Highlands & Islands

Council to be given Dounreay-Sellafield rail plan details

Dounreay
Image caption The first shipments of breeder material could leave Dounreay this summer

Highland councillors are to be given details on how nuclear fuel from Dounreay in Caithness will be moved by rail to Sellafield in Cumbria.

Dr Adrian Simper, head of strategy at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), is expected to give a presentation in Inverness on Thursday.

The NDA has sought approval for its plan to transport breeder material to Sellafield for reprocessing.

The first of about 50 movements could start this summer.

Dr Simpler will give his presentation to Highland Council's transport, environmental and community services committee.

Approval for the NDA's plan to shift the 44 tonnes of fuel over a period of four to five years has been sought from the Office for Nuclear Regulation and Office for Civil Nuclear Regulation.

Breeder is classed as fuel and not waste.

Cost effective

In November, the NDA said local authorities would receive some information to pass on to communities close to the lines the trains would follow.

However, it said the exact timings of the trains and security measures would remain confidential.

Friends of the Earth Scotland has opposed the rail plan and said the material should be stored at Dounreay.

The plant, which is in the process of being demolished, does not have the facilities to reprocess the material or store it long term.

The NDA has said it would be more cost effective to deal with it at Sellafield.

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