How Much Depleted Hex Is At Capenhust ? ? ?

How Much Hex ?

Uranium Hexafluoride is highly toxic, radioactive, corrosive to most metals, and reacts violently with water.

One of the questions we have been asking since the Close Capenhurst Campaign was established is just how much Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride is stored at the URENCO Capenhurst site.

The best answer we have received is ‘ A vast Quantity’,which is also the only way we have been able to describe it.

We just don’t know.

Although one recent article stated that it is some 60,000 tonnes.

This is exactly what we want to know.


1. How many containers of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride are stored at the Capenhurst site ?

2. What is the total mass of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride which each of the containers at Capenhurst can hold ?

3. What is the total mass of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride which is stored at the Capenhurst site ?


4. How much of the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride will the new tailing plant at Capenhurst be able to process each hour ?

We recently submitted these questions to the Office of Nuclear Regulation as a Freedom of Information request.

This is the response which we received from them: –

‘We receive updates (a month in arrears from relevant UK dutyholders) on the amounts of material held on sites that are under our Nuclear Safeguards regime. Whilst we hold some of the data you require, we unfortunately do not receive it in the format that you have requested – it would take a significant amount of time to interrogate the data, to extract the specific volume of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride and provide the information in the requested format, approximately 60 man hours at a cost of £900 over and above the £600 or 3 days’ effort that you are assigned under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We cannot release the data set in its entirety as it contains Sensitive Nuclear Information, which would need to be redacted/extracted under section 24 of FOIA, National Security.’

In other words

They would only be willing to let us have the answer, if we were willing to give them £900.

This ‘fee’ will then be used to redact much of the information from any reply which we might receive.

Our response to this is as follows.

– 1. That what we asked for relates to a matter of very great public concern, and should be freely available to us all.

– 2. That we Do Not intend to pay out any money in order to maintain the secrecy which is an integral part of how the Nukiller Industry operates.


– 3. That we will continue to keep asking the same questions until we get the information which we require.

4 thoughts on “How Much Depleted Hex Is At Capenhust ? ? ?”

  1. Thank you so much for asking these questions on all our behalves. Every stage of the nuclear fuel chain is so dangerous that it should be banned Asap. There was an Australian film made fairly recently about a release of Uranium Hexaflouride…The Code I think it was called. It is a subject that has not really entered the public consiousness here in the UK despite the awfulness of it all.

  2. Looking retrospectively during the past 60 years, the nuclear industry made a terrible misjudgement, for reasons that will now be elucidated. There are two routes to nuclear fission:

    (a) U235/U236 to P239, giving rise to dangerous waste, especially Actinides and P239 that need to stored for at least 100000 years safely from the natural environment (somehow, yet to be devised): or
    (b) Thorium Th232 via U233, giving rise to very radiologically hot materials in the short term, that only need to be stored for circa 300 years before normal handling can be employed.

    Route (a) has been followed, on account of the alleged need for Plutonium for atomic munitions. As recently described in a US patent application US2014192949A1, in respect of route (b), Thorium pellets in fuel rods with Silicon Carbide cladding for “deep burn” potentially could reduce the quantities of nuclear waste enormously, if this route (b) were adopted in the nuclear industry Worldwide.

    Thus, if nuclear fission energy had to be employed, and route (b) were adopted, most of the waste being handled by Capenhurst could have been completely avoided; this is a truly tragic situation. However, the present nuclear industry is so conservatively entrenched in its present methods, namely using route (a), that even such a modest change, namely using Thorium fuel in Silicon Carbide clad fuel rods that could reduce the amount of nuclear waste drastically in the future, would be very difficult to obtain approval, as it would upset the economic model established involved with processing waste.

    Seems like an opportunity was missed and that Capenhurst’s existence could have been rendered unnecessary. We have to answer future generations for the misjudgement of this and previous generations regarding nuclear power.

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