Contents of UK Waste Site Nebulous, Some Say It's From TMI


Feb. 18, 2009

By Matthew Legg Business editor


Nuclear chiefs have defended a controversial decision to question former employees of the Drigg waste dump to help them find 

out what is in it. 


Adverts were placed in newspapers last week asking for people who worked at the Low Level Waste Repository, near Sellafield,

(on the west coast of the UK), to share their memories of what was buried there and how. 

The appeal led to criticism by environmental groups that the authorities did not know what was at the site and that it could 

contain higher level foreign waste. 

Members of pressure group Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (Core) claimed they had evidence that debris 

from Chernobyl and the accident at Three Mile Island, USA, had been buried there. 

But a nuclear industry source told the News & Star there was no evidence any foreign or higher level waste was buried at the site. 

Brian Hough, communications manager for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said the interview exercise was 

essential in order to close down the dump by the agreed timetable. He added: “Eventually the LLWR will reach the end of its 

natural life. Currently that is calculated to be in about 2070 or 2080. 

“Before the site can close it has to go through a formal process where it gets Environment Agency and regulators’ approval to 


“To achieve that, we have to put in an environmental safety case. We have to capture everything in the site to convince regulators 

it’s all been handled properly and the inventory is correct so there are no barriers to it closing. 

“The work the LLWR is doing at the moment is part of a big two-to-three-year programme of producing that safety case. 

“We must then go into public consultation before having that safety case approved by 2013.” 

Other investigative measures, such as drilling bore holes into trenches at Drigg will also be carried out, Mr Hough said. (2 of 6) [2/18/2009 9:21:09 AM] 

Link to pdf: 

accusation TMI waste at Drigg site.pdf (1 page)