Supplementary memorandum by Friends of the Earth
LMA AND THE ISSUE OF POORLY CONDITIONED WASTE
Interim conditioning sThe
large majority of radioactive waste is in a poor physical state
and requires conditioning to achieve passive safety. During my
questioning I was asked what should be done to avoid the "quick
and dirty banging of heads together" to achieve thispossibly
at the expense of long-term safety.
sSubsequent to my oral evidence I listened
to Norman Askew of BNFL in the afternoon. I have also spoken to
the Environment Agency and Nirex. Given this additional information
I would like to add to my original answer.
sBNFL gave the impression (during their early
questioning over the £6 billion increase in liabilities)
that the EA was in general agreement with BNFL's proposal to take
interim steps that do not make allowance for the Nirex process
for taking into consideration the long term. The
Environment Agency have informed me that they have not given such
assurances to Nirex.
sTo ignore the long term would be unethical
anddue to the possible future need for reworkingcould
have serious implications for the magnitude of the liabilities.
sThe NII, EA and Nirex have complementary roles
and should work to examine different aspects of proposals. There
should be a comprehensive audit following on from the 1996 audit
covering all LMA sites. This should feed into an open decision
making process on the optimum conditioning technique.Dr Rachel
Western18 July 2002
1 This is known as the "letter of comfort"
Nirex response to questions from the joint RWMAC/NuSAC Study
of the Requirements for Conditioning, Packaging and Storage of
Intermediate Level Waste. (2001-2) p4. Back
The Management of Solid Radioactive Waste at Sellafield and Drigg.
NII 1996, Vol I and II. Back