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.
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.