Meeting the challenge: Geological disposal of UK higher activity radioacti...
In June 2008, based in an extensive independent public consultation exercise, the UK Government published a White Paper describing a framework for the geological disposal of UK high- and intermediate-level radioactive waste. This was followed by an invitation to communities to participate in discussions around volunteering to host one or more geological disposal facilities (GDF) in their local area. After failing to attract a volunteer community, in 2013 the Department of Energy and Climate Change launched a consultation process to reconsider their siting strategy for a GDF: they are still committed to the principle of voluntarism.
The UK has substantial volumes of so-called ‘legacy’ wastes arising from its weapons programme, from its various experimental reactor programmes, from nuclear power plants and from the reprocessing of spent fuel. I believe society has a moral obligation to provide a long-term secure solution for these wastes. This talk will discuss the technical and societal challenges that must be overcome for successful construction of a geological disposal facility in the UK.
Biography: Professor Becky Lunn researches the development and implementation of engineered barriers for nuclear decommissioning and waste disposal. In 2011, she was awarded the Geological Society’s Aberconway Medal for research of particular relevance within the nuclear industry. In 2014, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. She leads two multi-partner EPSRC research consortia in nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning: ‘Biogeochemical Applications in Nuclear Decommissioning and Disposal’ (BANDD, £1.9M) and ‘SAFE Barriers, £1.3M’. She is also leader of the Structural Integrity theme in the ~£8M EPSRC DISTINCTIVE consortium, involving 3 industrial partners (Sellafield Ltd., NDA, NNL). From 2008 to 2015, she was member of the UK Government advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM). In 2015, she was elected an Outstanding Woman of Scotland by the Saltire Society for her contributions to research and for her support of women in engineering.