The Environment Agency welcomes the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) consultation on the draft strategy for solid low level radioactive waste (LLW) from the nuclear industry.
We believe that providing arrangements for managing LLW is a vital part of ensuring the UK retains a robust nuclear infrastructure to support current operations, decommissioning and clean-up, and for new nuclear build.
Putting in place a robust strategy will help facilitate the decommissioning and clean up of nuclear sites by providing continued and diverse waste management routes. We believe this could also make significant savings within the industry that can be used for further hazard reduction. Taking this industry-wide view should provide an opportunity to identify and implement the most beneficial initiatives and investments.
We believe the NDA should consider how the strategy might form part of its wider national Integrated Waste Strategy to ensure that it properly addresses all wastes that might need to be managed as LLW, and that it supports the wider NDA strategy of decommissioning and clean-up.
We particularly support the following aspects of the draft strategy -
- Ensuring the continued availability of LLW disposal routes which are vital to the nuclear industry for continued operations, for new nuclear build and for decommissioning and clean up
- Application of the waste management hierarchy to minimise the quantities of waste ultimately requiring disposal
- Optimising use of the LLW Repository near Drigg (LLWR) as a critical national asset. We support efforts to find environmentally acceptable and safe alternative management routes for wastes that do not need to go to the LLWR. We would like to see a range of fit-for-purpose waste management routes, for the diverse types of LLW
- Proposals to spread good practice on characterisation and segregation of wastes.
Read our full response