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Sellafield nuclear plant to close

Monday June 11th 2012

A nuclear reprocessing area that has been used for two decades will shut down in 2018 following the fulfilment of its existing contracts.

As many as 800 staff work at the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) in Sellafield, Cumbria, which has been operating since the early 1990s.

The Prospect union described the announcement as a "great disappointment" and highlighted the fact that only a small number of the 800 staff will work at the plant during the clean-out period before it is decommissioned.

National officer Mike Graham said: "Today's announcement comes as a great disappointment to our members at Thorp who believe firmly that the plant has a future and have been actively campaigning for new reprocessing contracts.

"The announcement, though not surprising, is sudden and it is fair to say that the way this was communicated to the workforce could have been better.

"The closure will see a reduction in the numbers employed on the plant once operations cease, with only a fraction of the existing staff remaining during the clean-out phase prior to decommissioning."

Prospect stated that it would push the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) for the staff losing their jobs in the future to be reassigned elsewhere.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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