Nuclear waste from decommissioned submarines is set to be stored at Capenhurst.
After being shortlisted the Ministry of Defence says now Capenhurst Nuclear Services (CNS) will be used for the storage project.
It will hold steel Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs) from 27 defuelled nuclear submarines after they have left the Royal Navy’s service.
The announcement was made in a written ministerial statement to Parliament by Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne MP.
The decision follows a site selection process conducted by the MOD over the past two years including a formal 12-week consultation with the community around Capenhurst between November 2014 and February 2015.
CNS managing director David Slater said: “Being selected by the MOD for this important work reflects CNS’ proven capability in the responsible management of the UK’s nuclear legacy.
“It complements our existing work at the Capenhurst site, where our core business is the management of the UK’s uranic inventory. We have the skills and facilities needed to carry out this new work responsibly and safely.
“CNS has engaged with stakeholders throughout the site selection process and will continue to ensure openness and transparency with the local community as the project progresses.”
The steel RPVs will be removed at Devonport and Rosyth from the defuelled submarines after they have left the Royal Navy’s service, before being delivered to the Capenhurst site.
It is expected the deliveries will be infrequent – likely to be one per year – from the early 2020s.
Use of an existing CNS facility is the preferred option for the interim storage of the RPVs at Capenhurst, in advance of final disposal at the UK’s planned Geological Disposal Facility, some time after 2040.
In his written statement to the House of Commons the minister said: “As a responsible nuclear operator the MOD takes seriously its duty to manage the submarine fleet throughout their operational service and during the disposal process.
“Today’s announcement reiterates my commitment that this activity will be undertaken in a safe, secure, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner.”
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