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Secret deal for Scotland to take foreign nuclear waste

SNP turning country into Europe’s ‘nuclear dustbin’

11 Oct 2009

Environmental campaigners have accused the SNP of turning Scotland into the world’s “nuclear dustbin”.

The allegations come as the Sunday Herald today uncovers how more than 600 tonnes of foreign nuclear waste is to be kept in Scotland despite repeated promises by governments and the nuclear industry that it would be sent back to the countries from which it came.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that the Scottish government has secretly proposed storing the waste at the Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness. Moreover, under a “swap scheme”, waste from south of the border – from Sellafield in Cumbria, which has been stored in a different form – will be returned instead.

Anti-nuclear campaigners have responded by accusing the SNP of breaking its promises to prevent Scotland from becoming the world’s “nuclear dustbin”.

Campaigner Lorraine Mann said: “It is quite disgraceful that any Scottish government should acquiesce in turning Scotland and the Highlands into a dumping ground for vast quantities of other people’s radioactive waste…………

The waste comes from a series of money-making nuclear reprocessing deals agreed by the Dounreay plant in the 1990s. Some 800 fuel elements from research reactors in Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Australia were processed before a key chemical plant broke down in 1996.

Dounreay said at the time that the resulting liquid waste would be mixed with cement, solidified in drums and returned to the countries of origin, in line with government commitments.

When challenged on the issue in 1995, Ian Shepherd, Dounreay’s spokesman at the time, insisted: “We are quite clear that the waste will be returned to the country of origin and that means returned from Dounreay.”

But now internal memos released to the Sunday Herald under freedom of information legislation disclose the Scottish government’s plan to keep the foreign waste at Dounreay. Combined with cement, it fills about 500 drums and weighs some 625 tonnes.

SNP turning country into Europe’s ‘nuclear dustbin’ – Herald Scotland | News | Home News

October 11, 2009 - Posted by | 1, UK, wastes | , , ,

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