The talks, which have been in progress since September 1998, produced two interim reports (2) published today by the dialogue facilitator - the Environment Council.
Talks have centred so far on establishing the extent of the Company's
current and projected radioactive waste stockpile and its current and
Significantly, discussions on the nuclear waste stockpile have moved BNFL to accept that it is too early to reopen the search for a national nuclear waste dump.
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have been represented in negotiations about the radioactive waste stockpile by their lawyer, Jamie Woolley.
Other stakeholders engaged in these discussions include environmental
groups, unions, and the industry regulator, the Nuclear Installations
Mr Woolley assessed the talks as valuable for establishing areas of
agreement and disagreement more precisely, but added:
'Whether the dialogue will resolve anything remains to be seen. In our
view the company must get out of nuclear reprocessing, abandon its ambition to launch an international plutonium fuel trade and get into nuclear waste clean up. We do however, welcome BNFL's recognition that deep disposal of nuclear waste is not the way forward at this time.'
Nuclear Free Local Authorities will join a new round of discussions with BNFL which are about to open on the future of nuclear reprocessing and how to deal with the huge plutonium stockpile at the Company's Sellafield site.
1. 110 Councils in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland support the Nuclear Free Local Authorities
2. Interim reports of the Waste Working Group and Discharges Working Group in the BNFL National Dialogue produced by the Environment Council (tel: 0207 836 2626)