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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Talks on world's fastest nuclear reactor at Sellafield

Talks will take place tomorrow which could see the world’s fastest nuclear reactor built at Sellafield.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, the company behind the PRISM reactor, claim it would not only dispose of plutonium stocks at Sellafield but deliver low carbon electricity.

If the talks are successful the firm has predicted a multi-billion investment creating around 900 permanent jobs and a further 1,000 jobs indirectly.

The plant would dispose of 87 metric tonnes of plutonium stored in west Cumbria while generating 600 MW of electricity.

Danny Roderick, senior vice president of new plant projects at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, said: “This multi-billion pound investment would stand to create a range of opportunities.

“It would also reaffirm Cumbria’s position of nuclear excellence with Britain’s Energy Coast.

“We are convinced the PRISM technology provides an innovative solution to the objectives set by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – the quickest disposal of plutonium at the best value – while providing substantial environmental and economic benefits.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has said the technology is unproven but GEH say it has been demonstrated in a fast reactor in the United States.

A company spokesman said: “We are currently working closely with the UK government including the NDA to detail why it believes PRISM technology is the best choice for the UK taxpayer.”

GEH will sign a memorandum of understanding with the National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd to provide expert technical input to the potential UK deployment of GEH’s innovative PRISM reactor.

Mr Roderick said: “We are excited for the potential opportunity to utilise the expertise of NNL and help the UK continue to take a leadership role in the reuse of plutonium.”

“We believe that PRISM is the best way to manage the UK’s plutonium stockpile efficiently, securely, and safely while generating low-carbon electricity at the same time.”

The talks are due to take place at Energus, in Lillyhall tomorrow.

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