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AWE’s ‘do minimum’ waste plan: more details emerge

RWMD 500l drum and Compact Stillage

AWE's nuclear waste plan was developed as a ‘do minimum’ comparison option.

AWE’s nuclear waste plan: send it to Sellafield

Sellafield seen from the beach. Image: Ashley Coates, Flickr

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) plan to send up to 5,000 barrels of Higher Activity Waste to Sellafield for treatment and storage.

Radioactive waste treatment facility at AWE Aldermaston two years behind schedule

Photo: Radioactive waste management facility at the US Y-12 Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant (US Government open source)


Isolus Options

Interim Storage of  Laid Up Submarines (ISOLUS) will be subject to a 2nd Public Consultation at the end of 2009. The nuclear reactor compartments (RCs) and contaminated pipework has to be stored until a long-term storage facility for nuclear waste is established. NIS has taken a sideways look at the options regarding the CUT UP of RCs for boxed storage and CUT OUT of RCs to be stored as a whole submarine section. The 1st consultation and current NGO policy is to support Cut Out.

Military nuclear waste locations in the UK

UK military radioactive waste map

Nuclear Information Service has prepared a map showing locations at which radioactive waste from the UK's military nuclear programme is held (accurate as of October 2007). 

Military Nuclear Waste

No military waste is classified as HLW. Spent Fuel from submarine reactors is stored in dedicated Ministry Of Defence (MOD) ponds at BNFL Sellafield, Cumbria but is not listed in the Dept. of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Inventory of all nuclear waste.

£3bn to clean up MoD nuclear sites

Cleaning up military nuclear sites and equipment in Scotland will cost taxpayers up to £3 billion, official figures have revealed. Full article from the Scotsman.

New Scientist reports on new data on DU Dangers

New Scientist article 12 May 2007 p.4

Depleted uranium is a dense, weakly radioactive metal used in armour-piercing shells.  Hundreds of tonnes of them were fired by US and UK forces in Iraq in 2003.  Previous research at the US government's Sandia National Labs in New Mexico found that people exposed to DU dust were at little extra risk of developing cancers (New Scientist, 30 July 2005, p5).

Hansard on Trident, Submarines and Waste, January 2007

8 Jan 2007 : Column 111W Trident, Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the time it would take to procure further Trident D5 missiles. [108974]

Scottish Parliamentary Record on ISOLUS Waste and Submarines

Nuclear Waste (Submarines) 5. Mr Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Green): To ask the Scottish Executive what its approach is to the disposal of nuclear waste from redundant nuclear submarines. (S2O-6633)

The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie):* We welcome the Ministry of Defence's decision not to progress options for storage or disposal of radioactive waste from redundant submarines until after the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management has reported.