open and transparent process and over the next year we will be working closely with local communities near to the potential sites, as part of the consultation before a final decision is made."

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has voiced his relief following confirmation from the UK Government that nearby Rosyth docks will not be a dumping ground for nuclear waste from decommissioned UK submarines.

The UK Government’s Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne MP has written to the SNP MSP advising him that Rosyth has been dropped from any plans for long term storage of Intermediate Level radioactive Waste (ILW) following the withdrawal of the site for consideration by site operators Babcock.

The MOD’s Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) is developing a solution for the dismantling of 27 Royal Navy nuclear submarines, once they have left Naval service and have been defueled.

They include 11 submarines currently stored afloat at Devonport and seven at Rosyth, as well as nine submarines that are still in service.

The plan proposes the safe temporary storage of the radioactive waste which comes as a result of dismantling, until it can be disposed of in the UK’s planned Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), which is not expected to be available until sometime after 2040, according to the MOD.

Commenting on the announcement, Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald said:

“It is certainly a relief that Babcock and the Ministry of Defence have withdrawn Rosyth from further consideration as a long-term storage facility for Intermediate Level radioactive Waste (ILW) . Rosyth’s close proximity to the Falkirk East constituency has always been of concern to me, and this news will be of some comfort to my constituents.”

Five nuclear facilities across the UK have been identified as potential sites to store waste from nuclear-powered submarines that have left Naval Service, as part of the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP).

The sites, which are either owned by the MOD, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) or industry, already hold radioactive materials and have been identified as possible locations to store reactor components from the disused submarines.

The MOD has 9 former Royal Naval nuclear submarines currently stored afloat at Rosyth but the submarines can only be completely dismantled once the reactor components, which are categorised as radioactive waste, have been safely removed. Nine submarines that are currently still in-service will also be dismantled under the SDP, when they reach the end of their service lives. The initial dismantling
process will support up to 60 skilled jobs.

Following an assessment of all the UK's nuclear sites, five sites were considered suitable and have been placed on a provisional shortlist.

Following the dropping of Rosyth as a potential site the following sites are still being considered:

* the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and
Burghfield in Berkshire, which are owned by the MOD and run by AWE Plc;
* Sellafield in West Cumbria, owned by the NDA;
* Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire, owned by the NDA;
* Capenhurst in Cheshire, which is run by Capenhurst Nuclear
Services.

A public consultation on the possible sites will take place in late 2014 and no decisions will be made until this process is completed. Whichever site is selected will be used as an interim storage site for the reactor components until after 2040, when the UK's Geological Disposal Facility is planned to come into operation.

Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:

"This is another step towards a safe and sustainable solution for the disposal of radioactive waste from our submarine fleet. All of the potential sites have a proven track record in handling radioactive material in a safe and secure way. We are committed to an open and transparent process and over the next year we will be working closely with local communities near to the potential sites, as part of the consultation before a final decision is made."

 

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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