Status of Implementation
- In June 2014 a Government policy document (White Paper) was published, updating and replacing the previous 2008 White Paper this sets out the UK Government’s framework for managing higher activity radioactive waste through geological disposal.
- The 2014 framework is informed by lessons learned from previous siting process (2008 onwards) and a Call for Evidence and public consultation held in 2013.
- The 2014 policy gives a clear role to RWM as the developer of geological disposal, confirms the timing and magnitude of early community investment, and confirms that engagement funding for communities will be provided by RWM.
- The UK Government is committed to providing access to independent expert views on information produced during the siting process, via learned societies. Government, RWM or a community will be able to use this mechanism.
- The new policy framework is based on a number of initial actions followed by a process of working with communities. As before, the process is based on willingness of local communities to participate and recognises importance of providing upfront information on issues such as geology, socio-economic impacts, and community investment.
- The initial actions include:
- A national geological screening exercise
- Amendments to national land-use planning arrangements for geological disposal facilities and the associated investigation boreholes
- Providing greater clarity on how Government and RWM intend to work with communities.
- Good progress has been made with the initial actions and public consultations on planning arrangements and proposals for working with communities are expected to start later in 2017.
- Following completion of initial actions, a new consent-based siting process will be launched in the UK. Currently this is expected to be in early 2018.
- In the meantime, RWM continues to work closely with the producers of higher activity radioactive waste to ensure it is packaged in a way that is compatible with geological disposal.
- RWM is also working with the Scottish Government to establish how it can support the implementation of Scottish Higher Activity Radioactive Waste Policy for near-surface, near site storage and disposal.
Target Geologic Formation: Unspecified – subject to siting process
Earliest In-Service Date: 2040