A feasibility study has recently been submitted to the government by GE Hitachi which brings the UK a step closer to being able to run a nuclear power plant on fuel it that has already become spent.
The idea is that a next-generation reactor is going to be developed which is called PRISM and it is designed to make use of the waste plutonium that has developed in the country since nuclear power started being generated. It is estimated that in the UK is currently around 100 tonnes of plutonium wastage in storage.
The preferred option by the government is to turn it into a different type of fuel that can be used in ordinary nuclear reactors, however, the government have recently made an announcement that there plan to do this has resulted in huge financial losses. The new reactor technology was initially hoped to be launched in Cumbria however its development was rejected in January after claims that it would be commercially non-viable.
The developers have said that this new generation of nuclear power stations is a more effective solution than the governments alternative which they have recently seen huge losses on. The feasibility report totals over 1000 pages and it is aimed at persuading the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority that developing this sort of system is worthwhile.
The company stated that this sort of power station would be able to generate around 600 megawatts of electricity that is created in a low carbon way, but it is also going to be more affordable for the taxpayer.
The company estimate that it would be possible to fund the power station through private means and the government would simply have to pay for the plutonium to be processed. The report is going to be considered by the NDA.