Consultations exploring views on planning and selecting a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in partnership with willing host communities have now closed following a 12-week consultation period which concluded in mid-April 2018.
In January 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, covering England and Northern Ireland, and the Welsh Government, opened consultations for stakeholders and members of the public to help shape policies on the geological disposal programme – the draft Working with Communities policy and the draft National Policy Statement.
Geological disposal involves isolating radioactive waste in a highly-engineered facility deep underground and within multiple protective barriers, to ensure that no harmful quantities of radioactivity ever reach the surface environment. Across the world, geological disposal, preceded by safe and secure interim storage, is acknowledged as the best solution for managing higher-activity radioactive wastes in the long-term.
There were more than 200 responses to the consultations. It is anticipated that governments will finalise policies in the near future, allowing Radioactive Waste Management as the delivery body to take forward the next stage of the process, namely community engagement and information provision.