The UK's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) has published a report on its review of the strategy of the UKAEA for the decommissioning of its nuclear licensed sites.
Laurence Williams, chief inspector of NII, said: "I recognise the considerable effort that UKAEA has put into developing its decommissioning strategy. On the basis of our current knowledge, I am satisfied that the strategy proposed by UKAEA is generally appropriate." The review considers the technical - and some financial - aspects of UKAEA's strategy for decommissioning Dounreay, Windscale, Harwell and Winfrith. The review compares UKAEA's strategy with national and international guidance, and considers the underlying assumptions made and whether the plans submitted are comprehensive and appropriate.
The key findings of the review were: • Overall, NII regards UKAEA's strategy for the decommissioning and remediation of its sites to be generally appropriate at this time.
• The scope of the strategy for each site is considered to be comprehensive, although for some liabilities, final decisions are yet to be made on the management strategy.
• The project timescales are generally considered to be consistent with NII's expectations that decommissioning and waste retrieval should be undertaken as soon as reasonably practicable. However, there are a number of projects for which NII would welcome an acceleration of the timescales.
• There are a number of facilities for which UKAEA needs to produce more robust arguments for why they cannot be decommissioned earlier.
• There are a number of areas where UKAEA needs to develop and update its strategy and liabilities estimate before the next review.