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EA grants permission for radioactive waste
The Environment Agency (EA) granted an environmental permit on Tuesday (14 Aug) to Sita (Lancashire) Ltd to dispose of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) at the Clifton Marsh landfill site, near Preston.
Radioactive material of this type has been disposed of at Clifton Marsh since the 1970s, but according to the EA, the new environmental permit allows the agency to monitor disposal more effectively.
Prior to the decision to grant the permit, the EA consulted with local councils, members of the public and other regulatory bodies, said Steve Molyneux, the Environment Manager for Lancashire.
“The safety of people and the environment is the Environment Agency’s number one priority….The waste disposed of at Clifton Marsh is low hazard and the amounts of radioactivity are small. We are satisfied that the risks from continued disposal of this waste are well within acceptable levels. The Environment Agency’s continued regulation of this site will ensure that the waste is correctly managed.”
In the past, companies that produced radioactive waste were the only ones able to grant permission for its disposal. Since 2007 a new government policy revised the regulations for disposal of LLW, allowing the nuclear industry to dispose of high volumes of very low-level waste (a subcategory of LLW), or dispose of LLW with controlled burials. Most LLW consists of rubble and soil from decommissioning activities.
Though Clifton Marsh has been in use by various sites for disposal of LLW for more than 20 years, granting a new environmental permit will align Clifton Marsh with up-to-date government regulations.
The environmental permit will be effective from 1 September 2012.
For copies of the permit and decision document, visit the Environment Agency’s website.
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