It is difficult to achieve confidence in the ‘quality’ of information recorded by unfamiliar means many years ago by unknown operators of nuclear sites.
Clarity and transparency is important. Users need to understand how and why the information was created in the first place. The information also has to be fit for the purpose for which it was intended. It has to be:
- error free
- based on valid assumptions
- clearly and concisely recorded
It is human nature to question the reliability of any historical data and information. Maintaining a complex set of information over several decades and then expecting the custodian to actually use it when making critical decisions should not be underestimated.
A well-constructed and robust system for managing the technical and contextual content of the information is thereby essential if reliability, confidence and trust are to be ensured.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and its Site Licence Companies and subsidiaries are responsible for managing the majority of low, intermediate and high level radioactive waste in the United Kingdom. Whilst the wastes vary, the management objective is common – safe storage and, ultimately, disposal. The information produced over the decades to support this objective must be properly and responsibly managed. Failure to do so may compromise the industry’s long term capability to achieve safe storage and disposal. Enabling knowledge creation and transfer from one generation of workers to the next is essential. Furthermore, maintaining access to the information and providing the means for workers to understand and assimilate it is a high priority that cannot be addressed ‘later’.
This document also acknowledges the development of the: