Radioactive Waste

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 2nd July 2015.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what discussions she has had with (a) the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and (b) Radioactive Waste Management Ltd on ensuring that the decision-making process for deciding on a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste is open and transparent.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The 2014 Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper set out a number of initial actions that will be undertaken by the UK Government and by the developer Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM) to help implement geological disposal. As set out in the White Paper, RWM, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, was tasked by my department to lead a National Geological Screening exercise in an open and transparent manner. The White Paper included a direction from my department that the Geological Society of London take responsibility for establishing an independent review panel to review and evaluate the draft national screening guidance and that this assessment should be achieved through open discussion and engagement with the developer, the public and interested stakeholders. This work has been delivered through a number of events including:

- A technical event in September 2014 organised by the Geological Society and RWM, which was open to all and attended by 80 technical experts representing academia, the geoscience community, the supply chain and non-governmental organisations.

- Nine regional geological society branch meetings, open to geological specialists and members of the public.

- Five non-specialist events for interested members of the general public.

- A meeting in public of a discussion between the Independent Review Panel and RWM on the National Geological Screening Guidance, which was simultaneously streamed live over the internet and a video of which is available on RWM’s website.

In addition, as part of wider communication on the national geological screening exercise, 17 e-bulletins have been sent out to over 550 interested subscribers detailing recent updates and information on past and forthcoming events.

All of this is made clearly available on RWM’s website where anyone can subscribe for further information: www.nda.gov.uk/rwm/national-geological-screening/

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