MOD and the NDA have both made commitments to work together to manage nuclear liabilities in the national interest. As part of a study of Best Available Techniques (BAT) for the management of AWE’s HAW, the NDA agreed to include the use of its own facilities as one of the credible options. Following a joint (NDA and AWE) assessment of the options, and taking into account many factors including safety, value for taxpayer money, and environmental protection, the preferred option was to use existing waste treatment facilities at the Sellafield site. The preferred option has a number of advantages: it represents significant cost avoidance for the UK taxpayer. AWE’s initial investment appraisal estimated the cumulative lifetime cost of an option sited at AWE was £600-720 million, whereas the preferred option will have a lifetime cost which is substantially lower; existing plant and skilled resource would be sustained at the Sellafield site; the environmental cost, capital investment, risk and additional liability for decommissioning associated with a new construction would be avoided; hazard reduction at the Aldermaston site could be accelerated without adding to the risk burden at Sellafield; AWE investment has increased the capability of HAW processing at Sellafield. Furthermore, the retention of safely packaged HAW at Sellafield avoids operational, logistical and environmental issues associated with returning the waste to Aldermaston. This programme of work is being delivered through effective collaboration between MOD, BEIS, AWE, NDA, Sellafield Limited and Low Level Waste Repository Limited (LLWR Limited), despite challenges due to differences in departmental processes. There has been sustained regulatory and stakeholder engagement throughout. A monthly programme board and working group oversees delivery of the necessary interventions to ensure that the collaboration is successful and continues to be in the best interest of the UK. The first shipment is due for completion in early 2021.
NDA, MoD 18th March 2021 read more »
Radiation Free Lakeland 3rd April 2021 read more »