Friday, March 26, 2010

UK Report on Radioactive Waste Cites Lack Urgency in Government Attitude to Finding Geologic Disposal Site

The British House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has published "Radioactive Waste Management: a Further Update."   The report is focused on radioactive waste management as well as the performance and remit of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM).
More urgency required in radioactive waste management, Lords say
Image: iStockphoto

The report states that it is essential that the Government’s Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) program continues to progress as rapidly as possible, and expresses concern that neither the Government nor CoRWM are conveying any sense of urgency to move forward with all possible speed.

The report concludes that the CoRWM could, in its role as independent scrutiniser and adviser to the Government on the MRWS program, better hold the Government to account on the progress being made in developing a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste.

The Committee makes several recommendations designed to strengthen CoRWM’s scrutiny role, including proposals that:

  • the Government publish clear policy milestones for all aspects of the MRWS Program and include an assessment of their progress against these milestones in an annual report
  • CoRWM formally provide the Government with independent advice on draft, as well as established, policies that have implications for the management of radioactive waste
  • CoRWM contain more members with experience of business and practical on-site operations and engineering
 Commenting on the report, Lord Broers, Chairman of the inquiry, said: "Previous reports from the Committee on this subject have all expressed disappointment at the slow progress being made by the Government on this important issue, and we remain concerned that there isn’t a great enough sense of urgency from either the Government or CoRWM to push forward the development of a geological disposal facility as quickly as possible. We believe that CoRWM could play a more active role in driving forward the MRWS program by scrutinizing, and if necessary reporting on, the Government’s progress."

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