Sellafield has amassed around 140 tonnes of plutonium on site – the largest stockpile of civil plutonium in the world. For now it is being stored without a long-term plan, which is costly and insecure. At some point a decision will need to be taken on how it is dealt with.
Should we convert it into useable fuel or get rid of it? What are the options? How insecure is it in its current state? How long can this decision be put off, and why does it matter?
Experts came to the SMC to discuss what science, economics and engineering have to say about the issue.
Prof. Tim Abram, Professor of Nuclear Fuel Technology at the University of Manchester
Fiona Raymant, Director of Fuel Cycle Solutions at the National Nuclear Laboratory
Prof. Gordon Mackerron, Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex
Prof. Neil Hyatt, Head of Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Sheffield