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Publication - Publication

Higher-activity waste implementation strategy

Published: 15 Dec 2016
Environment and Forestry Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change

Implementation strategy for Scotland's policy on higher-activity radioactive waste.

47 page PDF

1.9 MB

47 page PDF

1.9 MB

Higher-activity waste implementation strategy
Annex A Definitions

47 page PDF

1.9 MB

Annex A Definitions

A.1)This glossary has been included for the convenience of the reader to provide definitions and an explanation of some of the key terms used in this document. The definitions are the same as those used in the 2011 Policy.

Higher Activity Waste

A.2)For the purposes of the Policy and Strategy the term higher activity radioactive waste means:

  • Radioactive waste defined in current UK categorisations as Intermediate Level Waste (see definition below)
  • Waste for which the most appropriate long-term management option may be the same as that for higher activity radioactive waste. This includes:
    - Low Level Waste (see definition below)
    - certain wastes categorised as Low Level Waste, which by their nature are not currently suitable for disposal in existing Low Level Waste facilities as, for example, they may be longer-lived waste.

Intermediate Level Waste

A.3)Intermediate Level Waste is waste which has radioactivity levels exceeding the upper boundaries for Low Level Waste and which does not generate enough heat for this to need to be taken into account in the design of treatment or storage or disposal facilities [19] .

Low Level Waste

A.4)Low Level Waste is radioactive waste having a radioactive content not exceeding four gigabecquerels per tonne ( GBq/te) of alpha or 12 GBq/te of beta/gamma activity [20] .


A.5)For the purposes of the Policy and Strategy near-surface for storage and disposal facilities means:

  • Facilities located at the surface of the ground or at depths down to several tens of metres below the surface.
  • Near-surface facilities may use the geology (rock structure) to provide an environmental safety function, but some may rely solely on engineered barriers.
  • Near-surface facilities may use existing structures if an acceptable safety case is made.


A.6)For the purposes of the Policy and Strategy 'disposal' is placing the waste in a suitable specialised land-based facility without the intent to retrieve it at a later time. When waste is managed in a disposal facility it is on the basis that there is no intention to retrieve it. It is not that the waste cannot be retrieved, if that proved to be necessary, rather that there is no intention to retrieve it.


A.7)For the purposes of the Policy and Strategy storage is placing the waste in a suitable facility with the intent to retrieve it at a later time. When waste is managed in a store it is always on the basis that it will have to be retrieved.

Near Site

A.8)The 2011 Policy does not give a prescriptive definition of near to the site for storage or disposal facilities. However, the presumption will be that disposal facilities will be as near to the site where waste is produced as possible. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis and will be subject to robust regulatory requirements and the principles underlying the Policy.

Waste Owners

A.9)Waste owners include:

(i) the NDA
(ii) organisations which produce higher activity waste, including both the nuclear and non-nuclear sectors

Waste Producers

A.10)The organisation that produced radioactive waste in the first instance. The waste producer may or may not equate to the current waste owner, as responsibility for the waste may have been passed to another organisation in the interim.

Developer (of a disposal facility)

A.11)The organisation responsible for developing a disposal facility before waste disposal begins.