In 2010 the UK Government committed to report on progress in implementing geological disposal in response to a recommendation by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee. Geological disposal is the Government’s policy for the long-term management of the higher activity radioactive waste that has accumulated over many decades through the use of nuclear technology in industry, medicine and to generate clean electricity. Today the Government is publishing its eighth report.
In December 2018, the government published, Implementing Geological Disposal: Working with Communities, which sets out the policy framework for the future implementation of geological disposal. This also signified the launch of a new process to identify a suitable location for a geological disposal facility in England. The Welsh Government launched a similar process in January 2019. Scotland and Northern Ireland are not participating in the geological disposal programme.
The commitment to report to Parliament on progress on implementing geological disposal was made in relation to a previous siting process which ended in 2013. Since then the Government has carried out a full policy review and with the launch of the new siting process is now implementing this new policy.
Moving forward, Radioactive Waste Management Ltd, the delivery body for the GDF, will provide more focussed reports on the progress of the siting process to replace these annual reports.
I will place a copy of Implementing Geological Disposal: Progress Report in the Libraries of the House.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: