The Scottish Government policy for higher activity radioactive wastes
Scottish Government policy for the long-term management of higher activity wastes was published in January 2011 (Scottish Government HAW Policy
). The policy allows two long-term management methods: near-site, near-surface storage
and near-site, near-surface disposal
. It does not allow geological disposal
Our scrutiny and advice on development of the policy
Scottish Government announced its policy not to support geological disposal in 2007. It then developed its proposed detailed statement of its policy and carried out public consultation on it. We scrutinised Scottish Government’s policy development work and provided advice (doc. 2818
). We also responded to the main and supplementary public consultations (2795
Our scrutiny and advice was informed by our interactions with stakeholders, including attending Scottish Government’s stakeholder meetings, holding our own meetings with various groups of stakeholders, and asking stakeholders for their views on the policy development process.
We consider that Scottish Government carried out a committed and comprehensive programme of stakeholder engagement during the development of its policy. Stakeholders told us that they believed they influenced both the development process and the policy itself.
Although Scottish Government acknowledged our advice, there were a number of comments in our consultation responses that are not reflected in the final policy documents. In particular, the policy is silent on the final endpoint for higher activity wastes that cannot be disposed of in near-surface facilities. We think this is a significant omission and that Scottish Government should re-examine the option of geological disposal during its ten-yearly reviews of the policy.
Our scrutiny and advice on the strategy to implement the policy
The policy statement indicates that Scottish Government will develop a strategy to allow its policy to be implemented in a consistent way by all the organisations involved with higher activity waste management in Scotland. We are scrutinising the strategy development process and providing advice (doc. 3063). We attend meetings of the Project Board and Technical Advisory Group that Scottish Government has set up to assist it with strategy development. We also have regular update meetings with Scottish Government.”