Nuleaf acts as the voice of local authorities in discussions with the UK Government and Welsh Government. We seek to influence strategy and policy so that it supports the best outcomes for local communities. We also work with the regulators of the nuclear industry.
The lead UK Government department for nuclear issues is BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).
Nuleaf’s Executive Director sits on the UK Government’s Radioactive Substances Policy Group (RSPG), which is the main strategic decision-making body on legacy wastes and decommissioning. The RSPG is currently preparing a new Nuclear Decommissioning and Radioactive Substances White Paper. This represents the first major update on policy since 1995 and will enable new approaches to legacy waste management. In particular, it will support Proportionate Regulatory Control (PRC), which will enable the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to consider the disposal of low-level radioactive waste on-site, something that is not currently possible. It will also facilitate the evaluation of the potential for the Near Surface Disposal of a proportion of the Higher Activity Waste (HAW) inventory.
BEIS supports the Nuclear Sector Deal. The Deal includes commitments to support effective and efficient decommissioning and to capitalise on the UK’s expertise in the field. It contains a commitment to enhance the skills base and promote a more diverse workforce.
Finally, Nuleaf was an active partner in the development of current policy for Geological Disposal. Our Executive Director was a member of the Community Representation Working Group (CRWG) and contributed to the development of the National Policy Statement (NPS) for the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).
Local Planning Authorities are regulators of nuclear licensed sites through the land use and waste planning system. Nuleaf helps support this through our Radioactive Waste Planning Group (RWPG).
The ONR is responsible for the safety and security of nuclear operations across the UK and the delicensing of nuclear sites once they have been remediated.
The environment agencies enforce laws and regulations that aim to protect human health and the environment. They authorise, control and monitor the disposal of radioactive waste into the air, water and land and issue permits for nuclear decommissioning operations and consents for non-radioactive environmental activities.
Nuleaf engages with the regulators as appropriate. One particular area of interest is the interaction of planning and permitting in the decommissioning and remediation of nuclear licensed sites.
We advocate the use of a Master-planning approach to site clean-up. This involves the development of a partnership between the nuclear industry, the local authority and the environmental and safety regulators. Master-planning is already being successfully employed at the Winfrith site.