Nuclear union urges action on waste report

Nuclear union urges action on waste report

Britain’s largest nuclear union has welcomed the recommendations contained in the report from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) on the management of the UK’s radioactive waste.

On behalf of 15,000 scientists, engineers and managers in the nuclear industry, Prospect has called on the government to act quickly on the findings and provide a long-term solution for future generations before the technical expertise necessary is lost to the industry for good.

Prospect general secretary Paul Noon said: "The recommendations provide a clear blueprint for the UK’s approach to dealing with the nuclear waste legacy. Procrastination is no longer an option, the government must act on them now.

"Skills gaps identified across industry are being exacerbated by an ageing workforce and the high level of competition for engineering skills across the energy sector."

The union has also called for the open and transparent approach adopted during CoRWM’s consultation process to be maintained throughout future deliberations over the selection of a site.

Noon said: "Although radioactive waste is a national issue, any solution will have particular impact on communities of people, not just the host community, but those affected by transportation, environmental, social, ethical and economic issues, and this needs to be respected.

"The site selection for any new facility must be done in conjunction with the communities that will be affected and the open and transparent ethos of the committee’s consultation process should be at the heart of this process.

"Similarly, we would support research into the long-term approach to radioactive management being funded by the industry and the waste producers. But the body appointed to oversee policy must be independent, otherwise it may be seen as lacking the openness and accountability necessary to give confidence to the affected communities and the general public."