New Minister calls for continued focus at Sellafield nuclear plant

Posted on 5 Oct 2012
Baroness Verma (bottom middle) meeting Councillors in Cumbria

Baroness Verma has called for a ‘continued and strong focus’ on decommissioning at the Sellafield nuclear site.

The Minister was visiting the nuclear plant in West Cumbria yesterday for the first time since she was appointed as the new Department of Energy and Climate Change minister last month.

Decommissioning at Sellafield nuclear plant has been underway since it transferred to the Nuclear Decommission Authority in 2004. In 2011 the Windscale Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor became the first nuclear powered reactor to be decommissioned in the UK.

The nuclear site at Sellafield site is home to a wide range of interdependent nuclear facilities and operations. These range from hazard and risk reduction, decommissioning, reprocessing and nuclear waste management.

Baroness Verma praised the ‘dedication and professionalism’ of the workforce and later met with Cumbrian council leaders to discuss the siting process for a geological disposal facility for nuclear waste.

Baroness Verma said: “Visiting Sellafield really does drive home the sheer scale and size of the challenge posed by our nuclear legacy, and why we must continue to focus relentlessly on our world-leading decommissioning efforts.

She continued: “Decommissioning and cleaning up the site will take many decades, but I am very encouraged by the progress being made and the dedication and professionalism of everyone at the site.”

Work is expected to continue on the site until 2026.