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Greenpeace hails closure of nuclear plant

LONDON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Environmental group Greenpeace said the closure of a nuclear recycling plant in the United Kingdom was a sign nuclear power benefits aren't worth the risk.

A nuclear recycling plant at Sellafield in Cumbria is scheduled to close in the next few years. The plant recycles plutonium into mixed oxide fuel. Officials said operating the plant isn't feasible because of uncertainty about the nuclear future of Japan, the plant's only customer.

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The British Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said demand for fuel generated from the MOX facility is uncertain in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the BBC reports.

A magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami sparked a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi facility.

Greenpeace said the MOX facility was never a good business decision. It argued that instead of using up plutonium stocks, it increased their levels. MOX facilities, Greenpeace argued, generate more nuclear waste than they use.

Closing the Sellafield fuel plant, Greenpeace said, shows the nuclear power industry isn't worth the risks. The closure is a "small step in the right direction," which verifies the advocacy group's long-standing complaints about nuclear power.

"The closure of the Sellafield MOX Plant is another sign that it's time is over," said Greenpeace.

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