Scotland should lead in nuclear decommissioning, says Minister

Scotland's environment minister Ross Finnie has urged academic institutions to establish Scotland as the international home for nuclear decommissioning expertise.

Speaking at the tenth International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Mr Finnie said that more effort should be made to market Scotland’s expertise in nuclear decommissioning around the world.

“Our position as leaders in the development of civil nuclear technology has left us with challenges and opportunities. The responsibility for managing the nuclear legacy of that work rests with us and not future generations,” he said.

“The decommissioning of Scotland’s civil nuclear sites is at the forefront of technological innovation. It is critical that our academic institutions work closely with others to fill an emerging skills gap and market our expertise internationally.”

The government is putting an estimated £2 billion of annual contracts in nuclear decommissioning up for tender over the next year.

Roughly half of the maintenance and decommissioning work will be out to bid by 2008, creating a huge market and plenty of opportunities for business to seriously clean up.

David Hopkins

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