Government on the spot over Sellafield's reprocessing plant

The 18-year gestation of British Nuclear Fuels' Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) is almost at an end. Only one hurdle seemingly remains - the authorisation to dispose of its wastes. Opponents see this as the last chance to scrap what they regard as an environmental and financial white elephant. BNF's original rationale for THORP has grown increasingly threadbare since it was proposed in the mid-1970s - and the Government may now be forced into a last-minute rethink of the consequences of allowing it to be commissioned.

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