Nuclear power

  1. Episode 2

    Video content

    Video caption: Timandra Harkness tries to test her views by steelplating the arguments of her opponents.

    Timandra Harkness tries to test her views by steelplating the arguments of her opponents.

  2. Oldest nuclear transport ship leaves Barrow for final time

    The UK’s longest-serving nuclear transport ship has sailed from Barrow for the final time, after 33 years of what its operators call "impeccable service".

    Oceanic Pintail, which was built in Japan, has been the flagship of the UK's nuclear fleet based at Barrow docks since 1987, carrying nuclear cargoes heading to and from Sellafield..

    Oceanic Pintail

    A career highlight was being the first vessel to ship Mox fuel from Europe to Japan, and Pintail spent much of her life on four or five-month long voyages to and from either Barrow or Cherbourg, to Japan, carrying nuclear waste or new fuel.

    Pintail has now left Barrow one last time, sailing to Leith in Scotland to be broken up, with 98% of the vessel due to be recycled.

    Quote Message: She's been safe and reliable for us for a number of years but if she was to continue operating we would need to undertake some refurbishment.
    Quote Message: We do have three other ships in our fleet that are about ten years old and we can continue the business in those ships." from Peter Bucha Operations director for International Nuclear Services
    Peter BuchaOperations director for International Nuclear Services
  3. Rolls Royce asks for £200m backing for N-power plants

    The engineering company Rolls Royce has called for the government to support its plans for a number of small nuclear power station, including one in at Moorside in Cumbria.

    Artist's impression of reactor building

    The firm is now leading a number of companies in a consortium to nuclear power plants using the "modular" reactors, which would be prefabricated in parts at factories and assembled on site, which Rolls Royce says would reduce the time and cost of construction.

    In the statement today, the consortium says a government commitment of £200m could enable a "fleet" of 16 of the power plants, creating 6,000 jobs, helping meet zero carbon objectives, and with a potential £250bn export market.

    Tom Samson, interim chief executive of the consortium said: "Families and businesses in our existing nuclear estate, such as West Cumbria and North Wales, will benefit from prosperity, social mobility and opportunity for decades to come.”

  4. Nuclear waste shipment on way back to Germany

    The first of three shipments of high-level nuclear waste is on its way back to Germany after being vitrified, or sealed into glass, at Sellafield.

    Pacific Grebe

    The waste is what is left over after spent nuclear fuel from German nuclear power plants has been reprocessed, and under the contract the waste is returned to the country of origin.

    It is in six large containers called flasks, which were taken by train to Barrow before being loaded on to the Pacific Crane, a specialist cargo ship.

    It will initially be taken by rail to an interim storage facility at a nuclear power plant at Biblis, in Western Germany.

    Sellafield dealt with used fuel from a number of countries, and similar shipments of high level waste have already been made to Switzerland and the Netherlands, with more still to be returned to Japan and Italy.