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Detail of outcome
Government intends to legislate to amend the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 when parliamentary time allows. If approved by Parliament, this legislation would allow a nuclear site to exit the nuclear third party liability regime when internationally agreed standards have been met. The nuclear site operator would subsequently be able to apply to the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to exit the nuclear licensing regime.
After the end of the nuclear site licence, the site would remain under regulation by the relevant environment agency and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
- Working with HSE and the environment agencies, ONR will draft guidance to its inspectors to support decisions on exiting the nuclear third party liability regime and ending the nuclear licence.
- ONR, the environment agencies and HSE will formulate handover procedures that will apply at the point of licence surrender
- BEIS, the Welsh Government, Defra, ONR and the environment agencies will consider whether amendments to English and Welsh secondary legislation are required to support these proposals. The Scottish Government and SEPA are working to ensure that the equivalent Scottish legislation is also fit for purpose in this context.
- BEIS, the Devolved Administrations and local authorities will investigate whether amendments are required to planning guidance to ensure that it is suitable for all aspects of land remediation on former nuclear sites.
Detail of feedback received
We received 50 written responses from:
- local authorities
- site stakeholder groups
- companies in the nuclear industry
- one Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)
- one trade union
A large majority of respondents supported the proposals. Several stakeholders asked for clarifications on the details of how the new delicensing approach would work.
Local authorities emphasised that site operators should engage with local authority planners, economic development officers and councillors throughout the process of remediation of the site.
Working with the regulators and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), BEIS has identified an opportunity to improve current arrangements that apply to the regulation of the final stages of nuclear site decommissioning and clean-up. We published a discussion paper on the principle of these proposals in November 2016 and are now consulting on the detailed proposals, in particular the arrangements for exiting the nuclear third party liability regime and for ending the nuclear site licence.
We welcome views from all interested parties, particularly:
- local communities in the vicinity of existing nuclear sites
- local authorities
- nuclear operators and liability owners
- members of the nuclear industry (including the radioactive waste management supply chain)
We will also be holding stakeholder workshops to discuss these proposals.