Sellafield is 'poor' site for new nuclear reactor

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One of the people advising the Government on the best places to site new nuclear reactors has branded Sellafield a “poor location”.

In an extract to his book Nukenomics: The commercialisation of Britain’s nuclear industry, Ian Jackson, who helped write the siting report for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform/Department of Trade and Industry gives his views.

He writes that: “Despite its substantial nuclear workforce, the remote Sellafield complex in north west England is a poor location for a modern nuclear power station because its electricity transmission infrastructure cannot carry the energy output of a large nuclear station.

“Securing planning permissions from Cumbria County Council and capital investment from National Grid for major transmission upgrade stretching across the Lake District are key logistical and economic barriers at Sellafield.”

Mr Jackson said a possible plan for an undersea electricity interconnector could improve Sellafield’s current position which is eighth in potential new reactor sites.

Mr Jackson’s report to Government on the possible sites for new reactors was confidential until disclosure was forced by a Greenpeace Freedom of Information claim.

Rosie Mathison, Cumbria’s nuclear opportunities manager commented: “Things have moved on from this report and the utilities have indicated potential initially for Sizewell, Hinkley Point, Oldbury and Wylfa, but Sellafield still has site potential for 30-35 gigawatts.”

She agreed with Mr Jackson that a possible future undersea power ‘interconnector’ would boost the chances of Sellafield as a reactor site.

Posted in |