Future radiation doses from waste dumping to exceed 2005 limits

Posted by bex — 4 November 2005 at 9:00am - Comments
Estimates of radiation doses to the public in the future, from the release of radioactive materials from the Drigg nuclear dump site, could reach up to 30 times than the legal maximum permissible now! Moreover, Drigg, the UK's main low-level waste dump is likely to be destroyed by coastal erosion in 500 years.

These are the conclusions of an Environment Agency review of British Nuclear Group's applications for contimued disposal of radioactive waste at the Drigg low-level waste dump in Cumbria. The Agency says BNG has failed to make an adequate case for continued waste disposals, which could create an undue burden for future generations.

Download Greenpeace's recent submission to the Environment Agency regarding Drigg here (Adobe Acrobat PDF format).

The Environment Agency has consulted on the action it proposes following this review. The documents are available here.

Greenpeace's submission to the consultation focuses on likely future coastal erosion and rising sea levels, and the fact that estimated future doses and risks exceed the legal dose limit in force today. Greenpeace recommends that any future Authorisation for use of the site to manage low-level waste must be changed to storage only rather than disposal.

We also believe that the EA's findings have implications beyond that of the Drigg site. Many of the UK nuclear facilities are situated on beaches or close to the sea. For example, most of the Sellafield site is less than 100m from the sea and is only a few metres above mean sea level. The possibility exists that the Sellafield site could be under the sea in less than 100 years, and the NDA and Government will need to plan for this possibility.


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