The Winfrith site hosts public engagement events and online exhibitions and seeks feedback on providing the site for public access to Heathland.
We are seeking input on what the site will look like when the decommissioning mission is complete.
Your feedback will be reflected in future planning applications and environmental permit applications to be submitted in late 2024.
About Winfrith Sites and Your Relationship
Through your work so far at Winfrith, you have helped us identify:
- The next land use of ‘heathland with public access’ is desirable because of its amenity value to the local community, but there is also the possibility of leaving some areas for commercial use.
- The following land use implementations should include retaining large structures on site and backfilling with site-derived debris.
Based on our efforts so far, we are currently seeking your opinions on the following points.
- The preferred approach is to leave the large underground structures of the Steam-Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) and the Dragon Reactor as low-level radioactive waste repositories and backfill them with suitable on-site demolition debris.
- How would you like to use this site, and what would you like it to look like in the future after the decommissioning mission is completed?
We have worked with experts to develop a schematic landscape plan to achieve the site’s next land use plan of ‘heathland with public access’ while still meeting our legal obligations.
Several potential landscape designs are being drafted for consideration and community input. Options for each concept are based on achieving a balance between public access and habitat protection.
Give us your opinion
You can join our effort and leave feedback by visiting our online exhibition here.
Alternatively, you can join us for an in-person drop-in session.
Thursday, May 25, 2:30pm-7:00pm Wynfrith Village Hall, DT2 8LR
Thursday 1 June 1.30-6pm D’Urberville Centre, Wool, BH20 6DL
Find out more about the Winfrith site here.
what do you do with your feedback?
We will use your feedback as a reference for on-site disposal and restoration to its original state. We plan to submit a planning application to Dorset City Council in autumn 2024, which will be supported by an environmental statement summarizing the potential impacts of the final stages of decommissioning.
We also apply for environmental permits to the Environment Agency. This application will be supported by a site-wide environmental safety case, including details of how the proposed disposal will be safe after implementation and in the future. The Environment Agency will consider this matter and may work with the local community on the proposal.
Our Suggested Ways to Manage Waste from the Winfrith Site
On-site disposal means that the large underground building structures associated with the remaining two reactors will be left in place and the voids will be filled. Large concrete blocks are placed in several voids below the ground, and the remaining voids are filled with suitable rubble generated from the site.
Once the voids are filled, a secure cap is placed over each structure and covered with locally sourced soil to allow the habitat to be reestablished as part of broader site restoration.
After the cavity is filled and site decommissioning is complete, we will continue to monitor and manage the site.
These proposals are subject to planning permits and regulatory approvals, but work has not yet been completed and the final stages of decommissioning are under guidance from the Environment Agency.
Advantages of on-site disposal:
- It offers significant environmental and sustainability advantages over options that require complete removal of underground structures.
- Minimize worker health and safety risks from avoiding extensive excavation.
- Over 6,000 off-site heavy goods vehicle movements to dispose of materials elsewhere will be eliminated, reducing community impact and carbon emissions.
- Significant cost savings for UK taxpayers.
- Minimize disruption and nuisance to the local community.
- Minimize impact on wildlife and protected habitats.
environment and safety
Radioactivity levels in the proposed on-site disposal would be very low. So low that, under the guidance of the Environment Agency, when waste is excavated, it is recommended that it be disposed of in a properly licensed radioactive landfill or, if disposed off-site, be recycled at a non-radioactive waste facility. considered to be suitable for
Sustainability and natural habitats
Sustainability is a key factor when considering the best options for waste decommissioning and management, and an optimization assessment is being conducted at the Winfrith facility to define the most sustainable approach.
These assessments were completed by enumerating short-term impacts such as habitat, operator risk, public risk and road traffic against long-term impacts and risks such as carbon footprint. This allowed us to define the best and most sustainable approach.
We are committed to meeting our legal obligations, including managing flood risk in current and future climate change scenarios and minimizing impacts on protected habitats.
what happens next?
If the Environmental Permit and Planning Permit applications are approved, work will begin to fill the gap between SGHWR and Dragon. Once the void is filled, it is tightly covered with an artificial cap. The caps are then covered with locally sourced soil to facilitate habitat restoration.
Magnox will continue to monitor the site for decades after disposal to ensure it is functioning as expected.