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New Waste Disposal Proposal for enrmf

Augean is developing new proposals for its East Northants Resource Management Facility (ENRMF), to allow the disposal of wastes, such as soils and construction materials, that arise from sources that include the decommissioning of nuclear power stations and hospitals. These wastes contain small amounts of low level radioactivity, which means that they must be sent to specially authorised and approved landfill sites.

The company currently has permission to accept hazardous waste at its landfill facility and soil treatment centre, formerly known as the Kings Cliffe Landfill Site, which has been in operation since 2002. Augean recently made its plans for the site known through a newsletter delivered to the local community, which also promised extensive public consultation on their plans.

There is currently no readily available solution for wastes containing small amounts of low level radiation that result from the nuclear decommissioning process, and other sources such as science and research facilities, hospitals and manufacturing, as there are very few sites that can accept them. Consequently, these wastes are accumulating at the places where they originate or are sent to the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) near the village of Drigg in Cumbria. The LLWR is designed for much higher levels of radioactivity and has limited capacity.

The East Northants RMF is regarded as a highly suitable alternative facility for this type of waste, because of the way the site is engineered and because of the specialist experience of Augean staff in handling and disposing of difficult to manage wastes. The radioactivity of the wastes that will be accepted at the site is low and the site will operate to exposure limits much less than the average person’s exposure to naturally occurring radiation in the UK.

Augean is preparing a planning application which will be submitted to Northamptonshire County Council in June and an application for an authorisation to accept this waste will also be submitted to the Environment Agency.

If we are granted authorisation, the East Northants RMF would be an important resource that is currently lacking. Government policy and national strategy has identified this need and we all have a responsibility to help positively address our national legacy from the power enjoyed from the UK’s former nuclear sites. I would like to stress that the waste only contains very low levels of radioactivity and that they will be managed in a way that even under worst case scenarios will give rise to an insignificant risk to the public or our staff. Augean has carefully considered this project over a two year period and would not be putting the proposals forward to the County Council and the Environment Agency unless we were totally satisfied that it will not result in harm to our employees, the public or the environment.’

A public exhibition will be held at Kings Cliffe Memorial Hall, Eagle Lane, Kings Cliffe PE8 6XB on Thursday, 21 May 2009, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Members of the public will have an opportunity to look at the proposals and talk through any comments or concerns with members of Augean staff and representatives of the Environment Agency and Health Protection Agency, who will be in attendance throughout the day.


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