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New nuclear plan launched after Cumbria rejects bid

The Government has launched a new long term plan to deal with the UK's radioactive waste, after plans to put it in Cumbria were rejected a year ago.

The Sellafield nuclear site was previously considered as a possible site for the underground storage Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria County Council turned down plans to build a 12 billion pounds underground nuclear waste store in our region last year.

Under today's new strategy, the Government will survey the whole country to find out where would be most suitable to store the waste.

The survey will take two years to complete.

Cost of decommissioning Sellafield nearly £50 billion

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has released a report estimating that it could cost nearly fifty billion pounds to decommission the site at Sellafield over the next 100 years.

The authority say that while this is a six billion pound increase upon last year's figure,

"...It was always the case that cost estimates for the complex projects associated with decommissioning Sellafield’s historic waste facilities would increase as these projects mature and our understanding increases."

£6 billion nuclear clean-up overspend

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has published its latest financial accounts and has revealed that the cost of cleaning up Sellafield nuclear plant in West Cumbria was nearly six billion pounds over its estimate for last year.

The authority described the decommissioning of Sellafield as "one of its most challenging environmental restoration projects."

Last year, nuclear management partners - who were awarded the contract, were heavily criticised for initial overspend on the clean up project.

Decommissioning figures due to be released

The latest cost of decommissioning at Sellafield is due to be released today.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will present the figures to Parliament.

Parliament is expected to know the outcome of the cost later today Credit: ITV Border

There has already been severe criticism of previous over-spends, which have put up the costs to 70 billion pounds.

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Sellafield 'should back down' over deer cull

Campaigners have held another protest outside Sellafield nuclear site about plans to cull dear which are trapped between two security fences.

Sellafield says it has received independent advice from leading experts stating the most humane option is to kill the animals.

But protesters say wildlife charities have offered to try and get the deer out alive.

"Sellafield should back down, do the popular thing, the correct thing, the humane thing."

– Geraldine McNamara, campaigner

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority respond to MP's criticism of Sellafield

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority which own the Sellafield site have said today that they will aim to achieve the recommendations laid out by the Public Account Committee but say they are already making progress.

“The NDA welcomes the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into our vitally important mission to decommission Sellafield.

"We have made good progress towards implementing the recommendations laid down by the PAC following its original report into Sellafield last year and will now focus on achieving the aims of the six recommendations set out in this latest report.

"Both NMP and the NDA now have a much better understanding of the issues and complexities that exist at the site and the challenges that lie ahead.

"Whilst progress has been made on a number of fronts we will require significant improvements during the next contract period. We have had extensive discussions with NMP and made clear where these improvements must be made.

"We will continue to monitor performance closely and remain focused on achieving our goal of safe, effective, value for money decommissioning at Sellafield – as we are seeing elsewhere across our portfolio of sites.”

– John Clarke, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
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Sellafield management: Challenges are 'unprecedented'

Challenges of cleaning up waste at a Cumbria nuclear site are "unprecedented" and more complex than "any other operational or decommissioning nuclear site in the world", the head of the team overseeing Sellafield nuclear site.

NMP chairman Tom Zarges dodged claims costs were spiralling out of control and said the consortium was focused on building on "our experience of the last five years".

The challenges at Sellafield are unprecedented, with complexities exceeding any other operational or decommissioning nuclear site in the world, therefore demanding extraordinary technology and skills.

The first term of our contract has been characterised by many successes but also a number of disappointments and areas for improvement.

Our job now is to build on our experience of the last five years to safely and reliably deliver our customer's mission, while further accelerating the pace of change and providing value for money to the NDA, Government and the UK taxpayer.

– NMP chairman Tom Zarges
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