Government starts nuclear justification process
Under the Justification of Practices involving Ionising Radiation Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/1769), the Secretary of State has to decide whether the use of new nuclear reactors and processes is "justified" by ensuring that the benefits outweigh any health detriment. The justification process is separate from the Generic Design Assessment process being undertaken by the nuclear regulators.
The justification process is part of a package of measures set out in the Nuclear White Paper, which the Government is launching to facilitate the building of new nuclear stations by the private sector (see Practice note, Nuclear White Paper).
During March 2008, the Government:
- Launched a consultation on funding decommissioning costs (see Legal update, Government consults on guidance for nuclear decommissioning funding).
- Completed the preliminary stage of the Generic Design Assessment of four nuclear reactor designs (see Legal update, New nuclear power station designs pass regulators' preliminary assessment).
- Launched a consultation on the scope of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for new nuclear power stations (see Legal update, Consultation on scope of SEA for new nuclear sites).