Around 600 workers are to lose their jobs following yesterday’s decision to close the Sellafield Mixed Oxide Plant (SMP).
Based in Cumbria, SMP recycles plutonium into mixed oxide fuel for Japanese customers.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), a non-departmental public body which operates the plant, said the decision was based on a review of the future of SMP in the light of the impact on the Japanese nuclear industry of the earthquake that struck the country in March.
In a statement, NDA said the plant would close ‘at the earliest practical opportunity’ in order to reduce the burden on the tax payer
Mike Graham, national secretary of nuclear union Prospect 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.’