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EXCLUSIVE- FUJITSU OFF!! Government Hires Fujitsu to Account and Track Dangerous Nuclear Wastes from Dounreay - Are they Laughing at Us?

"I'll be paying" in more ways than £££s! 2024 Glastonbury Festival photo Rowland Dye

At the same time folk at Glastonbury Festival are saying No to New Nuclear Wastes and the Post Office Inquiry is Live , Government have hired the company at the centre of the Post Office scandal to account for and track the UK's most dangerous nuclear wastes. The £306K Fujitsu contract has been awarded by Nuclear Restoration Services (former Magnox) for Fujitsu's ATOM application: "A contract has been awarded by NRS

Dounreay as a result of a direct award through the Crown Commercial Services

RM6194 Back Office Software Framework, for the provision and support of ATOM Application."

Dounreay was the test site of the UK's experimental Fast Breeder nuclear reactors. "EARLY in the morning of Tuesday 10 May 1977 there was a loud explosion at the Dounreay nuclear plant on the north coast of Scotland. The UK Atomic Energy Authority, which runs the plant, had dumped at least 2 kilograms of sodium and potassium down a 65-metre shaft packed with radioactive waste and flooded with seawater."

Fujitsu's ATOM stands for Accountancy and Tracking Of Material - "a comprehensive track and trace application, specifically designed for the processing, movement and reporting of nuclear and radioactive materials throughout the supply chain right up to nuclear decommissioning". According to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in 2008 Fujitsu's ATOM employed over " 2,000 people • Manages over 115,000 radioactive item records in the UK." In 2008 Dik Third, Nuclear Materials Advisor, UKAEA, worked closely with Fujitsu and said “…one of the problems with radioactive materials is that they have properties that computer-based logistics packages don’t handle. Unlike tins of beans, radioactive materials with short half-lives can transform into another isotope entirely.”

Fujitsu are now in control of the accounting and tracking of radioactive materials ie of nuclear wastes from the UKs failed fast breeder reactor at Dounreay. They will be allocating wastes to the nuclear "waste hierarchy' that means sorting wastes to go landfill, to incineration, to the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg, to Cyclife (radioactive scrap metal plant) and to Sellafield. The nuclear waste hierarchy has been criticised for increasing the levels at which waste can be designated for "free release" and other "disposal" routes which increasingly mean dumping into the public domain. There is a precedent for radioactive material ending up in the wrong place even without the services of Fujitsu.

The first government contract to be handed to Fujitsu following the Post Office scandal was with the nuclear industry. At that time in March of this year the government said it would be looking to terminate future contracts with Fujitsu but clearly the bonds between the nuclear industry and Fujitsu are too embedded for the Government to break. Essentially Fujitsu are holding the government over a nuclear barrel and putting the nation's nuclear safety in the hands of the company responsible for the Post Office scandal. Computer Weekly pointed out that: "Following the announcement of Fujitsu’s first government contract of the year and a subsequent public backlash, the government has been quick to stress that all options to replace the supplier’s £155,000 software support contract with the National Nuclear Laboratory including moving the service in-house, are being considered. Reacting to criticism for awarding the contract to Fujitsu, which is under intense scrutiny over its role in the Post Office scandal, the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero outlined the reason for Fujitsu’s new deal. “NNL requires bespoke software to ensure its work remains compliant with operationally critical regulations. There are currently no other suitable suppliers and without re-awarding this contract, the NNL would be unable to fulfil its regulatory duties,” said a spokesperson. But the department added that, “The NNL will consider all options once the contract comes to an end in March 2025, including exploring in-house solutions.”

That half hearted assurance to ditch Fujitsu has gone by the by with this new Fujitsu contract to track and trace nuclear wastes from Dounreay for the Nuclear Restoration Services, with the government now paying Fujitsu double the contentious National Nuclear Laboratory contract.

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