National Nuclear Laboratory and GEH sign plutonium MoU

The UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH).

Under the terms of the MoU, NNL will provide expert technical input into GEH’s work to study the potential UK deployment of its innovative PRISM reactor, which GEH is proposing as a means to dispose of the UK’s plutonium while generating 600MW of low-carbon electricity.

According to a statement, the UK will have 140 tonnes of plutonium by 2018, mostly stored at Sellafield in Cumbria. The UK government confirmed its intention to reuse this plutonium in December 2011, declaring that it ‘remains open to any alternative proposals for plutonium management that offer better value to the UK taxpayer’.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) announced in February 2012 that it is seeking proposals for alternative approaches for management of the UK’s plutonium stocks.