S&T Committee (Lords): Radioactive waste management

27 February 2007

Following the publication in October 2006 of the Government's response to the final report of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology launched an inquiry to look at plans for implementing CoRWM's recommendations and the planned Government consultation on a geological disposal framework.

In February 2007, the Royal Society wrote to Professor Sir Howard Dalton FRS (Chief Scientific Adviser for Defra), to express concern about the current developments. The letter was sent to the Lords inquiry along with a cover letter and a copy of the Society's January 2006 report the long term management of radioactive waste: the work of CoRWM'.

Our submission highlights our concern that a reconstituted CoRWM should maintain its independence and capacity to conduct stakeholder engagement and the need for clarification of its role in the policy development and implementation process. In addition, we are concerned about the haste with which the site selection process is moving forward, ahead of the establishment of the reconstituted CoRWM. It seems premature to start the more sensitive site selection phase before the new Committee has been set up.