Safety Implications of MOX Fuel Use In The Borssele Nuclear Power Plant - Lessons From Fukushima
|Author||Shaun Burnie, F.Barnaby|
|Classification||1.01.8.20/74 (BORSSELE I - GENERAL)|
From the publication:
SAFETY IMPLICATIONS OF MOX FUEL USE IN THE BORSSELE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT – LESSONS FROM FUKUSHIMA Shaun Burnie and Dr Frank Barnaby Commissioned by Greenpeace Netherlands August 3nd 2011 INTRODUCTION The Fukushima-daiichi nuclear accident has been underway for approaching five months. As high levels of radiation continue to be released into the environment and thousands of workers struggle to bring the site under control, a full understanding of the long-term consequences of the accident remain many months and years into the future. What is clear is that the safe operation of nuclear power plants in Japan and worldwide, and the effectiveness of international and national regulation is exposed as fundamentally flawed. It is in this context decisions made to embark on new nuclear operations must be understood. One of the reactors at Fukushima-daiichi, unit 3, unlike the other reactors at the site, operated for six months with a reactor core containing plutonium MOX fuel. The implications of the accident and the additional safety issues arising from the MOX fuel in unit 3, as already stated are many years away from being understood. Yet, only a few days before the beginning of the Fukushima-daiichi accident, the Government of the Netherlands granted a licence to the utility EPZ to operate its Borssele nuclear reactor with plutonium MOX fuel. The safety case that formed the basis of this decision was compiled in the years and months prior to the accident. Issues of MOX fuel safety that had long been discussed in Japan, but which remain unresolved, have not been debated within Dutch society. This report is an attempt to explain the multiple issues concerning MOX fuel use and why a decision to proceed with MOX fuel use in the Netherlands is both ill conceived and a direct threat to public safety and security.