A former chairman of the Hunterston site stakeholders forum has raised concerns that the goalposts could be moved concerning the designated end state of Hunterston ‘A’ after it has been fully decommissioned.

Tony Bale, who was chair of the nuclear liaison forum, sat in the audience during the group’s recently quarterly meeting, and sought assurances from ‘A’ site director Martin Grafton. The public event took place at Fairlie Bowling Club’s new clubhouse.

Questions surrounding the loss of jobs at the site were also raised at the forum, and the implications on the downsizing of the plant, and whether it would cause delays to reaching the end state.

The power plant is currently undergoing care and maintenance preparations where the most dangerous hazards are being removed such as sludges/resins, and conventional hazards such as asbestos.

The following stage will be care and maintenance- where the site and reactor buildings are left in a safe state until final site clearance.

However, it is the specifics of how the site will finish up and be left for generations to come, which was uppermost in Mr Bale’s mind, when he heard at the meeting that there was a suggestion that there might be further consultations regarding the future end state.

In repsonse, Mr Grafton said: “There may be some minor changes, and these will be relayed back to the Site Stakeholders Group.” But Mr Bale insisted that an original agreement to the end state had already been reached with the community, involving a ‘three box model’ where the two reactors would be reduced in height, and auxiliary buildings would be removed altogether, and all the contamination would be removed from site - he said he hoped that the original agreement would be maintained, and pointed out any future reviews regarding the end state should not just come in front of the site stakeholders, but also the Scottish Government.” West Kilbride councillor Robert Barr stated his wish that he hoped Magnox, who manage the site, work with North Ayrshire Council concerning the potential job losses, with around 50 positions.

He pointed tou that North Ayrshire suffers from high unemployment, and Mr Grafton explained that positions elsewhere within the company at other sites, would be an option, although Cllr. Barr interjected that ‘Not everyone would be willing to move away from our area.” Bill Hamilton of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority said that the Westminster Government was yet to announce the funding plan for decommissioned plants around the UK, but were expecting a reduction in income for all the sites, although there were legal procedures in place for various activities which had to be carried out at the site, and it was also pointed out that a comprehensive competition programme took place in which the company Cavendish Fluor Partnership were selected to carry out a more financially prudent and streamlined decommissioning of the site, while maintaining safety at optimum levels at all times.