NIS Updates – February 2009

NIS Update 24th February 2009

Overwhelming Objection to MoD Plans for AWE Dis/Assembly Facility

A BBC report says that some 1,000 comments have been lodged over a planto modernise the AWE nuclear warhead facility at Burghfield, addingthat many people raised concerns over flooding. See: 

Environment Agency Planning Conditions

Althoughthe Environment Agency (EA) has raised no objections to AWE plans,being persuaded that the AWE flood remediation plans are sufficient,it has imposed six conditions.

"The[AWE Defence Exempt Environment] Assessment demonstrates that thedevelopment will remain safe during the 1 in 100 year plus climatechange flood event (the design event) and will not increase riskelsewhere."


Condition 1.

The development permitted shall onlybe carried out in accordance with the following mitigationmeasures:
1. Finished Floor Levels to be set at 45.7m

2. Flood risk mitigation duringconstruction

3. Reduction in surface water runofffrom the development


Condition 2.

Developmentshall not begin until a surface water drainage scheme for thesite, based on sustainable drainage principles and an assessment ofthe hydrological and hydrogeological context of the development, hasbeen submitted to and approved in writing by the local planningauthority.


Condition 3.

Prior to the commencement of work, ascheme to deal with the risks associated with contamination of thesite shall each be submitted to and approved, in writing, by thelocal planning authority:
1) A preliminary risk assessment whichhas identified:
all previous uses

potentialcontaminants associated with those uses

aconceptual model of the site indicating sources, pathways andreceptors

potentiallyunacceptable risks arising from contamination at the site.

2) A site investigation scheme,based on (1) to provide information for a detailed assessment of therisk to all receptors that may be affected, including those offsite.

3) The site investigation results, detailed riskassessment and, based on these, an options appraisal andremediation.
4) A verification plan providing details ofthe data that will be collected in order to demonstrate that theworks set out in (3) are complete and identifying any requirementsfor longer-term monitoring of pollutant linkages, maintenance andarrangements for contingency action. Any changes to these componentsrequire the express consent of the local planning authority becausethere is a potential risk of groundwater contamination of the deepaquifer.


Condition 4.

Priorto occupation of any part of the development, a verificationreport demonstrating completion of the works set out in the approvedremediation strategy and the effectiveness of the remediation shallbe submitted to and approved, in writing, by the local planningauthority. The report shall include results of sampling and along-term monitoring and maintenance plan to ensure there is noadverse impact on groundwater quality.

Condition 5.

If, duringdevelopment, contamination not previously identified is found, anamendment to the remediation strategy detailing how this unsuspectedcontamination shall be dealt is agreed in writing with the LocalPlanning Authority to protect groundwater quality.


Condition 6.

Piling or any other foundationdesigns using penetrative methods shall not be permitted other thanwith the express written consent of the Planning Authority, which maybe given for those parts of the site where it has been demonstratedthat there is no resultant unacceptable risk to groundwater.


TheEA also makes the point that details for the ponds by the Mensabuilding are unclear and appear to show marginal plants on dryslopes. [!] Further, no erection of flow control structures oranyculverting of a watercourse is permitted without prior writtenapproval by the Agency. The EA resists culverting on natureconservation and other grounds and consent for such works will notnormally be granted except for access crossings.

The full EA Response is on the NISwebsite, under Nuclear Sites/Planning. 

TheApplication is currently listed to go before the Planning Committeeon Wednesday 4th March.


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