Opinions on radioactive waste limits sought

Public views on the radioactive discharge limits for the Sizewell B nuclear power station in Suffolk are sought by the Environment Agency as part of a nuclear waste review that will continue until 7 July 2006.

The EA is currently reviewing authorisations for the six power stations owned by British Energy Generation – Dungness B in Kent, Hinkley Point B in Somerset, Hartlepool in Cleveland, Heysham in Lancashire, as well as Sizewell B.

The agency has prepared new draft authorisations that reduce the amount of radioactive waste Sizewell B is allowed to produce as part of a drive to “continually improve environmental performance” of nuclear sites. The EA’s authorisations also govern the way nuclear plants are managed and maintained.

“The authorisations we issue cover all types of radioactive waste disposals and require operators of the power stations to minimise the overall impact of these disposals,” the Agency said on Wednesday.

“We can review an authorisation at any time to ensure that the limits and conditions are still appropriate and up-to-date reflecting technical developments, anticipated site developments and our current legal and policy constraints.”

The consultation will inform the final decision on the power stations’ future radioactive allowances, which the EA is to issue by early 2007.

The consultation document, together with a summary, is available on the Environment Agency website.

Goska Romanowicz

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