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September 13, 2013

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Government launches radioactive waste consultation

 

The government is under taking a consultation on a revised proposal for a process for working with communities to agree a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

The facility would be used to dispose of higher activity radioactive waste underground. This is the government’s proposed solution for the removal of both existing radioactive waste material and any waste from new power stations.

The approach that the government is consulting on proposes that communities should be provided with more information at an earlier stage in the process and that a community-wide demonstration of support would be required before an area could play host to a GDF. Communities would also have the right to withdraw at any time in the process. 

Over 1,000 people would be involved in the construction of the GDF, and over 500 staff would be employed on average each year during the facility’s 100-year lifespan.

Baroness Verma, parliamentary under-secretary for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said: “”Geological disposal is the right approach for the long-term safe and secure management of the UK’s higher activity radioactive waste.

“Hosting a site would bring lasting economic benefits with jobs, opportunities for businesses, and a generous benefits package to support the community.”

The process to select a site would vary according to the specific needs of the community, but could 15 years, with the construction process taking a further 15.

Unite has welcomed the announcement of the consultation into the process. It said that the consultation is crucial in finding a suitable location for the GDF.

Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said: “Britain has been searching for a national waste repository for over 30 years. In the meantime, Sellafield workers have the responsibility of looking after most of its radioactive waste.

“Cumbria County Council’s decision earlier this year to pull out of the search for a waste repository was a short-sighted option because it does not magic the waste away.”

Workers are calling for a new nuclear power station at Sellafield, the potential to re-use existing plutonium stocks at Sellafield and for the government to work with local authorities that backed the proposal to proceed with a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste.  

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
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Barbour EHS

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