EDF Energy Generation (NG)’s number one priority is safety and we strive for a Zero Harm Record. Our policy is to be compliant with the UK law and to conform to UK Government policy. In order to achieve our goals we have a suite of governance to manage conventional and radioactive waste across the fleet.
EDF Energy Generation (NG) has implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) across the business which is certified to the ISO14001 standard.
The responsibility for radioactive waste management belongs with each EDF Energy Generation (NG) site, as required by the Nuclear Site Licence Conditions. The safe management of radioactive waste on nuclear licensed sites in the UK is regulated by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (as amended). Radioactive waste disposal is regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) in England and Wales and by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland.
Type and tonnes waste / year
The total amount of radioactive waste (LLW or waste that will be disposed of as LLW) that was sent from all Nuclear Generation sites is displayed in the graph below.
The Intermediate Level radioactive Waste (ILW) Indicator provided by EDF Energy is derived from the UK’s 2013 Radioactive Waste and Materials Inventory (UK RWMI) issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). It provides an estimate of the annual arising volume of waste that will be disposed of as ILW at the end of the site’s life. The waste volume is given as a packaged waste volume based on currently proposed waste processing techniques and package types.
ILW includes sludge and resins from the treatment of radioactive liquids, miscellaneous contaminated plant items such as filters and graphite and metallic components from spent nuclear fuel assemblies / stringers. All ILW is safely stored on site in appropriately engineered and shielded facilities pending the availability of an appropriate disposal route. Appropriate controls are in place to minimise the volumes of waste generated to reduce the volume of waste requiring disposal.
Trend explanation LLW/ILW
Radioactive waste production depends on operating and maintenance patterns, so longer-term trends are a better indicator than year-to-year comparisons. Annual values depend largely on the amount of maintenance carried out on the plant within the year. Higher volumes of waste are loosely correlated to increased levels of maintenance or are indicative of a particular waste management project that may have been undertaken in addition to routine waste arisings.
Higher volumes of LLW disposed off site indicates better management of radioactive waste on stations. Stations are encouraged to address the backlog of LLW accumulated on site. The greater the volume consigned for disposal in a year, the greater the reduction in accumulations.
The UK RWMI was updated in 2013 (previous edition in 2010) with some revised estimates of ILW generation rates and waste packaging assumptions. Previous data for ILW in 2010, 2011 and 2012 was based on the 2010 UK RWMI, hence the observed step change in volumes between 2012 and 2013.