Today we launch a consultation on our proposals for assembling and presenting information on the geology of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These proposals form the National Geological Screening Guidance.
The 12 week consultation is an important step to ensuring that the public plays a central role in the work to plan for, build and operate a geological disposal facility (GDF) deep underground, providing a permanent solution for the country’s most radioactive waste.
The approach for this will be based on working with communities that are willing to participate in the siting process.
Natalyn Ala, GDF Siting Director at Radioactive Waste Management said:
As part of our stringent planning for a GDF, there are a number of factors that will be taken into consideration. Geology plays an important role.
By providing existing and relevant geological information across regions of the UK, we will have a platform to inform early discussions with communities about the potential suitability to host a GDF in their area.
During 2015 we have been working with geoscience specialists to develop the proposed Guidance. This has been reviewed by an independent review panel established by the Geological Society and we are now presenting it for public consultation.
We are asking for feedback on our proposed approach to national geological screening, the sources of information we plan to use, how we present this information and invite feedback on any other matters people may consider relevant.
There will be opportunities to respond to the consultation online and to attend one of the consultation workshops we are holding around the country.
The consultation runs until Friday 4 December 2015. All responses will be carefully considered and the feedback will be used to finalise the Guidance, before publishing in early 2016.
The next stage involves applying the Guidance. We will work closely with the British Geological Survey (BGS),, who hold definitive information on British geology to develop short regional summaries of geology, supported by maps and including an explanation of what this means for the long-term safety of geological disposal.
We are conducting the national geological screening exercise as part of a commitment outlined in the Government’s White Paper: ‘Implementing Geological Disposal.’ Prior to the
publication, a consultation exercise revealed that the public wanted early information on geology to be made available to help inform community decision making.