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Unions in fuel plant closure row

Thursday August 4th 2011

Union leaders have criticised the handling of an announcement that the MOX fuel plant at Sellafield is to shut down.

Prospect branded the decision to close the plant, which employs 800 members of staff, as "ill-conceived and short-sighted" and criticised the way the announcement was made without unions being consulted.

The union heard the news from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and believes the closure is likely to have been influenced by a lack of funding from Japanese government contracts in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, which shut down the Fukushima 1 nuclear reactor in March.

The MOX plant makes mixed oxide fuel recycled from plutonium that has been reprocessed from spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield's Thorp facility. The fuel is then used to power nuclear reactors.

Prospect national officer Mike Graham said: "We are dismayed at the way this announcement has been made, without consultation with the unions, and without properly considering the way forward after its closure."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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