The Waste Recycling Group (WRG) and Energy Solutions will start receiving and disposing of high volume very low level radioactive waste (HV-VLLW).

The Lillyhall landfill site is the first to be given approval under the Government’s2007 Policy for the Long Term Management of Solid Low Level Radioactive Waste.

The Policy calls for greater flexibility, implementation of the waste hierarchy to minimise waste for disposal, and a case-by-case development of solutions for the UK’s low level waste.

The wastes to be disposed at Lillyhall will include decommissioning wastes such as lightly contaminated building rubble, concrete, soil and steel reinforcing bars, redundant plant and equipment.

It will also include some operational (or process) wastes such as lightly contaminated clothing, gloves and paper towels from nuclear facilities.

WRG said it would continue to work with the Environment Agency to ensure that disposal of the waste is undertaken safely and sustainably in order to give confidence to the local community.

EnergySolutions general manager of Waste Disposal & Technical Services, KayLin Loveland, said: “Building on WRG’s excellent safety record, we will look to use our world-leading expertise to deliver long-term solutions for the UK’s radioactive waste legacy.

“The waste exists and needs to be dealt with and the Lillyhall site will play a vital role in easing the pressure on the Low Level Waste Repository and in ensuring viable disposal routes.”

The Environment Agency (EA) said it believed that the permit would “provide for safe disposal” and “ensure the protection of the public and the environment”.

The EA will continue to apply stringent checks on the site, with constant environmental monitoring a condition of the licence, the results of which will be made public, and regulation of each operator wishing to send waste to the site.

Environment Agency nuclear regulation manager, Ian Parker, said: “Our top priorities are to protect people and the environment.

“The application, and consultation comments, have been thoroughly considered and we are satisfied that our high environmental standards have been met.

“We will ensure that WRL carries out regular checks and monitoring to confirm that the strict terms of their permit are being adhered to. These results will be published on our public register in due course.”

Alison Brown

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