Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

UK limits nuclear waste disposal options  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 08/10/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - Arab News) Britain risks eroding support for nuclear power if it buries long-term waste near an existing processing facility without considering wider, potentially safer options.

UK authorities are edging toward one region for long-term waste storage where planners have rejected sites twice partly on doubts over geological security and safety.

The US illustrated the risks of fixating on one area, after spending almost 15 billion assessing and developing Nevada's Yucca Mountain only for US President Barack Obama to shelve the plan two years ago and appoint a commission to review the issue, in that case following local opposition.
The political attractiveness of the site in West Cumbria in northwest England, by contrast, partly rests on assumed local familiarity and support given its proximity to Sellafield, where much of the country's nuclear waste is already held above ground.

By focusing on public support, however, Britain may be drawn into protracted analysis of one site which ultimately is found to be geologically unsuitable for deep underground storage of nuclear waste, and a late exit from a massive engineering project whose discounted present cost is expected to be at least 3.7 billion pounds ( 5.98 billion).

West Cumbria authorities in Britain recently delayed a formal decision to participate in preliminary investigations.

But their approval seems likely in January because the main delay was for assurance that they could change their minds at any stage before construction, which should be forthcoming given that right of withdrawal already exists.

Finland, France and Britain are among the few developed countries still planning new nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and expect to start disposing of long-term waste underground from 2020, 2025 and 2040.

Finland and France have now selected their repository sites, a useful step which closes a credibility gap in nuclear power by clarifying where the waste will end up and the taxpayer bill.

As the laggard, Britain should prioritize making the right choice, and try to avoid a third costly, time-consuming planning rejection.
Britain commissioned its first reactor in 1956 and has since made several investigations into the best site for long-term storage, which involves constructing an underground grid of tunnels and depositing the waste which is then sealed.

Criteria for site selection include relatively flat rock where groundwater moves slowly in simple formations which avoids complex, potentially leaky faultlines. In one of the most comprehensive site selection studies, in 1988, "The Way Forward: a discussion document," the nuclear industry summarized site selection priorities based on an earlier geological study in 1986.

It concluded the Sellafield site in Cumbria was "worth scrutiny."
However, the geological survey on which it was partly based, "Geological environments for deep disposal of intermediate level wastes in the UK," published two years earlier, had compiled a map of suitable locations which all but excluded Cumbria.

That 1986 study described the east of England as the least complex and most predictable region geologically.

The nuclear industry body Nirex Limited in the early 1990s asked for planning permission to investigate a proposed site near Sellafield.

The local council refused permission partly on geological suitability: "The County Council is not satisfied, on the basis of the currently available geological, hydrogeological and safety assessment information, that the potential repository zone holds sufficient promise," it said.
Nirex Limited appealed, and was turned down again, in 1996.

"The indications are, in my judgment, still overwhelmingly that this site is not suitable for the proposed repository, and that investigations should now be moved to one of the more promising sites elsewhere," found the appeal inspector C. S. McDonald, dismissing the appeal.

There was a concern that Nirex had prioritized local support over safety. "The crucial point is that safety was not treated as the most important discriminative factor," the inspector found.

"It seems that the process was affected by a strong desire to locate the repository close to Sellafield. The expert team and the Nirex Board ... used different critical criteria in their final choices - geology for the one and local support for the other."

"It has not been chosen in an objective and methodical manner, and there are strong indications that there may be a choice of sites in a different part of the earth's crust in the UK with greater potential to meet legal and regulatory requirements."

The dismissal, however, did not rule out the possibility of a repository in West Cumbria.

However governments have made local support the cornerstone of its strategy. The government in 2008 it proposed a staged approach where local communities volunteer to be considered for a preliminary study which would then lead to a more thorough investigation, pending selection and construction of a repository.

"The siting process now rests on decisions on involvement and participation by local communities, rather than on the generation of siting proposals by a waste management organization acting in concert with central Government," reported the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, in an overview published in 2010.

An obvious flaw, however, is that it depends on volunteers emerging in geologically suitable areas.

Since 2008 only the local council including the Sellafield processing facility and another immediately bordering it have expressed interest.
It is possible that a suitable area will emerge in West Cumbria but the previous planning rejections are a red flag.

The response this week to the news of a three-month delay to approval shows local politicians driven by economic windfalls:
"We have to make (this project) happen. It's make or break for this area - the potential benefits are phenomenal," local member of parliament Jamie Reed told the local newspaper.

Public acceptance is arguably more critical to nuclear power than any other source of energy.

It can only be achieved by guiding the public through the the pros and cons of the technology, in a strategic approach in this case based on the scientifically most suitable areas.

- The author is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.


  MENA News Headlines
Apr 23 2014Omantel launches service package for youth ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Omantel announced launching 'Ozone' plan, a new package designed especially for the youth. This comes with the company"s constant efforts to enhance the communication needs of its customers, ...

Apr 23 2014Dh154 billion for Arabtec projects ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Arabtec will spend dh140 billion on building one million low-cost houses in egypt and dh14 billion on five mixed-use residential projects in abu dhabi and dubai its chief ...

Apr 23 2014?Titli? makers excited about Cannes selection ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The movie about the badlands of delhi?s dystopic underbelly will be in competition as part of the un certain regard section of the 67th cannes film gala to be held may ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Yaroub Bashraheel: In search of peace ... underwater ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) You've heard of diving snorkeling and other water activities but rarely has anyone heard of free-diving. it's a form of diving underwater without the aid of any breathing ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Schneider highlights intelligent health care solutions at forum ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Schneider electric a global specialist in energy management is set to showcase its leadership in intelligent health care solutions at the second saudi forum for planning and ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Divorcees can seek housing ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The kingdom will accept applications from saudi divorced women and widows for financial and housing support said justice minister muhammad al-issa.al-issa called on applicants ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi Savola Group revenue up 43 pct in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia's Savola Group registered a 43 percent increase in profits in the first quarter, well over expectations of analysts, Arabian Business reported. According to a statement to ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- New passport office opens at Red Sea Mall ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The passport department has opened a new office for citizens and residents at the red sea mall.gen. abdul rahman bin abdullah al-tuwairki deputy director general of the ...

Apr 23 2014Tamouh steps up activity on projects ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi-based real-estate developer tamouh has scaled up construction activity on all of its announced reem island projects to meet the rising demand for prime spaces in ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait- Police deportation powers curbed ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait city april 3 (afp): kuwaiti police will no longer be able to deport expatriates without interior ministry approval under new rules published thursday after officers ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait- Amiri Diwan urges all off tape case ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times)  kuwait city april 9 (agencies): the amiri diwan has called on everybody to steer clear of the controversial tape issue and let the public prosecution take the necessary ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait- New hospital to be ready by 2014 end ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait city jan 14 (kuna): director of the 'mega projects 3' group at kuwait oil company (koc) yaqoub dashti said on tuesday that the new ahmadi hospital would be ready to ...

Apr 23 2014Seven tied for the lead in chess championships ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Former champion sukandar grabs lead of asian continental women?s chess. former asian women’s champion wgm irene sukandar of indonesia (left) beat wim ni shiqun ...

Apr 23 2014Here?s your chance to share screen space with SRK ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Groupon india has joined hands with srk?s red chillies entertainment to give fans a chance to feature with the superstar in his upcoming film ?happy new year?. if you ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Noha Al-Sharif — an expert in Islamic sculpture ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi sculptress noha al-sharif is known for her islamic inspired sculptures that reflect both religion and lifestyle. the concept of modern art attracted her to this medium ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- ASUS showcases product series at Aramco Week ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Asus described as the world's renowned consumer notebook vendor and producer of the 'world's best-selling motherboards" recently participated in aramco week and showcased a ...

Apr 23 2014Saudi- Five to die for 2003 attacks ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A special criminal court on sunday convicted five people of terror related charges and sentenced them to death. thirty-seven others were sentenced to varying prison terms for ...

Apr 23 2014Qatar's Ezdan Holding buys 20 percent stake in Widam Food ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar-based Ezdan Holding Group said that it acquired a 20.16 percent stake in Widam Food Co. in a bid to promote investments and diversify its portfolio, The Peninsula Qatar ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait: 5938 illegal residents said 'rectified' status ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait city april 5 (kuna): up to 5 938 illegal residents have modified their status since formation of the central agency for remedying illegal residents' status in 2011 ...

Apr 23 2014Kowait- 'All must join hands to save youth from strife' ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times)  kuwait city april 9 (kuna): minister of information and minister of state for youth affairs sheikh salman al-sabah said tuesday the youth ministry has completed a study ...





Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help