Background Information


- The UK has a diverse legacy of Higher Activity Radioactive Wastes (HAWs) (see here).

- In 1999, the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee report on the status of UK radioactive waste concluded that geological disposal was feasible and desirable and that the Government should consult the public on future policy decisions.

- In 2001, the UK Government initiated the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) programme with a public consultation, to find the best practicable management solution for UK's HAWs. Following feedback from the consultation process, the Government commissioned the Committee for Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) to offer independent advice on the best HAW management pathways.

- In 2006, CoRWM submitted a range of recommendations to the Government; indicating a preference towards geological disposal via a volunteerism process, coupled with safe and secure interim storage, and a programme of ongoing research and development.

- In response to CoRWMs recommendations, the Government announced their plans for the long term management of HAWs to Parliament in October 2006. The announcement accepted CoRWM's recommendation of geological disposal and the Government instigated a further period of consultation to investigate how geological disposal should proceed.

- After consultation, the Government White Paper: "Managing Radioactive Waste Safely: A Framework for Implementing Geological Disposal" was published in 2008. This document sets out the detailed policy and plans for geodisposal.