The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) plan to send up to 5,000 barrels of Higher Activity Waste to Sellafield for treatment and storage. Since the year 2000 AWE has been under pressure from its regulators to take action to reduce its holdings of radioactive waste, some of which dates back to the 1983 moratorium on waste being dumped at sea. This culminated in an improvement notice in 2015 from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) which required AWE to produce a plan for dealing with its waste holdings. Earlier efforts to deal with the waste floundered when a plan to procure a super-compactor and build a waste treatment centre at AWE Aldermaston. The building originally intended to house the super-compactor was unable to meet modern seismic resilience standards and the plan was abandoned when the Ministry of Defence (MoD) refused to spend the £78m required to build a new facility. The plan produced by AWE to satisfy the 2015 improvement notice concluded that sending the waste to be treated and stored at Sellafield would be preferable to building an on-site waste facility.
NIS 28th Nov 2018 read more »