Response 349506424

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About You

What is your name?

Name
Alyson Morris

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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(Required)
Individual
Ticked Organisation

What is your organisation?

Organisation
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Part 2: Policy Overview

1. Do you agree with the benefits set out here?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

3. How could SEPA better support the uptake of new technologies?

How could SEPA better support the uptake of new technologies?
The permitting regime could support new technologies by:- Being less prescriptive within permits with regard to specific technologies e.g. analytical equipment etc.; Setting down (or assisting the development of) good practice guidance; Recognising the development of BAT in the permitting framework. For example a technique may not be proven BAT but needs to be tested to get further information; credible options development should be encouraged.

Part 3: Key features of the new framework for authorisation holders.

4. Do you agree that the framework should include a set of universal outcomes?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

5. If so, are the outcomes proposed the right ones?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. However, for radioactive substances there are other principles, in particular the principle of optimisation to ensure that exposures are as low as reasonably achievable. This is achieved in permits through the application of BAT/BPM. Is the principle of BAT/BPM going to continue to be applied to radioactive substances permits? This concept is well understood and therefore it may introduce unforeseen confusion if it’s removed.

6. Do you see any opportunities within your sector for industry- led guidance to be produced to support this approach and how could it support you to deliver better?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

7. Do you understand the descriptions of the regulated activities in Annex 2?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

8. Do you agree that these are the right factors for SEPA to consider?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

9. Do you agree that SEPA should consult on the guidance setting out the likely tier of authorisation for particular activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

10. Do you agree that standard rules will deliver the benefits we have set out?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
They have the potential to do so and we support the simplicity and consistency they offer. However, their effectiveness will be judged by what they cover; too high level and they will be useless, too detailed and they will offer less flexibility. Will there by synergies with the ‘Standard Rules’ applied in Environmental Permitting Regulations permits in England/Wales?

11. Do you agree with the procedure for making standard rules?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

12. Do you agree that SEPA and Scottish Ministers should have the ability to make GBRs?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

13. Do you agree that all regulated activities should have an authorised person responsible for overall compliance and that this person should be named in a permit and registration?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

14. Do you think it is proportionate to require the person in control to be the person that notifies an activity in the notification tier?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

15. Do you agree that SEPA should include more than one person as the authorised person where appropriate?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Comments:
We do not agree with this proposal for the following reasons:- a) The nuclear sites we own in Scotland, Chapelcross, Hunterston A and Dounreay are our primary interest here. On nuclear licence sites, the licence is granted to a single entity, the licencee, who has overall control of the site: Magnox Ltd and DSRL Ltd in this case. Operations relating to nuclear site licence conditions have synergies with operations relating to RSA Authorisation conditions. Therefore, the holder of nuclear site licence is also the holder of the RSA Authorisation, which avoids ambiguity. If there was more than one Authorised Person named in permits there is potential for confusion and conflict with the nuclear site licence. b) For us it is also unclear who the other Authorised Person(s) would be. For example, although we own the Magnox and DSRL sites, the site licence companies are owned by a Parent Body Organisation (PBO), which we appoint. Looking at the tests given in paragraph 3.5.6 of the consultation document, we note the following:- • Has day-to-day control of the regulated activity, including the manner of operation. Day-to-day control is provided by the site licence companies; not the NDA, nor the PBO. The NDA defines the required outputs through the Client Specification but not the manner of operation. The PBO is not allowed to instruct the SLC in matters of regulation. The PBO can provide personnel to the site licence company either directly as a secondee or via ‘reach back’ where the person involved is provided in a similar way to a contractor. In either case, the person involved is required to act in the interest of the site licence company, not the PBO. • Can make sure that the authorisation is complied with. Neither NDA, nor the PBO can make sure the authorisation is complied with. This rests with the site licence company. • Can make investment and financial decisions that affect how the regulated activity is carried out; NDA provides annual funding to the site licence company but it does not determine how that money is to be spent in progressing decommissioning of the site. • Can make sure activities are controlled in an emergency situation. The site licence company is entirely in control with regard to emergencies. It is entitled to spend money first and ask NDA later. NDA has no role in directly controlling an emergency. Nor does the PBO have a role in direct control of an emergency. On this basis, we believe that neither NDA, nor the PBO could act as an Authorised Person. c) If the intention of this proposal is to make other parties who can effect compliance accountable, it is our understanding that existing legislative measures already cover this. It is an offence for any Person to cause an Authorised Person to commit an offence. Therefore, without the need for complicating permits, measures are already in place to hold organisations to account.

16. Do you have any views on how SEPA should decide if a person is in “control”?

Comments:
See Q15

17. Question 17 – Do you think the core requirements set out here will deliver the right approach to FPP for the integrated authorisation framework?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes but potentially ambiguous terms such as ‘good repute’ would benefit from guidance.

18. Do you think that the criteria set out above will achieve the stated purpose of the FPP test?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

19. Do you agree with the proposed application processes?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

20. Do you agree with the proposal to have a statutory determination period of four months for the majority of permit applications?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

21. Should the legislation make a clear distinction for applications for “non-standard” activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes. The nuclear sites we own in Scotland, Chapelcross, Hunterston A and Dounreay are our primary interest here and we note that they are likely to be non-standard activities. We welcome the proposal whereby determination periods are identified and fixed at the outset of an application, so that all parties can adequately plan.

23. Do you agree with the proposals for variations?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

24. Do you agree with the proposals for transfer?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

25. Do you agree with the proposals for surrender?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
Our mission is decommissioning and clean-up. Therefore, the ultimate surrender of permits is important to us. With regard to radioactive substances permits we note the draft ‘Guidance for Revocation of Regulation (GRR)’ sets down the environmental agencies’ expectations. We would welcome clear guidance for surrender of permits relating to other regulated activities.

26. Do you agree with the proposed approach to enforcement notices set out above?

Comments:
The proposal is a little unclear and would probably benefit from further guidance. As the new framework moves to less prescriptive conditions, interpretation of what may be non-compliant or heading towards non-compliance is more subjective. It is important that Standard Rules are therefore pitched at a level which enables Authorised Persons to know when they are met.

32. Do you have any views on the proposed policy principles for transitional arrangements?

Comments:
The nuclear sites we own in Scotland, Chapelcross, Hunterston A and Dounreay are our primary interest here. We presume, but it isn’t immediately clear, that an extant environmental authorisation will be a ‘deemed authorisation’ at the outset of the new legislation; thus nothing needs to immediately change, with perhaps the exception of some waste exemptions as the consultation document suggests. Experience with the introduction of Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) Permits in England and Wales, suggests that the effort required to embed a new permit is not trivial; even if many of the conditions remain the same. Therefore, we are sure that that further clarification and timescales on transitional arrangements would be welcome.

Part 4: Key features of the new framework for the public

34. Do you support SEPA having more flexibility in how information is made available to the public?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

35. Do you agree that a consistent, flexible and proportionate approach to public participation should be adopted?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

Part 7: Radioactive Substances

39. Do you agree that it is appropriate to have controls on radioactively contaminated materials whilst they remain on the premises where they were contaminated?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
We understand why in principle such controls would be wanted i.e. to prevent their generation and to ensure they are controlled in such a way to protect people and the environment.

40. Do you foresee any practical implications of the proposal to have controls on radioactively contaminated materials whilst they remain on the premises where they were contaminated?

Do you foresee any practical implications of the proposal to have controls on radioactively contaminated materials whilst they remain on the premises where they were contaminated?
As we understand it, a substance which has previously not been considered radioactive material will become radioactive material under the new proposal. It could be that Authorised Persons may not have specific arrangements for managing it under the RSA framework. Therefore, it is important that SEPA’s expectations are clear at an early stage. In addition, we note that Condition 1 of the Nuclear Licence Condition Handbook states “radioactive material” has the meaning, disregarding section 1G of the Radioactive Substances Act 1993, given in section 1A of that Act. If contaminated material is now radioactive material does this mean a change to the Handbook is required?

43. Do you agree that we should continue to exclude the public from the scope of the radioactive substances regulatory regime?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

44. Do you agree with the proposed radioactive substances regulated activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

45. Do you agree with the proposals for applying the new regulatory regime to nuclear licensed sites?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
If not, why not?
The nuclear sites we own in Scotland, Chapelcross, Hunterston A and Dounreay are our primary interest here. Under the existing RSA framework, ‘accumulation of radioactive waste’ is excluded for nuclear licensed sites and thus ONR is the primary regulator in this area. The proposed RSA framework replaces ‘accumulation of radioactive waste’ with a new regulated activity ‘management of radioactive waste’, which covers receipt, storage, treatment, disposal and transfer to another person. In practice, ‘accumulation’ has been taken to cover storage and treatment. As we understand it, nuclear licensed sites will not be excluded from this new regulated activity. Therefore, both SEPA and ONR will have vires in the area of storage and treatment of radioactive waste. We appreciate that how waste is stored and treated can have a significant impact on how it is disposed. SEPA clearly has a key interest and there is currently a Memorandum of Understanding between SEPA and ONR to manage this interest. In addition, guidance, for example, on the management of higher activity waste is joint guidance. If SEPA considers these existing arrangements inadequate, we would welcome clarity between ONR and SEPA on what aspect of storage and treatment is being regulated by whom. The potential for dual or conflicting regulation should be avoided (and we understand that this is not the intent). In addition, for those organisations, such as Magnox who also have sites in England and Wales, where the regulated activity ‘accumulation’ will remain excluded for nuclear sites, this clarity will be vital.

46. Do you foresee any problems with removing the requirement to display certificates?

Do you foresee any problems with removing the requirement to display certificates?
No

47. Do you agree that SEPA should have the power to impose conditions in an authorisation requiring the permit holder to carry out operations off their site?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No