The following are questions that Close Capenhurst are asking – Radiation Free Lakeland agree that this is concerning to say the least. Capenhurst and Springfields are the beginning of the nuclear fuel chain ….the end is at Sellafield (and dispersed to the environment)
The Depleted Uranium Hexaflouride (Hex) Conversion Process –
QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS
How Much ?
URENCO intends to convert the circa 96,000 tons of depleted Uranium Hex which is stored at Capenhurst in to a solid state via their almost completed tailings plant. This figure of 96,000 tons is based upon a URENCO document which states that the nearly completed tailings plant will process some 3,000 tones of depleted hex a year.
Though this figure has to be a guesstimate, as we don’t know the exact amount which is to be found at the plant. *1. The plant may not start fully operating until 2020.
URENCO have stated that this conversion work will not be completed until 2053. Even then that might not be the plants closing date, as another factor to consider is just how much more depleted uranium Hex might be created, or imported to be processed in the tailing plant. No Reply During September of last year we asked URENCO just how much Depleted Uranium Hex is stored at Capenhurst.
We are still waiting for their reply. While the ONR have stated that they do not have the total number to give us. This is because it has never been totalled the numbers from the various reports they have on file, The Process and Potential problems. The proposal is to remove the Uranium from the hexafluoride. The depleted Uranium will then be stored in a solid state. While the fluoride gas will be sold off, with the containers cut up & sold for recycling. We presume that this steel will be sent to Cumbria. What we can’t work out is what happens once the Hex containers are empty. (see image above taken recently at Springfields)
This is why: – ‘The UF6 inside the cylinder combines with the iron on the inner surfaces to form a surface layer of iron fluoride.’ There seems to be very little info about how this is dealt with. *3. The other question comes from what we know about the effects of radiation upon steel. Some of it becomes Cobalt 60. I would presume that the Iron Fluoride also contains radioactive elements. Though I have no idea about just what these might be. So if anyone has any knowledge about the decommissioning of these flasks, then please let us know.