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Radioactive Waste: Waste Management

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether the National Policy Statement on nuclear energy will include provisions on policy on disposal sites for nuclear waste. (311807)

The policy on the disposal for higher activity radioactive wastes is set out in the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) White Paper (June 2008).

The current consultation on the Nuclear National Policy Statement does not include the geological disposal facility development. The MRWS White Paper makes clear that no decision on whether geological disposal will be considered by the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has yet been made. However, the Government are currently inclined to look towards applying the new planning system and we consider that a geological disposal facility is likely to be regarded as a nationally significant infrastructure project. Should the Government decide in future that radioactive waste should be dealt with by the IPC, the Government would set out the national policy in a National Policy Statement, which would be finalised following an appraisal of sustainability, public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny.