Britain’s Local Governments support deep disposal of higher-level radioactive waste

February 23, 2018

By Christina MacPherson - austrialia

GDF Watch (accessed) 19th Feb 2018, The Local Government Association’s special interest group on radioactivewaste, NuLeAF, explain why the UK’s Local Authorities support geological
disposal, and set out their expectations of Government policy. Guided by a
government White Paper published in 2014, the Geological Disposal Facility
(GDF) will be the repository for the UK’s higher-level radioactive waste.

It will involve the construction of a highly-engineered facility many
hundreds of metres below the surface and spreading out over several
kilometres. Once all the waste has been placed in the site it will be
permanently sealed.

Given the nature of the material being disposed of, and
the scale of the repository, this is clearly a huge technical challenge.
However an even greater challenge is political. The Government is clear –
the GDF will not be imposed on a community; instead a consenting host area
will have to be found. As such, local government is central to the GDF
siting process, and NuLeAF, as the Local Government Association’s
representative body on nuclear decommissioning, has been active in shaping
the government’s approach.

NuLeAF’s view is that a deep geological
repository represents the best current solution for disposing of our
high-level radioactive wastes. In line with CoRWM, the UK Government’s
expert independent advisory group, we believe that we must dismantle and
make safe our ‘high hazard’ legacy nuclear sites. Such material will
pose risks to people and the environment for hundreds of thousands of
years, and locking it away underground will remove it from human contact
and the risk of accidents. Such ‘deep disposal’ is agreed
internationally as the best solution and similar facilities are already
under development in France, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland.

featured image Radioactive

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