The European Union’s nuclear watchdog has revealed the extent of the country’s nuclear wastes storage capacity, with the number of reactors that have been shut down and decommissioned in the EU in the last 20 years topping 8,400.
It is understood that at least 1,200 of the reactors are still operating in the European Union, with more than 100 still operational in Germany and another 50 in France.
The watchdog said the total storage capacity of the remaining 5,600 reactors in the 28-nation bloc is 6.6% of the total capacity of 1.4 billion tons of nuclear fuel, which is equivalent to about 3% of Europe’s total nuclear capacity.
The UK currently has around 5,400 reactors, but many are still in operation, including the Anefit nuclear power plant in Somerset, which closed in 2011 and is due to be decommissioning in 2019.
The Independent has contacted the UK government for comment.
The UK’s nuclear regulator is looking at a plan to shut down all of the UK’s existing reactors in 2022, and decommissions the rest by 2025.
It has been criticised for not moving quickly enough to address the UK being in such a dire financial position, with experts saying it could cost more than £1bn to decommission all of UK’s reactors.
However, it is understood there is now a plan for the government to start decommissional work on the ANEfit plant in 2019, and it is likely to shut the Aineford reactors at the end of 2019.
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