Dounreay Clean Up Costs The Earth
25th October 2000
The operation to clean up Dounreay Nuclear Power plant when it closes in 2004 will take a staggering 60 years to complete at a cost of over £4 billion.
The government decided the plant should close after 45 years because there is now no commercial future in nuclear reprocessing. British Nuclear Fuels now have now have no international customers for such work after a serious of recent safety gaffes had been exposed in their deals with other countries including Japan.
Part of the Dounreay clean up operation will include a 20 year project to remove hundreds of cubic metres of nuclear waste including enriched Uranium and Plutonium, which was dumped in a 220ft shaft from 1950 until it was capped and left in 1977. Hundreds of radioactive particles have been found on nearby beaches and fishing is banned near the plant. Issuing the announcement in early October Dounreay's director, Peter Welsh, claimed the extent of the clean up operation was good news because it would create jobs in the area.