National Policy Statement For Geological Disposal Infrastructure: Consultation

Consultation has been issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) in relation to the location of a suitable site for a new geological disposal facility for higher activity radioactive waste.

The consultation states that there is a need for a permanent disposal solution for higher activity radioactive waste from a wide range of activities, including: waste from 60 years of nuclear generation and waste from new nuclear power stations; as well as waste from medical treatments, research, and defence activities. The government policy for geological disposal of this waste is based on an independent review by the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) and is described in Section 2.

The 2014 White Paper ‘Implementing Geological Disposal’ set out the UK Government’s framework for managing higher activity radioactive waste in the long term through geological disposal. Geological disposal infrastructure (i.e. a geological disposal facility (GDF) and deep investigative boreholes) is now classed as a nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP): a major infrastructure development of a type and scale defined in the Planning Act 2008.

The National Policy Statement (NPS) will guide developers when preparing, and the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State1 when considering, applications for development consent relating to geological disposal infrastructure.

This consultation seeks views on the accompanying non-site specific draft NPS. The NPS focuses on the high level assessment principles against which development consent applications will be considered for any geological disposal infrastructure in England, and territorial waters adjacent to England.
This consultation also seeks views on the accompanying Appraisal of Sustainability Report and Habitats Regulations Assessment Report, which are supporting environmental appraisals to the draft NPS. The Appraisal of Sustainability assesses the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts of the draft NPS; the Habitats Regulations Assessment is an assessment of whether there are any ‘likely significant effects’ on any ‘European site’ (e.g. special areas of conservation). Further details are
given in Section 4.

Date: 19 April 2018 End of consultation

Author: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

This item updates DCP section 25.3

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