Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Public consultation on the request for consent to decommission a nuclear reactor at Imperial College

This consultation ran for a 3-month period from 28 January and ended on 28 April 2015.

Background

Since the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations (EIADR) entered into force in 1999 the decommissioning of nuclear power stations and other nuclear reactors within the scope of EIADR may only proceed with consent from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). To obtain consent the licensee of the nuclear reactor must submit to ONR an Environmental Statement (ES), which presents a detailed environmental impact assessment for the proposed decommissioning project and the mitigation measures to be used to avoid or minimise any significant adverse impacts on the environment, together with a non-technical summary of this information. This is considered by ONR during an extensive public consultation. If the project is considered acceptable ONR grants consent for the decommissioning project. Further information and guidance on EIADR is available.

Application for consent to decommission nuclear reactor

Imperial College have applied to ONR to obtain consent to decommission the CONSORT reactor at their Silwood Park Campus.

For the application for consent Imperial College have submitted the following documents:

You can also request hard copies of the Environmental Statement (charge of £150) or CD-ROM (charge of £25) from:

Imperial College London
Silwood Park Campus
Buckhurst Road
Ascot
SL5 7PY

Public consultation

ONR is holding a formal 3-month consultation period in order to provide the opportunity for interested parties to comment upon Imperial College's application and decommissioning project. Consultees are invited to comment upon any aspect of the dismantling project, particularly the environmental statement that contains the environmental impact assessment for the proposed decommissioning project and the mitigation measures to be used to avoid or minimise any significant adverse impacts on the environment.

At the end of the consultation, the comments received are collated and made publically available, although any comments submitted can be treated anonymously on request. Alternatively, you may provide comments in person at HSE's Knowledge Centre in Bootle, and via the following public libraries local to Imperial College.

If required, you may ask ONR any questions of clarification before responding formally to the consultation.

ONR's decision

Executive summary

The Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations (EIADR) requires the licensee to undertake an environmental impact assessment, prepare an environmental statement that summarises the environmental effects of the project, and apply to the Office for Nuclear Regulation for consent to carry out a decommissioning project. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine applied to the Office for Nuclear Regulation for consent to carry out the decommissioning of the CONSORT reactor at the Silwood Park Campus in January 2015. The Office for Nuclear Regulation undertook a public consultation on the environmental statement.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation was of the opinion that the environmental statement submitted and in support of the consent contained sufficient information on which to base its decision to grant consent.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation took all relevant factors into account when reaching its decision to grant consent. These included the: adequacy of the information provided in the environmental statement and supporting evidence; the conclusion that environmental benefits outweigh detriments; the prediction that there would be no significant effects on the environments of other EEA States ; and the recognition that certain issues would be covered elsewhere, through other regulatory regimes.

The conditions attached to the consent relate to mitigation measures to prevent, reduce or, if possible, offset adverse environmental effects of the project. Succinctly, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine must prepare an annual environmental management plan that describes mitigation measures in use, reports on their implementation and effectiveness, and reports on changes to such measures in light of experience. The Office for Nuclear Regulation must be notified by the licensee in advance of any significant change to a mitigation measure to control any major adverse effects on the environment. A copy of the environmental management plan and its subsequent revisions must be sent by the licensee to the Office for Nuclear Regulation, additionally the licensee shall make the environmental management plan available to the public.

The decision on the application to carry out a decommissioning project on the CONSORT reactor at Imperial College Silwood Park Campus under the Nuclear Reactors (Environmental Impact Assessment for Decommissioning) Regulations 1999 (as amended)

This consultation ran for a 3-month period from 28 January and ended on 28 April 2015.