From: Dr David Lowry
Subject: Urgent: re consideration of Draft Infrastructure Planning (Radioactive
Waste Geological Disposal Facilities) Order 2015 on Wednesday
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:43:58 +0000
FAO Baroness Bryony Worthington
23 February 2015
Dear Baroness Worthington
I understand you will be examining the Government’s draft statutory instrument :
Draft Infrastructure Planning (Radioactive Waste Geological Disposal Facilities)
Order 2015in The Moses Room, 3.45pm, Wednesday 25th February.
The Government proposals have received considerable criticism from a range of NGOs, Friends of the Earth included, while they were being drawn up. You would not gather this from the draft instrument put forward by DECC. I very much doubt Baroness Verma will convey this to peers when she speaks to support the draft SI on Wednesday.
Please could you consider at least reading onto the House of Lords Parliamentary Record the green NGO opposition to this draft instrument, so future generations can see from the Parliamentary Record that those voluntary groups tried to oppose – but were totally ignored – this highly misguided proposal, which will result in the virtual elimination of any future examination of this plan for long term subterranean nuclear waste management, both in Parliament, and in any local planning inquiry.
Aside from other consequences, this will create a massive democratic deficit in future.
Dr David Lowry
NGO representative on SOS Energy and Climate change’s Geological Disposal
(currently in cold storage as the SOS ED Davey declines to receive advice from the Board)
member, Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates
For the record, below is the NGO Nuclear Forum’s response to the consultation on
We also believe that the Nationally Significant Infrastructure process is not
appropriate for granting consent for a GDF. A repository is a significant but
singular project unlikely to be repeated more than once in a generation. The
voluntary siting process to which the government is committed should, ultimately,
result in the identification of an appropriate site supported by the local
community. The process might take a long time but, if successful, the outcome
should be both scientifically credible and publicly acceptable. The critical
environmental, safety and other issues should have been fully debated, understood
and determined by the siting partnership, the decision making body, the government
and the regulators. Use of the Major Infrastructure Planning regime will insert an
unnecessary and limiting extra process when all major issues should have been
Extract from Response to the Consultation Prepared by the NGO Nuclear Forum to
Question 5 in Review of the Siting Process for a Geological Disposal Facility, Dec.
19th. 2013.(There were responses in similar vein from several others, notably NGOs.)
Along with other critics our argument was ignored. I agree that very much will
now depend on how voluntarism and engagement interact and influence the planning
process. How much will be left for the infrastructure planning progress to consider
and how effective will participation in that process be? The implications need to be
considered and I think the Forum should look into this. Professor Andrew Blowers,
Co-chair DECC Nation Nuclear NGO forum23 February 2015Planning for Nationally
Significant Infrastructure Projects – Commons Library Standard Note
Published 10 December 2014 | Standard notes SN06881
Amended 04 February 2015
Authors: Louise Smith
The Planning Act 2008, (the 2008 Act), introduced a new development consent process
for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). NSIPs are usually large
scale developments (relating to energy, transport, water, or waste) which require a
type of consent known as “development consent”. An extension of the regime in 2013
now allows certain business and commercial projects to opt into this process.
A Development Consent Order (DCO) automatically removes the need to obtain several
separate consents, including planning permission and is designed to be a much
quicker process than applying for these separately. The DCO process starts when an
application is formally accepted by the National Infrastructure Planning Unit and
lasts approximately 12-15 months. The final decision on granting a DCO rests with
the Secretary of State for that field, based on advice from planning inspectors –
known as the “examining authority”.
Applications for DCOs are decided in accordance with National Policy Statements
(NPSs), which after a process of consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny are
formally “designated” by Government. There are currently 12 designated or proposed
NPSs, which fall under the categories of hazardous waste, water supply, energy,
transport networks, aviation and ports.
In November 2013 the Government concluded that wholesale change to the DCO regime
could damage developer confidence. There was a consensus, however, that some minor
changes were needed to provide more clarity and speed to the process. A Government
consultation and response confirmed that new guidance would be published to clarify
what information developers need to provide with applications and what help is
available. Following this, in the Queen’s Speech 2014 it was announced that an
Infrastructure Bill would be introduced to, among other things, allow the panel of
examining inspectors on an application for a DCO to be appointed more quickly, for
only 2 inspectors to be appointed, and to simplify the process for modifying DCOs.
For detailed information about the Bill’s NSIP reform provisions see Library
standard note, Infrastructure Bill: Planning Provisions.
This note sets out these issues in more detail. It applies to England and in some
circumstances to Wales (see section 1.2).
Download the full report Planning for Nationally Significant
Infrastructure Projects ( PDF, 10 pages, 315.6 KB)
Draft Order laid before Parliament under section 232(6) of the Planning Act 2008,
by resolution of each House of Parliament.
D R A F T S T A T U T O R Y I N S T R U M E N T S
2015 No. 0000
The Infrastructure Planning (Radioactive Waste Geological
Disposal Facilities) Order 2015
Made – – – – 2015
Coming into force – – 2015
The Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 14(3) and
(4) and 232(3) of
the Planning Act 2008(a), makes the following Order.
A draft of this Order was laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of
each House of
Parliament in accordance with section 232(6) of that Act.
Citation, commencement and interpretation
1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Infrastructure Planning (Radioactive Waste
Disposal Facilities) Order 2015 and comes into force on the day after the day on
which it is made.
(2) In this Order, “the Act” means the Planning Act 2008.
Amendments to the Act
2.—(1) The Act is amended as follows.
(2) In section 14 (nationally significant infrastructure projects: general)—
(a) after subsection (1)(p), insert—
(q) development relating to a radioactive waste geological disposal facility.”,
(b) in subsection (2), for “30” substitute “30A”.
(3) After section 30, insert—
“30A Radioactive waste geological disposal facilities
(1) A radioactive waste geological disposal facility means a facility which meets the
conditions in subsection (2).
(2) The conditions are that—
(a) 2008 c.29; relevant amendments are made by the Localism Act 2011 (c.20).
(a) the main purpose of the facility is expected to be the final disposal of
(b) the part of the facility where radioactive waste is to be disposed of is
be constructed at a depth of at least 200 metres beneath the surface of the ground
or seabed, and
(c) the natural environment which surrounds the facility is expected to act, in
combination with any engineered measures, to inhibit the transit of radionuclides
from the part of the facility where radioactive waste is to be disposed of to the
(3) Development is within section 14(1)(q) only if the development is within subsection
(4) or (6) of this section.
(4) Development is within this subsection if—
(a) it is the construction of one or more boreholes, and the carrying out of any
associated excavation, construction or building work,
(b) the borehole or boreholes will be constructed, and any associated excavation,
construction or building work will be carried out, in England or waters adjacent to
England up to the seaward limits of the territorial sea, and
(c) the conditions in subsection (5) are met in relation to each borehole.
(5) The conditions are that—
(a) the borehole is expected to be constructed to a depth of at least 150 metres
the surface of the ground or seabed, and
(b) the main purpose of constructing the borehole is to obtain information, data or
samples to determine the suitability of a site for the construction or use of a
radioactive waste geological disposal facility.
(6) Development is within this subsection if—
(a) it is the construction of a radioactive waste geological disposal facility, and
(b) the facility (when constructed) will be in England or waters adjacent to England up
to the seaward limits of the territorial sea.
(7) In this section—
“disposal” in relation to radioactive waste means emplacement in an appropriate
without the intention to retrieve;
“radioactive waste” has the same meaning as in the Environmental Permitting (England
and Wales) Regulations 2010(a) (see paragraph 3(1) of Part 2 of Schedule 23 to those
(4) In subsection (1)(b) of section 240 (extent), for “30” substitute “30A”.
(5) In paragraph 2 of Schedule 12 (application of the Act to Scotland: modifications)—
(a) in sub-paragraph (a)(ii), for “(p)” substitute “(q)”,
(b) in sub-paragraph (b), for “30” substitute “30A”.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Date Department of Energy and Climate Change
(a) S.I. 2010/675.
(This note is not part of the Order)
Article 2 of this Order amends the Planning Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”).
The 2008 Act was amended by Chapter 6 of Part 6 of the Localism Act 2011, which came
force on 1st April 2012, by virtue of article 7 of the Localism Act 2011
(Commencement No. 4
and Transitional, Transitory and Saving Provisions) Order 2012 (S.I. 2012/628 (C.
128 of the Localism Act 2011 abolishes the Infrastructure Planning Commission, and
transfers its functions to the Secretary of State.
Article 2(2) of this Order amends section 14(1) of the 2008 Act to extend the
infrastructure project which are nationally significant for the purposes of the 2008
Act by adding
to them a new type of project, being development relating to radioactive waste
facilities. This new type of project is subject to the limitations in new section
30A of the 2008 Act
inserted by article 2(3) of this Order. The new section 30A provides criteria for
whether any particular project for development relating to radioactive waste
facilities is to be treated as a nationally significant infrastructure project for
the purposes of the
Article 2(4) makes further consequential amendments in respect of Schedule 12 to the
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