The problem of what to do with nuclear waste raised its ugly head at Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet meeting today. The ponds which house spent fuel rods at Sizewell are reaching capacity and there is still no long term site for nuclear waste disposal, so the waste must be stored locally. Spent rods are to be encased in concrete and housed in a secure building at least 5 metres above sea level. This is to ensure the site is not flooded within the next 10,000 years!
And that is the nub of the nuclear legacy. Decommissioning and the management of spent fuel rods and other radioactive waste has already cost the UK £73bn according to some reports (see
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/The_Real_Cost_of_Nuclear_Power.php). The management of Sellafield alone costs the nation £3bn per year. That is a huge financial commitment and is part of the reason why my party is anti nuclear power. The public has paid out massive subsidies to the nuclear power industry over many years.
Those who are opposed to windpower may be surprised to learn that the Greater Gabbard windfarm off Lowestoft will have more generating capacity than the proposed new twin nuclear reactors at Sizewell. And windfarms will not leave a deadly legacy.
The Cabinet’s decision on the fuel store will now be determined by the new Secretary of State, Lib Dem Chris Huhne. We want to ensure that if this does go ahead, the community benefits for the foreseeable future. We will be writing to Chris Huhne and Suffolk County Council with our suggestions.