The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), covering England and Northern Ireland, and the Welsh Government, last week opened consultations that will explore views on the approach to planning and selecting a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in partnership with potential willing host communities.
Geological disposal involves isolating radioactive waste in a highly-engineered facility deep underground and within multiple protective barriers, to ensure that no harmful radioactivity ever reach the surface environment. Across the world, geological disposal, preceded by safe and secure interim storage, is acknowledged as the best solution for managing higher-activity radioactive wastes in the long-term.
Ann McCall, Radioactive Waste Management’s (RWM) GDF Siting and Engagement Director, said, “Geological disposal will provide a safe, secure and long-term solution to managing the UK’s radioactive waste, and RWM welcomes the public consultations launched today which place communities at the heart of the process.”
“As the delivery body for geological disposal, we are eager to hear people’s views on how we can work with communities to progress this important programme on behalf of society.”
The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has welcomed the consultations. The NIA agrees that geological disposal is the best policy for the long term safe and secure management of radiological waste and is the solution being adopted internationally.
Tom Greatrex, NIA Chief Executive, said, “These consultations will provide much greater clarity on the key issues of underground storage, and effective community engagement. It will place the community at the centre of the process, as well as delivering the long-term job creation such a facility will bring.”