STOGURSEY residents have expressed concerns over the potential of ‘high-level radioactive fuel’ being stored on site at Hinkley Point C.

Historically, spent fuel from Hinkley Point A and B has been transported to Sellafield in Cumbria where it is reprocessed and usefully recycled as nuclear reactor fuel.

Former Stogursey School governor Peter Farmery has expressed concerns over EDF’s plans to store fuel on-site for a minimum period of 60 years.

The storage will be in huge cooled sheds covering an area greater than two football pitches and of considerable height. 

Mr Farmery said: “Reprocessing is carried out in France and in Japan resulting in the massive percentage reduction in waste that has to be stored and the reduction in mining of new fuel. 

“The problem in the UK has been to find a location willing to accept reprocessing. However, because of what seems to be a lack of resolve by the Government, every nuclear power station that is built from now on will leave a large amount of spent fuel to be dealt with at later time.

“It makes no sense to leave large amounts of highly toxic nuclear fuel dotted around the country. 

“Storage will no doubt cost large sums of money and be a risk to the security of the country. 

“Handling and reprocessing after such a long period of time will be more difficult. Clearly the need is to tackle the problem immediately, to build a reprocessing plant and do the job properly.”

Mr Farmery said he was not protesting against EDF or nuclear power but argues the Government would be leaving a job half done if it did not create another fuel reprocessing plant.

EDF said plans to change from dry storage to wet storage would have to be approved by the Environment Agency and Office for Nuclear Regulation and discussions were still in early stages.

EDF said it has always had permission to store fuel on site but has made an amendment to its plan to go from wet to dry storage to alter the size of the plot.

An EDF spokesman said: “Our agreed consultees, the Hinkley Point C Community Forum and the local parish council, have also been informed about our proposal to change from a wet store to a dry fuel store, which is an equally safe and robust storage method used across Europe and the USA.

“The amount of fuel stored on site would not increase under this application – only the method of storage, which we are already using at Sizewell B, Suffolk.”

EDF has submitted a separate planning application to make a number of changes at the site, including modifying the size of the plot for the fuel store building, as well as realigning a section of the sea wall and additional pipework at the temporary jetty.

The application to change the plot size for the fuel store building is now subject to public consultation. Hinkley Point C is expected to have 5,600 workers on site daily at the peak of construction and it is hoped to be fully operational by 2027.