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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Multi-million deal to boost community funds

A NUCLEAR deal which will see millions of pounds’ worth of community benefits pouring into the area has almost been finalised.

Sending large volumes of highly radioactive materials to Sellafield from Scotland – and other NDA sites – could be worth as much as £16 million but no figures have been confirmed.

However, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has confirmed that it is in the final stages of a massive community benefits deal being struck with Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council.

Arrangements are still to be finalised and the amount of money disclosed, but the NDA’s chief executive John Clark has confirmed an agreement is close.

There are also hopes that it might be sealed in time for a Christmas boost to the area.

Negotiations with the councils over a likely community benefits package were started after the NDA decided there was “a clear and compelling” case to move all the radioactive spent fuel from Caithness to Sellafield.

Dounreay’s nuclear reactors are being decommissioned and the community benefits package is likely to be paid into one of two pots, or both.

These are Copeland’s own Community Fund and Britain’s Energy Coast which aids West Cumbria generally.

A decision has still to be reached.

The NDA already puts £1.5 million directly every year into Copeland’s own fund from the operation of the low-level radioactive repository (LLWR) at Drigg.

Some £10 million was also paid up front.

The Dounreay plan is to move 44 tons of spent fuel by rail for reprocessing over five years.

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