1. ITV Report

Sellafield waste permit set to change

Credit: PA

The Environment Agency is opening a public consultation on environmental permit changes at Sellafield, in preparation for the end of fuel reprocessing at the site.

The organisation regulates discharges and radioactive waste disposals from Sellafield, and there are stringent discharge limits in place to ensure minimal impact on the local area.

The west Cumbria site has historically reprocessed nuclear fuel in its THORP and Magnox reprocessing plants. However, fuel reprocessing came to an end at THORP in November2018 and Magnox reprocessing is planned to end in 2020.This will mean that the site will see a significant reduction in radioactive discharges.

The Environment Agency has been working with Sellafield Ltd to carry out a major review of its Radioactive Substances Activities permit in readiness for the end of nuclear fuel reprocessing at the Sellafield site. We have now reached our draft decision on Sellafield Ltd’s application to vary its RSA permit, having incorporated comments received from the first consultation. Once again we are encouraging people to have their say, learn more about the proposed changes and provide us with any information that they think is relevant to our decision.”

– Steve Hardy, Nuclear Regulation Manager for the Environment Agency

Sellafield Ltd has a Radioactive Substances Activities (RSA) permit which allows the site to operate facilities, discharge liquids and gases to the environment and dispose of solid waste. Given the forecast reductions in radioactive discharges, the company will need to have a new permit which includes the revised, lower waste levels. The new permit will also need to reflect the site’s changing focus from reprocessing to decommissioning.

This is the most significant review of the Sellafield Ltd RSA permit since the early 2000s.

The consultation will run for eight weeks from 7 October until 1 December 2019.

View the online consultation here.