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Nuclear site owners to begin preparing for clean up from next June

Owners of Britain’s nuclear facilities have been told that they will from next June begin the process of working out how and when their sites should be decommissioned.

Site owners will use yet-to-be developed guidance that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has set itself the task of producing this year.

The NDA has vowed that by Christmas it will have established a series of underlying principles that will be used to prioritise which sites need to be cleaned up first. Technical issues and socioeconomic factors will influence this. The NDA will also give an opinion on what the land should be used for next.

Ahead of that it will offer a draft position on the optimal pace of progress, including a draft position on when it is appropriate to defer clean up and for how long. This will happen in June.

Then by next June it will have worked out the exact state a site needs to be left in; and what state it can be left in for an interim period.

The NDA said it has published its draft strategy provide reassurance that it has a “credible programme” for resolving “remaining strategic issues” relating to nuclear decommissioning”.

This is aimed at bolstering support for a new nuclear build programme.

Decommissioing countdown - the NDA view

“In order to provide more detailed strategic guidance to our site licence companies (SLCs) we need to answer some difficult questions,” says the strategy. This will result in the following five products of strategy development:

  1. (A) Principles for defining Site End States
  2. (B) NDA perspective of options for next use of NDA land
  3. (C) Principles for prioritising restoration projects
  4. (D) Principles for defining Interim States
  5. (E) Regulator guidance on institutional controls that apply throughout site restoration journey

Developing these products will allow SLCs to optimise the site interim and end states and dates that make up site lifetime plans.

Optimisation will ensure protection of people and the environment, provide value for money and facilitate the release our sites for other uses.

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