Department of Energy and Climate Change
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Progress on safe management of radioactive waste

The Government yesterday published the response to its consultation on how potential sites for geological disposal of higher activity waste in England will be identified and assessed. It also published a Framework document which sets out a high-level description of the desk-based site identification and assessment process and the criteria that will be used.

Alongside this, the Government announced the Triennial Review of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). This review has two main aims:

  • to challenge the continuing need for an NDPB to carry out this role – both its functions and form; and - if it is agreed it should remain as an advisory NDPB; and
  • to review its control and governance arrangements to ensure it is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

Charles Hendry, Minister for Energy, said:

“As we move forward with work on our long-term plans for nuclear waste, it is vital that we get the finer details right.

“Today’s consultation response and accompanying Framework document will give more clarity about how a potential disposal site will be identified and assessed.”
Separately, the Government published a strategy for waste planning bodies, regulators and waste producers on solid low-level radioactive waste (LLW) from the non-nuclear industries (such as hospitals and universities). This provides further guidance on our policy to encourage the disposal of such low level waste locally, where suitable permitted facilities exist.

Notes for editors:

  1. The consultation response and more information about the Government’s radioactive waste policy are available on the DECC website
  2. Triennial Reviews of Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) are part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring accountability in public life.
  3. The low level waste strategy can be viewed  on the DECC website. This complements an existing strategy on low level waste from the nuclear industries, published by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2009.

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