Response 987697201

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About You

What is your name?

Name
Prof. J. Campbell Gemmell

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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(Required)
Individual
Ticked Organisation

What is your organisation?

Organisation
UK Committee on Radioactive Waste Management

Part 2: Policy Overview

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

2. Are there any other comments you would like to make on Part 2?

Are there any other comments you would like to make on Part 2?§
Simplification, enhanced coherence and alignment as well as proportionality etc. are all very easy to agree with. Overall the mission as intended is a very good and supportable one. Scope is more of a concern, especially in relation to radioactive substances as the issue of radioactively contaminated land and the fit between components of the nuclear cycle, including fuels and disposal as well as regulatory powers for materials, processes and impacts have not been fully addressed.

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

How could SEPA better support the uptake of new technologies?
Following some new best practice in China and Indonesia as well as other approaches to EPA-installed active tamper-free recording and data transfers to regulators would be very positive. Speed of identifying and reporting exceptions and exceedences with quick turnaround on judgements and fines using modern ITC methods would revolutionise environmental justice. Community access to licence performance data, air quality reporting etc would also greatly enhance public awareness, understanding and accountability as well as enabling improvements.

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

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

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
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Should be as clear and specific as possible and state what the person/roles process/seniority/decision-making/cover arrangements are. It should be easy to update but alerts to the regulator must be in place.

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

Comments:
Long tradition of HSE-style assessments re "controlling mind". Accountability for the decisions about compliance and reporting need to be clear and simple...if they aren't the licence applicant and the regulator need to have a serious discussion before the licence can be granted.

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:
Failures worldwide suggest this is critical. Tests must be robust and they and the results in each case should be assessed/reviewed regularly.

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
If not, what do you think the determination period should be?
But tiring might well allow this to be refined. Some should surely be shorter and some may take much longer.

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

22. What other alternative arrangements would you suggest for managing non-standard applications?

Comments:
Subject to where they are currently, or might be in future, assessed against a hazard and risk framework, this should not be overly challenging.

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

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes...but...There must be robust tests of what the likely impact of failures could be and therefore what the unmitigated or inadequately managed risks might be. If the consequent harm is adjudged to be serious then long timetables and flexibility would not be appropriate. A regulatory review panel and a public interest test would be advisable in this model and context.

27. Do you agree a notice used in the way set out in 3.7.10 to 3.7.12 is a different type of notice and should be therefore be called something different, such as an improvement notice?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Works Notices, Environmental Improvement Plans etc are used in other jurisdictions too. This seems appropriate to retain/have in the toolkit.

28. What benefits and drawbacks do you foresee from SEPA using enforcement notices in the way set out at 3.7.10 to 3.7.12?

Comments:
Unnecessary prescription is likely to be in the eye of the beholder. This is likely to need road-testing. Precaution, prevention, protection and proportionality should be retained as guiding principles here too.

29. Do you agree we should retain suspension notices for use in circumstances where we wish to suspend an activity in order to protect the environment, but the authorised person is not being ‘enforced’ against?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments
Stop Notices, again, exist in other jurisdictions. They are essentially. As long as liability transfers do not occur and duties and costs remain on the licence holder this is appropriate.

30. Do you agree SEPA should have the power to revoke authorisations in these circumstances?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

31. Do you agree that appeals against SEPA decisions should continue to be heard by the DPEA on behalf of Scottish Ministers?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
If not, which alternative body do you think should hear such appeals and why?
Nearly Yes but this may much better be handled by an appropriately experienced (actually and as perceived) non-political arbiter/commissioner or a panels model tested for this purpose.

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

Comments:
As soon and as quickly as can be done....unless there are very specific reasons for a slower approach.

33. Do you have any suggestions for how SEPA might manage the workload to implement integrated, and corporate, authorisations?

Comments:
Transition charging and a first pass "factory" approach provided tailored finalisation is accomplished by an experienced, local, appropriate input. Supplementary charging for the transition could be appropriate.

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
Comments:
Provided this is "more, more quickly and better".

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
Yes..but...the three words could face in different directions... This will require careful judgement and good communication.

36. Do you agree that the procedural arrangements for third party call-in under CAR should be extended to all regulated activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Comments:
A great deal depends, for administrative viability and actual environmental and industrial value, upon the tests of significance involved. Is call-in/appeal reasonable and necessary. How is this determined. How long does it take and does it risk disabling the regulator and politicising the issue?

Part 5: Pollution Prevention and Control

37. Do you consider that the provisions of the universal outcomes contain equivalent protection as BAT in relation to domestic activities?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

38. Do you have any comments on the potential impact of this change for other industrial pollution risk activities?

Do you have any comments on the potential impact of this change for other industrial pollution risk activities?
Not here.

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?
Some issues on definition of contamination etc. but largely, yes.

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?
Not necessarily. The main issue is whether or not the location where contamination took place/radiation was initiated or used is the best place for the material to be kept, stored or disposed. With adequate and appropriate management and regulatory control, proper outcomes should be achievable.

41. Do you agree that all substances associated with NORM industrial activities should be subject to control under the integrated authorisation framework, where they exceed the out-of-scope values, irrespective of whether or not they are classed as radioactive material or waste?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

42. Do you foresee any significant implications of this proposed change, e.g. are there any finished products (consumer products or construction materials) that would become classified as radioactive material?

Do you foresee any significant implications of this proposed change, e.g. are there any finished products (consumer products or construction materials) that would become classified as radioactive material?
No. If there are de minimis standards and a material can be declassified when appropriate levels are reached, there should be no issue.

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
Yes
Ticked No
If not, why not?
Would prefer to see a more thorough rationale setting out the position and possible interpretations, risks etc.

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
...but issues around wastes are not totally clear.

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

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, why not?
As per 44.

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