A year of progress towards delivering a Geological Disposal Facility for UK higher-activity radioactive waste
RWM has made significant steps towards delivering a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for the UK, with the first two Working Groups established to initiate local discussions, and continued research into engineering and technical features ahead of site-specific design activities.
The formation of the Working Groups in west Cumbria is one of the key achievements outlined in RWM’s Annual Review 2020-2021 and marks the start of a journey towards finding a willing community, together with a suitable site where a GDF could be safely constructed.
The opportunity remains open for individuals and organisations in England and Wales to engage in discussions with RWM, without any commitment required. We anticipate the additional Working Groups will be formed elsewhere in the country over the next year.
We know that developing a GDF is the right thing to do. Without action now, we would be leaving future generations with the ongoing environmental risk and costs of handling this waste above ground. A GDF will be one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects, spanning many generations. The £multi-billion project will bring a wide range of economic and development opportunities to its host community for more than 100 years.
The Review also highlights our ongoing evaluation of waste packages ready for future disposal and the establishment of RWM’s Research Support Office (RSO) to harness UK research capabilities into geological disposal and develop scientific expertise for the future. The RSO was developed in collaboration with the universities of Manchester and Sheffield.
Looking ahead, the Review also sets out plans over the next few years when we will be starting early work on assessing sites within areas identified by communities and preparing for more thorough site investigations.
This requires major work with the supply chain, with local communities, regulators, and many other interest groups. It will represent a major uplift of the operational work we need to do, and for that we need to continue our organisational transformation and growth.
RWM is also joining with the Low Level Waste Repository Ltd to form a single waste division within the NDA Group, bringing together the waste expertise of both organisations.
Alongside the main Annual Review, a summary version has also been produced. Both documents are available in printed and online formats.
To learn more, visit our website.