The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) has submitted its views on a joint consultation by the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales on its proposals to release nuclear sites from radiation substances regulation as they are reaching full decommissioning. The joint proposal by the three national environmental agencies provides a set of requirements to enable site operators to make the decisions they need to bring a site to a state in which it can then be made available for other uses and eventually released from radioactive substances regulation (RSR) for unrestricted use. NFLA welcomes this early consideration of what will be an important environmental and waste management issue as nuclear sites are fully decommissioned over the next few decades. It also welcomes the proposed establishment of a sound and effective environmental framework for achieving this by a site wide environmental safety case (SWESC). NFLA (2) though raises three key concerns about the proposals: The way of assessing the radiological hazard of a site which has been released from radioactive substances regulation appears to be too flexible. It is not clear who is expected to regulate a site which is being made available for restricted use. Local authorities are unlikely to have the resources to regulate such a site. The proposals appear to allow for the unrestricted use of sites which may have nuclear waste buried and which could be capable of administering doses of up to 20mSv/yr if human intrusion occurs. It is the NFLA view that such sites should remain subject to radioactive substances regulation.
NFLA 9th May 2016 read more »