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Mox plant U-turn by coalition stuns anti-nuclear campaigners

The government amazes Greenpeace over new mox fuel reprocessing plant plans


The now defunct mixed-oxide (Mox) plant at Sellafield in Cumbria. Photograph: PA
The government has astonished the anti-nuclear lobby by outlining plans to spend £3bn of public money building a new mixed-oxide fuel (Mox) plant – months after announcing the closure of a similar facility that lost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.

Energy minister Charles Hendry said Britain could not continue to keep the world's largest civilian stockpile of used plutonium stored at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria. It should be converted into Mox fuel for possible use in a new generation of thermal light water reactors.
In a written statement to MPs, Hendry said the government had gathered enough information to be confident Mox was the right direction and was now "preferred policy".

But he added: "Only when the government is confident that its preferred option could be implemented safely and securely, that it is affordable, deliverable and offers value for money, will it be in a position to proceed with a new Mox plant."
The statement angered green campaigners, who noted that the first Mox plant at Sellafield in Cumbria had been plagued by financial and operating problems. Its original cost was £250m but by 2004 it had cost £600m.


Full story can be found here