Phasing out nuclear reprocessing
Implementation: Attempts by green lobbies to prevent the commissioning of the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) in the UK were ruled invalid by the High Court.
Claim: A 1,000 megawatt nuclear power plant creates about 200 kg of plutonium in a year. Such reactor grade plutonium would be sufficient to manufacture 47,000 bombs.
Counter Claim: Economic prospects for the new THORP plant are not promising. Foreign contracts will sustain it through 10 years, perhaps. These contracts require it to receive spent fuel and reactor fuel and return plutonium and wastes. The UK can do both without even turning on the plant. The UK already has 36 tonnes of plutonium that it does not know what to do with.
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies