[source: NorwayPost.no] Norwegian Environmental Minister Helen Bjoernoey is disappointed over the UK authorities’ decision to permit the re-opening of the Thorp nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield.

The British Nuclear Security Authority on Tuesday gave permission to resume the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at the Thorp plant, which was closed down in April 2005, following a serious leak when a pipe burst, causing 83 cubic metres of contaminated liquids to leak into a concrete cell lined with stainless steel.

Bjoernoy will now contact Ireland and Iceland with the aim to mount a joint reaction against the re-opening of the reprocessing plant.

– Thorp ought to have been closed for good. I am disappointed over the fact that British authorities have permitted the re-opening of the plant, the Norwegian Environment Minister says.

– It is disappointing that so little importance has been attached to the interests and views of neighbouring nations like Ireland, Iceland and Norway when the decision to re-open was given, she says.

[source: norway.org.uk ] “The THORP plant should be shut down for good, and I am very disappointed that British authorities have now allowed for the reopening of this plant,? Ms Bjørnøy said. “I have raised this issue on several occations with my UK colleague, and Norway’s view has also been communicated at the prime ministerial level. Concerns over the possible reopening of THORP have also been raised by the Nordic Ministers for the Environment in concert.?

“Neighbouring countries such as Ireland and Norway are very vulnerable to any major discharge of radioactive material from THORP or its associated waste facilities. It is disappointing that UK authorities have attached so little importance to the interests and views of countries like Norway, Ireland and Iceland when making their decision on whether to reopen of the plant or not. I think the time is now ripe for a closer cooperation between these countries in order to secure our interests when important decisions are made in the matter of future operation or shut-down of THORP and related nuclear facilities at Sellafield,? Helen Bjørnøy concluded.