Sizewell B pp 234-259 | Cite as

Uranium, Plutonium and Decommissioning

  • Timothy O’Riordan
  • Ray Kemp
  • Michael Purdue


The nuclear fuel cycle is conventionally used to describe the life history of uranium fuel from mining to refining and enrichment, to fuel fabrication, fission, reprocessing and eventual disposal. We concentrate here on only four related areas, namely uranium mining, reprocessing and the alleged linkage between civil nuclear fuel use and its deployment or diversion into military weapons, the transportation of irradiated fuel, and the decommis-sioning of spent reactors. Figure 8.1 illustrates how these topics connect to the nuclear fuel cycle. The nature of the topics discussed in this chapter is significant. They raise profound moral and political issues. The Inquiry broke new grounds by dealing with such issues and the objecting groups undoubtedly used the Inquiry as a political forum. They also exploited the investigatory nature of the Inquiry to extract information and concessions from the Board. The pattern of evidence is illustrated in Figure 8.2.


National Security Uranium Mining Spend Fuel Nuclear Power Station Nuclear Fuel Cycle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnott, D. (1984) Letter to The Guardian, 20 August, p. 12.Google Scholar
  2. Barnham, K. U. J., Hart, D., Nelson, J. and Stevens, R. A. (1985) ‘Production and Destination of British Civil Plutonium’, Nature, vol. 317, pp. 213–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Feldman, G. D., Cardile, F., Mattsen, C., Moore, E., Hale, V., Murphy, E. E. and Kiel, G. (1981) Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear facilities; NUREG 0586 ( US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC ).Google Scholar
  4. Norton Taylor, R. (1986) ‘America May Use British Plutonium for Weapons’, Guardian, 4 June, p. 3.Google Scholar
  5. Parker, R. (1978) The Windscale Inquiry ( HMSO, London).Google Scholar
  6. Pearce, D. W. (1984) Cost Benefit Analysis. 2nd edn. ( Macmillan, London).Google Scholar
  7. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1976) Nuclear Power and the Environment, Cmnd 6618 ( HMSO, London )Google Scholar
  8. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (1984) Tackling Pollution—Experience and Prospects, Cmnd 9149 ( HMSO, London ).Google Scholar
  9. Rufford, N. (1986) ‘Get Out of That’, Guardian, 12 December, p. 22.Google Scholar
  10. Stott, M. and Taylor, P. (1980) The Nuclear Controversy: A Guide to the Issues of the Windscale Inquiry ( Town and Country Planning Association, London).Google Scholar
  11. Town and Country Planning Association (1978) Planning and Plutonium (TCPA,London).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Timothy O’Riordan, Ray Kemp and Michael Purdue 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy O’Riordan
    • 1
  • Ray Kemp
    • 1
  • Michael Purdue
    • 1
  1. 1.University of East AngliaUK

Personalised recommendations