Press release

Plutonium deal brings security benefits

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority can conduct a series of plutonium title transfers with legacy overseas reprocessing customers, the Government has agreed.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority can conduct a series of plutonium title transfers with legacy overseas reprocessing customers, the Government has agreed.

These transfers essentially exchange ownership of plutonium between two countries, removing the need to physically move it. Title transfers offer a cost effective and beneficial arrangement which allows the UK to gain national control over more of the civil plutonium in the UK and avoids the need to physically transport separated plutonium because of the associated significant security measures.

In detail the NDA is:

  1. Taking ownership of about 800 kg of material previously owned by a Swedish Utility.

  2. Taking ownership of about 140 kg of material previously owned by a German research organisation.

These transactions will not result in any new plutonium being brought into the UK and will not increase the overall amount of plutonium in the UK. The financial benefits to the UK of taking ownership are considered to be sufficient to offset the estimated long term cost of managing that plutonium in the UK.

Notes for editors:

  1. Written Ministerial Statement by Michael Fallon
  2. The Government’s consultation response to the long-term management of UK-owned separated civil plutonium