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Serious concerns about the environmental and safety record of the Dounreay nuclear plant

Sunday Times 6th Aug 2017, Serious concerns about the environmental and safety record of the Dounreay
nuclear plant have been raised by Scottish environment secretary Roseanna
Cunningham. In a letter to UK energy minister Richard Harrington, she
complained of a disappointing lack of progress across a range of projects
in the past year that sat oddly with the planned reduction in workforce at
the site.

Her concerns come after shortcomings in safety performance at
Dounreay were identified in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s annual
report, and criticism of the environmental management at the plant by the
Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

She said: “It is troubling that site management, despite repeated efforts, do not seem able to break the
pattern of incidents. Local stakeholders have told me that they cannot
understand why the substantial voluntary redundancy programme is in place,
when there is still so much work to complete.”

Local SNP MSP Gail Ross echoed the minister’s concerns. She said: “The Dounreay site is a vital
employer in Caithness and North Sutherland. Surely the most sensible route
to ensure safe operation would be to retain as many highly skilled and
experienced staff as they are able. Nuclear waste is not something that can
be dealt with on the cheap, regardless of the location. The UK government
must support Dounreay to ensure that the decommissioning process is as safe
as it can be, regardless of cost.”

August 7, 2017 - Posted by | safety, UK

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