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Dounreay reviews options for all wastes

September 10, 2008

Intermediate-level radioactive waste is conditioned in 500-litre drums, making it suitable for long-term storage or disposal

Dounreay is carrying out a review of how it manages all types of waste arising from the site closure programme.

The study will identify the best practicable environmental option for each of the different types of radioactive and non-radioactive wastes that are being generated.

A previous study carried out in 2003, in support of the Dounreay Site Restoration Plan, identified 36 different categories of radioactive waste, covering 268 different streams of waste.

The site restoration plan has been superceded by lifetime plans produced annually for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority since 2005.

Earlier this year, the site published its interim waste strategy, setting out its current approach to the management of wastes during decommissioning.

This latest study will review existing practices and draw on national and international experience to determine if each continues to represent the best practicable environmental option.

Graham Beaven, the site's gaseous and liquid wastes manager, today outlined the project to Dounreay Stakeholder Group and sought views from members on how they want to be engaged for the duration of the project.

He said: “The last such comprehensive study was carried out in 2003, so it is appropriate that we review whether these practices continue to represent the best practicable environmental option or identify better ways to manage different types of waste.

“It is our intention to publish a draft report for comment in 2009. The site recognises and values participation from stakeholders. I would welcome their feedback - now at the preliminary stage about the process, during the work or in response to the draft report next year.”

The report is required as part of the site’s authorisation under the Radioactive Substances Act. The deadline for submission of the final report to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency is June 27, 2009.

More information about the project, and details about how to contact the project team, can be found here

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