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Submarine Dismantling Project

Volume 612: debated on Thursday 7 July 2016

Today I am announcing that Capenhurst Nuclear Services (CNS), at Capenhurst in Cheshire, has been selected as the MOD’s site for interim storage of the intermediate-level radioactive waste (ILW) from decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines prior to disposal. AWE Aldermaston in Berkshire has been identified as a contingency site.

CNS will have the capability to store this ILW until it can be disposed of in a geological disposal facility, some time after 2040.

Like all the sites shortlisted, the operator CNS already manage radioactive materials, and were found to meet the submarine dismantling project’s requirements best, including value for money.

There are two options at CNS to store ILW. The option that MOD will be taking forward is to use an existing facility, with a second on-site contingency option of constructing a new store.

As put forward during the public consultation, we have also selected a contingency site. Should both Capenhurst options prove unsuitable, AWE Aldermaston will then be taken forward as the MOD’s preferred contingency site.

As a responsible nuclear operator the MOD takes seriously its duty to manage the submarine fleet throughout their operational service and during the disposal process. Today’s announcement reiterates my commitment that this activity will be undertaken in a safe, secure, cost-effective and environmentally sound manner.