'The Office for Nuclear Regulation have spent much time and effort on the Generic Design Assessment for new reactor designs. I am comfortable that at the end of this process all the technical issues will have been addressed and the safety case will have been established (Survey, PE March).
However, there are a number of related issues that I am far less happy with - a) What will happen to the nuclear waste? We have no agreed policy for its long-term storage. b) What will be the arrangements for de-commissioning the plants? We (the consumer) have paid for the de-commissioning of the current reactors several times over through the nuclear levy etc. - but not one has been fully de-commissioned. c) What arrangements will be put in place to deal with potential leaks and terrorist threats?
These are all political issues, but significantly the political establishment has chosen not to address them for some 60 years now. With the engineering issues addressed, is it too much to hope that the political ones are sorted before new build is allowed to commence? I suspect so, and feel uncomfortable that the Institution is supporting nuclear new build despite this.
John Attree, Abingdon