Environmental Policy Division (EPD) is responsible for devolved policy and legislation in relation to radioactivity in Northern Ireland. EPD co-operates with UK Government Departments in relation to policy on the management of radioactive waste, and is represented on several UK-wide radioactivity policy groups.

Working with Communities: Implementing Geological Disposal

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) jointly launched a consultation on 25 January 2018 entitled Working with Communities: Implementing Geological Disposal. The purpose of this consultation, led by BEIS, was to seek views on the Government’s proposed process for engaging with communities who may be interested in hosting a geological disposal facility (GDF) for existing high activity radioactive waste and waste from new nuclear power stations. It was not a consultation on whether or not there should be a GDF in Northern Ireland.

The proposals build on commitments set out in the 2014 White Paper entitled Implementing Geological Disposal. BEIS and DAERA remain committed to an approach based on the willingness of communities to participate. The consultation proposals outline how communities may be represented, how investment funding could be provided to communities that participate in the siting process, how a right of withdrawal could operate throughout the process and how a test of public support could be carried out before construction and operation of a geological disposal facility.

The consultation closed on 19th April 2018

Summary of Responses                

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has separately published a summary of the UK responses to the joint consultation on 19th December 2018.   A copy can be downloaded from the following webpage:          

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy also published on the 19th December 2018 its Implementing geological disposal - Working with Communities updated framework for the long term management of higher activity radioactive waste:   A copy can be downloaded from the following webpage:;

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has also published its summary of responses from Northern Ireland to the joint consultation a copy of which can be found at the link below.

Summary of responses to consultation on Working with Communities - Implementing Geological Disposal

Strategy for the management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) waste in the United Kingdom

This Strategy has been published jointly by DECC, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment.

It sets out our joint proposals for a strategy for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) waste in the UK.

Our joint policy is to facilitate the sustainable and efficient management of Low Level Radioactive Waste in line with the ‘waste hierarchy’ principle. This requires a policy framework which enables and encourages waste producers to avoid the production of unnecessary waste, and to manage arisings in the most environmentally appropriate way.

Our strategy for achieving this in respect of the NORM sector is based on stimulating investment in the waste management supply chain. It will do this principally through:

  • reforming the regulatory framework to ensure it is clear, coherent and effective
  • removing policy barriers to the development of a robust and efficient market for NORM waste management
  • supporting efforts by waste producers and the waste management supply chain to generate better data and information about current and future NORM waste arisings

This strategy was subject to a public consultation exercise from 13 February – 8 May 2014 and has been updated after consideration of consultation responses.  A consultation response will be published shortly after this strategy by Scottish Government.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been undertaken by the Scottish Government’s Environmental Assessment Team in accordance with the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 .

The SEA reflects the strategic ambitions of the Strategy, and was undertaken in parallel with the Consultation. A post adoption report will be published shortly after this strategy by Scottish Government.  

Scottish Government has led on the development of this strategy and it is available from their website using the link below, along with supplementary reports on NORM legislation, the data collection exercise and a summary of consultation responses.

Should you require further information, please contact:

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