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Scottish independence: Nuclear waste storage quiz

Nuclear waste from Scotland is currently sent to Sellafield in Cumbria. Picture: Getty

Nuclear waste from Scotland is currently sent to Sellafield in Cumbria. Picture: Getty

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

The Scottish Government is being urged to spell out what will happen to spent nuclear fuels and other nuclear materials in Scotland after independence.

• Scottish Government asked to outline what it would do with storage of nuclear fuels in event of independence

• Lib Dems raise concerns over storage issues if Scotland votes Yes to independence

These are currently sent to Sellafield in Cumbria for reprocessing and are also stored south of the border. But Liberal Democrats say there is no reason why this would continue if Scotland is not part of the UK.

A Parliamentary answer issued by environment secretary Richard Lochhead says it will be dealt with in a “a responsible way” if Scots vote yes in next year’s referendum but does not set out where the materials will be sent.

Lib Dem environment spokesman Liam McArthur said: “If Scotland chose to leave the UK there is no reason why spent nuclear fuel would continue to be sent to a city in a then foreign country.

“It would be like asking your neighbour to look after your skip so that you can keep your own garden looking spotless.

“For a party which has preached the virtues of independence for decades this just isn’t good enough. Communities across Scotland need to know if a vote for independence will mean a new nuclear reprocessing site will appear in their back garden.”

Scotland currently has two nuclear power stations at Hunterston and Torness. Both are scheduled to remain operational until 2023, although the SNP has long opposed nuclear energy amid concern over the environmental impact.

 

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