The UK government is seeking public comment on how the country is to manage its radioactive waste.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced that environment minister Michael Meacher has published a paper inviting comments on a number of radwaste issues. DEFRA aim to involve as many people as possible “in the debate on how radioactive waste should be managed over the coming centuries.” This initial six-month public consultation will be followed by four further stages: research and public debate, to examine the different waste management options and recommend the best option (2002-2004); further consultation seeking public views on the proposed option (2005); announcement on the chosen option, seeking public views on how this should be implemented (2006); finally, legislation is planned in 2007.
A 1999 House of Lords select committee report criticised the country’s policy on radwaste management after the Conservative government had refused permission for Nirex to proceed with investigating a possible site for intermediate level waste disposal near Sellafield. The government then called for a comprehensive review of the country’s waste management but little has emerged.