Britain’s nuclear research labs are to be entirely controlled by experts at the University of Manchester.
The scientists will be responsible for maintaining laboratories at Sellafield in Cumbria as well as in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
“The University has a long tradition of being at the forefront of nuclear research and we are delighted,” said University of Manchester Vice-Chancellor Alan Gilbert. In a recent interview with the Manchester Evening News he was keen to emphasise the University’s history with nuclear research, citing Ernest Rutherford, whose office is still haunted by the spectre of radioactive poisoning.
However, Manchester’s consortium has faced criticism from certain anti-nuclear groups in the past. Paul Waring, from Manchester Friends of the Earth, said: “Work is urgently required to decommission and make safe the UK’s last few nuclear power-stations and clean up the deadly legacy of nuclear waste.
“However, this announcement highlights the continuing campaign by the nuclear industry to seduce central government into thinking the industry can create a new role for itself in tackling climate change.”