Posted: Fri 8th Jul 2016

Radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear subs to be stored just a few miles from Deeside

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jul 8th, 2016

Radioactive waste from de-fuelled nuclear submarines is set to be stored in Capenhurst, around 7 miles from Deeside. 

Capenhurst Nuclear Services on the outskirts of Ellesmere Port will be responsible for storing Reactor Pressure Vessels, thick steel containers that hold nuclear fuel from 19 former Royal Navy nuclear submarines currently stored afloat in Devonport and Rosyth.

Capenhurst Nuclear Services won the contract following a consultation process which looked at five sites.

They will use an existing facility to store the radioactive waste, a second on-site ‘contingency option’ of constructing a new store also available.

The nuclear services facility will store the radioactive pressure vessels in Capenhurst until around 2040, they will then be moved to a UK Geological Disposal Facility for permanent disposal.

Storing and maintaining Britain's 19 laid-up nuclear submarines has cost taxpayers more than £16m over the last five years

Storing and maintaining Britain’s 19 laid-up nuclear submarines has cost taxpayers more than £16m over the last five years

Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:

“When submarines in the Royal Navy fleet reach the end of their lives, we need to dispose of them in a way that is safe, secure and environmentally sound.

We have worked closely with the local communities around potential sites to listen carefully to their views, and the opinions and feedback we received has played an important part in formulating our final decision.

With Capenhurst as our recommended site, we know that the radioactive waste from our decommissioned submarines will be dealt with properly and responsibly.”

The 19 decommissioned submarines can only be completely dismantled once the radioactive material and components have been safely removed.

A further eight submarines that are currently still in service will also be dismantled under the Submarine Dismantling Project when they reach the end of their service lives, with the initial dismantling process supporting up to 60 skilled jobs.

Capenhurst has a long track record in handling nuclear waste for the MOD who say they looked at the factors including environmental and value for money, alongside the feedback gathered as part of the public consultation.

When all this was taken into account, CNS, Capenhurst was found to meet the Project’s requirements best overall.

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