British/U.S. Nuclear Waste Scam Thwarted

MANCHESTER, England - A corporate conspiracy to illegally ship thousands of irradiated waste reactor fuel rods to England - 12 barge loads, over five years - has been exposed by Friends of the Earth in London.

Documents leaked to FOE disclosed discussions - between British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. (BNFL) and three New Enland utilities - about deadly waste shipments from Yanke Rowe, Connecticut Yankee, and Maine Yankee reactors to Sellafield in Cumbria, England.

The U.S. reactor operators are running out of space to store their deadly waste fuel rods.  The conspirators intended to buy 15 or so years of storage time, avoid costly U.S. waste regulations, and secretly violate the British ban on storage of imported nuclear waste.

In a May 28 letter to the three U.S. utilities, Ian Porter, a BNFL manager, wrote, "I would be most grateful if, in your discussion with DOE you do not refer to BNFL by name or to the specific cask names mentioned in the paper.  Clearly, if you wish to leave something in writing with DOE it will be necessary to 'doctor' this paper accordingly.  I am sure that Marilyn will help you in this."

England's energy minister has said BNFL's March 22 purchase from CBS of Westinghouse's commercial nuclear businesses (which make uranium fuel for U.S. reactors) would not involve imports of U.S. nuclear waste.. "American wastes will be dealt with in the U.S.," the minister said last July 8.

NRC officials say no criminal charges are pending because, "There's nothing that says you can't talk to someone."

-The Manchester Guardian, May 18, 1999; Portland Press Herald, May 18, 1999.