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AWE welcomes the ONR's conclusion today (Monday) of its investigation into the expired Licence instrument 511 regarding medium and long-term management of accumulated intermediate level waste at AWE's Aldermaston site.
ONR is satisfied that the current short-term conditions under which the waste is stored are acceptable and do not give rise to significant risk to the public or the workforce.
Delivering safe and secure operations is a core priority for AWE as is continuous improvement in environmental performance across all operations and processes. This includes an enduring commitment to manage our waste in a safe and compliant manner.
The ONR has acknowledged our improved arrangements for storing untreated intermediate level waste, and we will work closely with them in developing our long-term waste treatment and storage strategy.
AWE continues to work closely with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and other organisations that hold nuclear site licences similar to ours, to find a long-term UK wide solution for this waste.
Background for media
Since 1999 two Licence Instruments (LI) relating to Higher Activity Waste management have been placed on AWE by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).
The more recent LI, LI511, was issued in March 2007.
AWE undertook work to provide a facility to carry out these operations at the Aldermaston site, but in 2011, the company reached the view that the proposed option was unlikely to be the best solution to the ILW problem.
In August 2011, AWE plc informed the ONR that it would not be able to meet the terms of the LI the due date in Feb 2014.
Notes to Editors
1. AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK’s nuclear deterrent
2. AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.
3. AWE press releases are available on our website: www.awe.co.uk. For further information contact Catherine Lynagh on Media@AWE.co.uk 0118 985 6414