UK okays management of overseas-owned plutonium

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has been given the go-ahead to take ownership of some plutonium outside the UK. The transfers exchange ownership of plutonium between two countries, removing the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has been given the go-ahead to take ownership of some plutonium outside the UK.

The transfers exchange ownership of plutonium between two countries, removing the need to physically move it.

DECC has agreed to the NDA taking ownership of around 800kg of material previously owned by a Swedish utility and around 140kg owned by a German research organisation.

The transactions will not result in any new plutonium being brought into the UK. According to DECC, the financial benefits of taking ownership “are considered to be sufficient to offset the estimated long term cost of managing that plutonium in the UK”.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “We have agreed to these transactions as they offer a cost effective and beneficial arrangement, which removes the need to transport separated plutonium, allows the UK to gain national control over more of the civil plutonium in the UK and enables an outstanding contract with a Swedish utility to be concluded.”

The transactions will require consent from the relevant overseas government and regulatory bodies before any contracts are enacted.