At the recent DECC/NGO Forum, Neil Crumpton (Friends of the Earth) raised the following point:
The original MRWS process was intended to deal solely with legacy waste.
With waste from nuclear new build now to be taken into consideration, the capacity of any disposal facilities, wherever they are located, will need to be vastly increased.
“Reading through the NGO responses, it seems that one of the sticking points was the mixing of a Pandora’s box of new build amongst a legacy, it seems to me that now that government has said that 16Gw is the first tranche, the amounts of new build waste will increase quite significantly. 55Gw I have estimated in a paper which I plan to forward to you, would be about 10 repositories the size of a GDF for legacy waste.
In which case a constructive suggestion would be, why do you not just separate out the two, have a consultation/participation process on a legacy GDF and be honest about the new build proposals, about the scenario of 75gw. For a well informed debate, the potential for several repositories needs to be put out there in the public.
Secretary of State Ed Davey did say there would be “far less waste from a new programme”. That is a meaningless comment now, and he really, seriously, needs to be informed.
It’s the radioactivity that is the issue NOT the volume and it’s the number of repositories if you are extending your scenarios up to 75gw.”