UK launches consultation on waste siting

12 September 2013

The UK government has launched a public consultation on how it will organise the process that will lead to selection of a site for a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste.

A long-term geological repository is the UK's favoured method for management of its intermediate and high-level radioactive waste, with a site selection process centered on community voluntarism. Two communities in Cumbria - Copeland and Allerdale - had expressed interest in hosting a repository, but the selection process ground to a halt in January when the local county council voted against moving to the next stage of the process.

In a written statement to parliament, UK secretary for energy and climate change Ed Davey said that the proposals in the new consultation document had been informed by reviews of the site selection aspects of the UK waste program carried out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) since the January vote, including a public call for evidence and direct engagement with stakeholders and international bodies.

"The construction of a geological disposal facility is a multi-billion pound infrastructure initiative, which will directly create hundreds of jobs for many decades, with even more during peak construction periods. This would have a transformative effect on the economy of the area selected for the site, stimulating local businesses, supply chains, and providing skilled jobs and training opportunities," Davey said.

The consultation will run for three months and, after analysing the responses it receives, DECC intends to re-launch the site selection process in 2014.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News