Transport of new nuclear waste is ‘intolerable risk’ to London

Nuclear waste from a new generation of atomic power stations poses an 'intolerable' health and safety risk to the capital, a report commissioned by the Mayor of London has found.

If the Government goes ahead with plans for new nuclear power stations, sites in South East England could be chosen as the sites for two of them, increasing the frequency and volumes of nuclear waste transport through the capital.

The type of nuclear fuel used in new nuclear build is also likely to be much more highly radioactive than that existing plants are run on, the report from Large and Associates found.

The report considers the way the outcomes of the Energy Review will impact the capital’s nuclear safety, particularly through the transportation of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive materials, and finds ‘an additional risk of intolerable levels of health injury’ to those who live or work near rail routes transporting the material.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: “This report shows that a new generation of nuclear power plants could result in a significant increase of radioactive waste being transported through London, the most densely populated area of the UK.

“These findings confirm my belief that more nuclear power is unsafe and expensive which will also lead to additional associated risks, not least the disposal of radioactive waste.

“There is a widespread opposition amongst Londoners to nuclear power and the movement of waste around the capital. This report demonstrates that these concerns are justified, underpinning the case against a new generation of nuclear

power plants.

“Nuclear power will not provide the solution to climate change.

“There is no need for nuclear if we simply wasted less of the current energy we generate,” he said.

The report also raised concerns over the proposed radioactive waste repository, which may aggravate the risks further depending on its location – yet to be revealed.

The report can be accessed here.

Goska Romanowicz

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