The closure of a section of the controversial Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria, UK, was announced Wednesday. This has been welcomed by Norwegian environmental organisation Bellona.
The Mox plant, which recycles plutonium into mixed oxide fuel, is no longer viable because of uncertainty in the Japanese nuclear industry, the plant's only customer, British officials say.
It was built to turn waste plutonium from existing nuclear plants into fuel that could be used by foreign buyers - most recently Japan. But the Fukushima plant in Japan remains closed and it is not clear how much energy Japan will generate from nuclear sources in the future.
The nations around the North Sea have been concerned over a possible new leak from the Sellafield plant, after more than 80,000 litres of highly radioactive waste escaped from a fractured pipe a few yers ago.
Traces of radioactive pollution from Sellafield in the form of technetium has been found in seaweeds and lobster along the Norwegian coast.
Bellona CEO Nils Bøhmer, says the closure of the one unit is good news, and hopes this means that the whole Sellafield plant will be closed down.