Nuclear power

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No redundancies as Cumbrian nuclear site processes last fuel

The company running the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria says nobody working on its Thorp facility, which has taken on its final batch of fuel, will lose their job.

It's the end of an era in west Cumbria, where the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing plant was set up 24 years ago as a commercial enterprise.

It dealt with used fuel rods from around the world, extracting new nuclear fuel.

We've got a very clear, categoric, no redundancies policy. So everybody working on the Thorp site, those that aren't required - and THORP will carry on operating as a storage facility into the 2070s - those people who won't be required to help undertake that role will be found other roles across the business.

Jamie ReedHead of development and community relations, Sellafield Ltd

On the site at Hinkley

Victoria Fritz
BBC

A huge white elephant or a vital part of the UK's energy future? BBC Breakfast business presenter Victoria Fritz is at the site where the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant is being built.

Neil Hurst, from Imperial College London, says while we might prefer to meet our energy needs from renewable sources, "the wind doesn't blow all the time, the sun doesn't shine all the time, and at the moment we have limited ability to store electricity".

"Until that changes we will need to have a source of reliable low-carbon electricity as part of our mix to meet our targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, does not dispute the fact that nuclear is a low-carbon option, but he adds: "What i would dispute is whether the unique hazards that nuclear poses and the costs that are now associated with it are the right way forward for the UK."

Toshiba to withdraw from UK nuclear project

Artist's impression of proposed Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria
NUGEN

Japan's Toshiba is set to wind-up NuGen - its Manchester-based nuclear arm - after efforts to offload the business failed.

NuGen was behind the development of the Moorside nuclear power station project in Cumbria, northwest England.

Toshiba's move will put a dent in the UK's plans to develop new nuclear power stations as it continues efforts to move to a low carbon economy.

The Japanese firm will start the wind-up process in January 2019.

Read the full story here.