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Scotland’s Minister Matheson reassures the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) that no small nuclear power station will be permitted near Grangemouth refinery.

The Scottish Nuclear Free Local Authorities have been reassured by a recent
reply from Scottish Government Net Zero Minister Michael Matheson that
Small Modular Reactors are not under consideration at the Grangemouth
refinery complex.

Following media speculation that INEOS was contemplating
co-locating an SMR next to its colossal refinery to power operations, the
Convenor of the Scottish NFLA, Councillor Paul Leinster, wrote to the
minister expressing grave concerns that the combination of a nuclear power
station next to the chemical refinery represents ‘a disaster

Covering an area of 1,700 acres and with 2,000 staff,
INEOS’s own website describes Grangemouth as a ‘world-scale
petrochemicals plant’ which produces about 7 million tonnes of fuels, much
of which is used in Scotland, and 1.4 million tonnes of other products per
year. These products are synthetic ethanol, ethylene, propylene,
polyethylene and polypropylene used in the food packaging, construction,
automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

In his letter, Cllr Leinster
described an accident involving an SMR and the INEOS refinery as ‘a
monumental calumny for Scotland against which any Hollywood disaster movie
would pale by comparison’. To the NFLA, ‘it would be madness to partner a
nuclear power plant with Scotland’s biggest explosive chemical factory’.

In his response, dated 12 January, Michael Matheson was quick to reassure the
NFLA that Scottish Ministers ‘remain committed’ to their ‘long-standing
government policy to withhold support for any new nuclear power stations to
be built in Scotland’ and that officials have been advised by INEOS that
‘Small Modular Reactors do not currently form part of their net zero road
map for Grangemouth’.

NFLA 17th Feb 2023


February 18, 2023 - Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK

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