Current Status of the United Kingdom Programme for Long-Term Radioactive Waste Management

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In 1997, the UK programme for the deep disposal of radioactive waste was ''stopped dead in its tracks'' with the refusal by the Secretary of State for the Environment to allow Nirex to go ahead with its plans for an underground Rock Characterisation Facility at Sellafield in north-west England. Since that time a House of Lords' Select Committee has held an inquiry into what went wrong and what the way ahead should be. In addition, Nirex and the nuclear industry players have also been analyzing the past with a view to learning from the experience in taking things forward. In ... continued below

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12 pages

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Murray, C. H.; Hooper, A. J. & Mathieson, J. February 27, 2002.

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Description

In 1997, the UK programme for the deep disposal of radioactive waste was ''stopped dead in its tracks'' with the refusal by the Secretary of State for the Environment to allow Nirex to go ahead with its plans for an underground Rock Characterisation Facility at Sellafield in north-west England. Since that time a House of Lords' Select Committee has held an inquiry into what went wrong and what the way ahead should be. In addition, Nirex and the nuclear industry players have also been analyzing the past with a view to learning from the experience in taking things forward. In Nirex's view this is essentially an ethical issue; the waste exists and we should deal with it in this generation. Three areas need to be better addressed if a successful program of management of the nation's radioactive waste is to be achieved: the process of how policy development and implementation can be achieved; the structure of the nuclear industry and its relationship to the waste management organization; and the behavior of the players in their interaction with stakeholders. All three are underpinned by the need for transparency. In recognition that developing a policy for managing radioactive waste has to be achieved with the support of all stakeholders, the Government instigated a consultation exercise in September 2001. The initial phase of this initiative is essentially a consultation about consultation and is intended to decide on how the next stages of a six year policy development program should be addressed. In addition to this exercise, the Government is undertaking a fundamental review of the structuring of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL). They are both shareholders in Nirex and in November 2001 the Government announced the setting up of a Liabilities Management Authority (LMA) to manage the long-term nuclear liabilities that are publicly owned, particularly through those organizations. The future of Nirex will be directly influenced by the outcome of these reviews.

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12 pages

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  • Waste Management 2002 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/24/2002--02/28/2002

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  • Report No.: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 829578
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc788494

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  • February 27, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 27, 2016, 1:20 p.m.

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Murray, C. H.; Hooper, A. J. & Mathieson, J. Current Status of the United Kingdom Programme for Long-Term Radioactive Waste Management, article, February 27, 2002; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc788494/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.