NDA releases draft strategy

11 August 2005

The UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA’s) draft strategy for consultation released 11 August outlines plans to clean up its 20 civil nuclear sites.

The draft strategy details:

  • Plans to launch competitions for the operation and management of 13 sites by 2008.
  • Evaluation of options for interim storage of intermediate level radioactive waste (ILW).
  • Plans to accelerate decommissioning timescales of Magnox stations.
  • New solutions for the disposal of low level waste (LLW).
  • A consultation process to agree site end-states and timescales.
The top priority is to reduce potential high hazards, especially at the Sellafield site. The NDA proposes to begin the competitive process for the management and operation contracts for Sellafield and the neighbouring Windscale site in 2009.

The total estimated lifecycle undiscounted cost of operations, decommissioning and clean up is now estimated at £56 billion ($101 billion), up from the 2002 estimate of £48 billion. Should the UK’s plutonium stock be reclassified as waste – an idea also under consideration in the draft strategy – then the costs would increase by several billion pounds.

Under the plan, the NDA would aim to have all 11 Magnox reactor sites cleared and available for alternative uses, and achieve final site clearance at Harwell, Winfrith, Culham, Capenhurst, Springfields and Dounreay. Within 75 years, the NDA aims to decommission the plants and facilities at Sellafield.

The full draft strategy for consultation is available on the NDA website (see link below). The consultation period finishes on 11 November 2005.

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