Transport of Highly Active Waste from Aldermaston to Sellafield

Posted: 5th April 2021

MOD and the NDA have both made commitments to work together to manage

nuclear liabilities in the national interest. As part of a study of Best

Available Techniques (BAT) for the management of AWE’s HAW, the NDA

agreed to include the use of its own facilities as one of the credible
options. Following a joint (NDA and AWE) assessment of the options, and
taking into account many factors including safety, value for taxpayer
money, and environmental protection, the preferred option was to use
existing waste treatment facilities at the Sellafield site. The preferred
option has a number of advantages: it represents significant cost avoidance
for the UK taxpayer. AWE’s initial investment appraisal estimated the
cumulative lifetime cost of an option sited at AWE was £600-720 million,
whereas the preferred option will have a lifetime cost which is
substantially lower; existing plant and skilled resource would be sustained
at the Sellafield site; the environmental cost, capital investment, risk
and additional liability for decommissioning associated with a new
construction would be avoided; hazard reduction at the Aldermaston site
could be accelerated without adding to the risk burden at Sellafield; AWE
investment has increased the capability of HAW processing at Sellafield.
Furthermore, the retention of safely packaged HAW at Sellafield avoids
operational, logistical and environmental issues associated with returning
the waste to Aldermaston. This programme of work is being delivered through
effective collaboration between MOD, BEIS, AWE, NDA, Sellafield Limited and
Low Level Waste Repository Limited (LLWR Limited), despite challenges due
to differences in departmental processes. There has been sustained
regulatory and stakeholder engagement throughout. A monthly programme board
and working group oversees delivery of the necessary interventions to
ensure that the collaboration is successful and continues to be in the best
interest of the UK. The first shipment is due for completion in early 2021.

NDA, MoD 18th March 2021

Radiation Free Lakeland 3rd April 2021

Find out more – call Caroline on 01722 321865 or email us.