Consultation outcome: NDA Radioactive Waste Management Strategy

The NDA has now published the final version of the Radioactive Waste Management Strategy which was issued for consultation in July 2018.

This updated document takes account of comments received during the 12-week consultation period, which concluded in October 2018.

We committed to developing a single radioactive waste strategy for the NDA group in our 2016 Strategy document, with an overall objective:

‘To manage radioactive waste and dispose of it where possible, or place it in safe, secure and suitable storage, ensuring the delivery of UK and devolved administration policies’

The new strategy applies to all solid radioactive waste generated across NDA sites.

The management of radioactive waste is critical for the successful completion of the NDA mission to deliver safe, sustainable and publicly acceptable solutions to the challenge of nuclear clean-up and waste management.

NDA is the UK’s leading strategic authority in radioactive waste management. Over 90% of the UK’s radioactive waste will be generated by the NDA estate and we also own the majority of significant radioactive waste management infrastructure. Any opportunities to drive efficiencies or optimisation to reduce the length of the mission could realise significant savings.

Our aim is to provide a high-level framework that will enable more flexible decision-making, to ensure safe, environmentally acceptable and cost-effective solutions which reflect the diverse nature of our radioactive waste inventory. Our strategy considers each stage in the management of radioactive waste:

  • planning and preparation
  • treatment and packaging
  • storage
  • disposal

The benefits of this single strategy include:

  • greater opportunities to optimise the management of wastes, significantly reducing costs and schedules
  • clear articulation of our strategic needs for solid radioactive wastes
  • risk-informed identification of the most appropriate waste management route with greater emphasis on the nature of the waste rather than classification
  • the mechanism to create a single integrated waste management programme, reducing duplication of effort
  • opportunities to develop robust, sustainable waste infrastructure at the most appropriate time

The development of the NDA’s Radioactive Waste Strategy, and its more integrated approach to waste management, also contributes to the Government’s Industrial Strategy - Nuclear Sector Deal.

This deal calls for a National Decommissioning and Waste Management Pipeline to give a comprehensive UK-wide view of major decommissioning and waste management.