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Regulators Review our Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD)
18 December 2009
We are delighted with the outcome of a recent regulatory review into NDA's Radioactive Waste Management Directorate's (RWMD) transition to a Prospective Site Licence Company (SLC). It is very important to us to be able to show that we are successfully transforming this part of the NDA to become an organisation that will ultimately be able to hold a nuclear site licence for a geological disposal facility.
Our staff have worked extremely hard to get us to this point and all credit for this achievement must go to them. We are also grateful to the regulators for their hard work and professionalism in the way that they have worked with our staff.
The review by the regulators – the Environment Agency, the Nuclear Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive and the Department for Transport - considered the structure and staffing of the NDA's Radioactive Waste Management Directorate.
Although it is probably many years before a site is selected, we are carrying out preparatory work to support our approach to nuclear safety and environmental management such as conducting research on how a geological disposal facility could be developed.
We agreed with regulators that the transition to Prospective SLC would be marked by:
- arrangements being in place for RWMD to voluntarily submit to regulatory scrutiny and advice; and,
- regulatory agreement that RWMD has made progress toward meeting agreed principles concerning its governance, structure and operation as a Prospective SLC as measured by specific progress criteria.
The regulators believe that RWMD has made significant progress in working towards the status of 'Prospective SLC' and further development is now needed to demonstrate that the principles (including the criteria) have been fully achieved. This will require RWMD to start operating as a Prospective SLC under voluntary regulatory scrutiny to address the issues raised in their review. Regulators are confident that this is achievable and they are committed to working with RWMD to support this, and further organisational development to ensure the success of the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) programme.
The RWMD Repository Development Management Board has today agreed that RWMD will operate, with immediate effect, as a Prospective SLC under voluntary regulatory scrutiny.
Development of a Prospective Site Licence Company to implement Geological Disposal - Report of a joint regulatory review by the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, and the Department for Transport December 2009 (available via Environment Agency website) (500Kb)