Today I am pleased to designate the National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure, which was laid in parliament on 4 July.
This is an important milestone in finding a solution to manage the UK’s higher activity radioactive waste and this marks the final step in the parliamentary process for the National Policy Statement.
It is important that we who have benefitted from nuclear technology take appropriate steps now to manage the waste created from using that technology. Nuclear technology has provided clean energy to our homes and businesses and will continue to play an important role as we transition to a carbon neutral economy. For a long time, we have also used radioactive materials to treat and diagnose serious illnesses, to deliver research and development and to help deliver industrial processes. Radioactive waste is created from a variety of sources including electricity generation, defence and healthcare, and geological disposal is internationally recognised as the safest and most secure means of permanently managing a proportion of this waste not suitable for other management regimes.
The National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure sets out the need for such disposal infrastructure to safely and securely manage the UK’s higher activity radioactive wastes. The National Policy Statement provides an appropriate and effective framework for the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to examine and make decisions on development consent applications for geological disposal infrastructure in England
In order to support the requirements for the designation of the National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure, I am also publishing the Final Habitats Regulations Assessment Report and the Post Adoption Statement for the Appraisal of Sustainability on the department’s website.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords