In 2011, informed by our strategic options work, the UK government proposed a preliminary policy view to pursue re-use of UK civil separated plutonium as Mixed Oxide fuel (MOX). This would see the vast majority of UK plutonium converted into fuel for use in civil nuclear reactors. Any remaining plutonium unsuitable for conversion into MOX would be immobilised and treated as waste for disposal.
The NDA undertook further work between 2011 and 2013. This focused on continuing to examine reuse of plutonium as MOX and an assessment of alternative reuse proposals (in CANDU or PRISM reactors) offered by two other technology vendors. This work culminated in revised advice to DECC in June 2013 and publication of a position paper in January 2014.
NDA has continued to work with government to develop reuse options along with immobilisation as an alternative approach. Further work is needed to establish conditions so that a decision to implement a preferred option can be confidently made at the right time.
Only when government is confident that its preferred option could be implemented safely and securely, in way that is affordable, deliverable, and offers value for money, will it be in a position to proceed.