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German utilities currently have contracts with COGEMA in France and BNFL in the UK. The intention to end these contracts was voiced as part of nuclear phase-out, when the new German Government came into power last year, see related article.

Greenpeace UK has hailed the decision as the ‘death knell’ for BNFL’s THORP re-processing plant in Sellafield. According to Greenpeace, German utilities have contracted for 1000 tonnes to be re-processed at THORP in the 10-year period ending 2004, and another 10,000 tonnes in the next 10 years, but only 500 tonnes have been shipped and little over 50 tonnes have actually been re-processed.

BNFL told edie that the contracts had not yet been cancelled, and the German Government has yet to carry out ‘consensus talks’ with German utilities who wish to continue the contracts. BNFL said its current contracts lasted until 2004, and were worth £1.4 Bn – 10% of its order book.

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