Information Paper 7 Hazardous Waste and Low Level Radioactive Waste

DRAFT Consultation Document East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Development Framework Information Paper 7 Hazardous Wast...
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DRAFT Consultation Document

East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Development Framework

Information Paper 7 Hazardous Waste and Low Level Radioactive Waste October 2011

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste

Introduction Introduction 1.1

This ‘Information Paper’ on Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste, is one in a series that has been produced to support the preparation of the Waste and Minerals Development Framework (WMDF). The WMDF will contain planning documents (‘Development Plan Documents’ (DPDs)) that will help decide how and where waste should be dealt with and minerals produced in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove (including in the South Downs National park within East Sussex and Brighton & Hove) in the future (up to 2026). More information about them can be found on the Councils’ websites: ƒ dwaste



The Information Papers are being used to provide evidence for the development of the WMDF and to support consultation and discussion with members of the public and key stakeholders who are concerned with waste and minerals in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove1.


The Papers are ’living drafts’ which present the evidence as it stands at this stage and they will be periodically updated with any new information that comes to light. This will ensure the Councils’ knowledge and understanding of waste and minerals remains robust and the evidence base for the WMDF is ‘sound’.


The Information Papers were first published and consulted upon in July 2007, and were then revised in February 2008 and October 2009. This fourth version (October 2011) brings them up to date with new information and recent changes in legislation and policy.


Details of the other Information Papers that have been produced are included in Appendix 1.


If you would like to comment on or add to the WMDF evidence base that is presented in this Information Paper, please visit the consultation website and follow the instructions for the Information Papers. Alternatively you can send an e-mail to : ƒ


[email protected]

Separate, more detailed studies into the future management of hazardous and low level radioactive waste management needs in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove are also available. Page 1 of 28

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste

Introduction or write to: Waste and Minerals Planning Policy Team Transport & Environment C4-AP FREEPOST East Sussex County Council County Hall St. Anne’s Crescent Lewes East Sussex BN7 1UE Please make sure that you refer to the section and paragraph numbers that your comments relate to.

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


Hazardous Waste What is Hazardous Waste?


Waste is generally categorised using three broad classifications, as follows: x

'non-inert’ waste: (described as 'non-hazardous waste' in EU Directives) is potentially biodegradable and may undergo significant physical or biological change if deposited at a landfill site. Waste from households, commerce, and industry mainly falls into this category;


‘inert’ waste: includes materials such as rock, concrete, brick, sand, soil or certain arisings from road building or maintenance. Inert waste does not normally undergo any significant physical, chemical or biological change. The majority of construction and demolition waste is inert; and


hazardous’ waste: is defined in Regulation 5 of the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 20052 as amended. This waste essentially contains one or more hazardous properties that may cause harm to human health or the environment. Hazardous waste now includes everyday items such as fluorescent tubes, batteries and some waste electronic/electrical items, as well as tyres, discarded oils and lubricants. Hazardous waste is estimated to comprise around 3% of total waste arisings in the UK3.


A common source of hazardous waste is clinical waste which arises from the healthcare sector. Some of this waste can be managed as nonhazardous, but infectious and higher risk waste must be dealt with as hazardous waste, for example hypodermic needles/sharps, swabs, and prescription-only medicines. The most common method of managing hazardous clinical waste is by incineration.


Waste produced through industrial processes is also often classified as hazardous; this can include solvents, acids, alkalis, waste oils, asbestos and pesticides.


Except in a few limited circumstances, hazardous waste does not cover waste classified as radioactive wastes under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. These are discussed separately in section 3 of this paper.


For further information on types of hazardous waste see the Environment


Each of these regulations are based around different versions of the ‘European Waste Catalogue’ (EWC), with ‘special’ wastes being slightly fewer in number than hazardous wastes, resulting from a progressive extension of the EWC over time. 3 Draft National Policy Statement for Hazardous Waste, Defra July 2011 Page 3 of 28

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste

Agency guide “What is a Hazardous Waste”4. Planning For Hazardous Waste 2.6

Planning for the provision of facilities to deal with hazardous waste raises complex issues, not least because of the plethora of definitions and categorisations used in legislation and by different organisations. This makes it difficult to make an accurate assessment of management capacity and facility requirements at regional and local levels.


Hazardous waste can pose greater risks during collection, bulking, handling, storage and transport than for non-hazardous waste as it may be explosive, flammable, toxic, corrosive, or infectious. This can generate concern and anxiety from communities about perceived health and environmental impacts.


Many of the controls and regulations regarding hazardous waste are beyond the remit of the planning system, however they are often closely linked. The Waste Planning Authority (WPA) is responsible for determining planning applications for development to manage waste, but it is the Environment Agency (EA) which is responsible for issuing a permit concerned with the control of pollution. WPAs can advise that an environmental permit must be obtained for a development, but the enforcement and monitoring of the permit is the remit of the EA.


Certain planning applications for waste management related developments also require an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). An EIA requires the developer to compile an Environmental Statement, which must describe the likely significant effects of the development on the environment and proposed mitigation measures, before planning permission can be granted. Statutory consultation bodies must be consulted on the Environmental Statement, and their comments must be taken into account. Determining the threshold for requiring an EIA is complex, but as a general guide an EIA is required if the development could potentially have significant effects on the environment. “Significant” is defined in the EIA regulations. In addition to an EIA, some proposals may also need a Health Impact Assessment (HIA), which examines potential impacts on human health through a similar process.


The Planning Act 2008 made provision for a new 'Infrastructure Planning Commission' (IPC) (replaced by the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit (MIPU) which will determine planning applications for major development including hazardous waste facilities In July 2011 Defra released the Draft National Policy Statement for Hazardous Waste for consultation. This document sets out the Government policy for hazardous waste management and will be used by MIPU as the primary basis for its decision making on the development consent applications for hazardous waste infrastructure that falls within the definition of ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure’ as defined in the Planning Act 2008. For hazardous waste infrastructure, this would be for the construction or alteration of facilities


‘What is Hazardous Waste?’ (Environment Agency, Version 5, April 2011)

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste

where the main purpose is expected to be the final disposal or recovery of hazardous waste and the new or increased capacity is expected to be more than x x 2.11

100,000 tonnes per year for landfill or deep storage facilities; or 30,000 tonnes per year for any other facility.

The Draft National Policy also sets out the assessment principles against which the MIPU will evaluate an application including taking into account: x

Its potential benefits including its contribution to meeting the need for hazardous waste infrastructure, job creation and any long-term or wider benefits; and


Its potential adverse impacts, including any longer-term and cumulative adverse impacts, as well as any measures to avoid, reduce or compensate for any adverse impacts

Management of Hazardous Waste – the National and International Legislative Framework 2.12

The legislative and policy requirements for management of waste in the UK are initiated through the various framework directives and strategies developed within, and emanating from, the European Union. Such legislation and policy initiatives are translated into national legislation and strategy for implementation.


European Directives are increasingly directing waste away from landfill, imposing greater requirements for waste treatment (for example all hazardous waste going to landfill must now be pre-treated), and are requiring stricter pollution control of incinerators. This is recognised in the national hazardous waste management strategy5 and policy6 documents which promote directing hazardous waste further up the waste hierarchy.

5 6

‘Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England’ Defra, March 2010 ‘Draft National Policy Statement for Hazardous Waste’ Defra, July 2011 Page 5 of 28

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


In relation to the regulation of facilities, the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) regime through the Environmental Permitting Regulations provides an integrated approach to considering the impacts of certain activities in terms of emissions and other impacts to air, water, land that could be harmful to human health or the environment.


Most waste management activities must now have an Environmental Permit instead of a waste management licence or PPC permit. Permits are issued by the EA and have conditions to ensure that the activities do not cause pollution of the environment, harm to human health, or serious detriment to local amenity. Anyone who deposits, recovers or disposes of controlled waste must do so within the conditions of an Environmental Permit (unless the activity is exempt from a permit). The EA regularly visits to ensure that permit conditions are being met. Operators dealing with hazardous waste are also bound by a 'duty of care' to ensure that correct procedures are followed, which is set out in the Environment Protection Act 1990.


In relation to the production of hazardous waste, any business producing hazardous waste above the defined threshold has a legal duty to register their premises with the EA and to update this registration annually.


In addition, movement of hazardous waste between sites is strictly monitored by the EA. Consignment notes are required for every movement from 'cradle-to-grave', and must be submitted to the EA for monitoring.


Other key legislation in relation to hazardous waste is the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, which transposes the requirements of the Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC), setting out requirements for the controlled management of hazardous waste. The 2005 Regulations formally replaced the term ‘special waste’ with ‘hazardous waste’. These were amended on 6 April 2009 to principally widen the scope of the exemption from the need for hazardous waste producer registration. Other Influences on the Management of Hazardous Waste


In 2010 Defra published a national strategy for the management of hazardous waste7 which was based on six high level principles intended to drive the management of hazardous waste up the waste hierarchy. The Strategy established the need for new hazardous waste management facilities and identified the following as nationally significant infrastructure facilities: x x x x x x


Waste electrical and electronic equipment plants Oil regeneration plant Treatment plant for air pollution control residues Thermal desorption Hazardous waste landfill Bioremediation/soil washing to treat contaminated soil diverted from

‘Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England’ Defra, March 2010

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


landfill. In addition to the regulatory and Government drivers that influence the management of hazardous waste, there are a number of fiscal drivers that influence the choices made by waste producers and waste industry operators. These include: x

Landfill tax which is aimed at increasing the quantity of waste (including hazardous waste) that is diverted from landfill to other disposal/treatment facilities.


Economic downturn and associate slow recovery that while positively impacts waste reduction rates will in turn slow down the investment in new waste infrastructure from public and private investment sources.

Management of Hazardous Waste in the South East 2.21

The South East region has historically exported more hazardous waste for management than was managed within the region (i.e. it acted as a net exporter), driven in part by available capacities of the different management facilities within the region and in part by commerce. For example, the region has a significant proportion of the UK’s high temperature incineration provision but virtually no hazardous waste landfill provision8


A study on the Management of Hazardous Waste in the South East9 indicated that some additional capacity for managing hazardous wastes in the south east region will be needed over the next 20 years. The South East Plan (Policy W15) identifies the following regional priorities regarding future needs for management capacity of hazardous waste: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

2.23 8

Hazardous waste landfill capacity particularly to serve the needs of the south and south-east region; Treatment facilities for air pollution control residues (from combustion processes); Treatment/de-manufacturing plant for waste electrical and electronic equipment supported by a network for transfer facilities; A sub- regional network of contaminated C&D waste treatment facilities; and A sub-regional network of landfill cells for stabilised non-reactive hazardous wastes.

It is therefore likely that a range of facilities will be required to meet the

SEERA Study into the Arisings and Management of Hazardous Waste in the South East

Region (Scott Wilson, April 2009) 9

SEERA Study into the Arisings and Management of Hazardous Waste in the South East

Region (Scott Wilson, April 2009) Page 7 of 28

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South East requirements and that some of these could be major facilities that will help to satisfy the National requirements for hazardous waste management. 2.24

In 2011, URS Scott Wilson completed an update10 of an earlier 2009 study into Hazardous Waste Management in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove. This review confirmed that hazardous waste arisings in the south-east stood at 587,635 tonnes in 2008 and dropped to 505,870 tonnes in 2009 which was a 14% reduction on the previous year. The largest proportion of hazardous waste comprised oil and oily water.


In terms of hazardous waste management, a total of 341,785 tonnes of hazardous waste was treated, recovered/reused or disposed of in the South-East region. Around 47.8% or 163,376 tonnes of the material managed in the region was imported. The following changes were recorded: ƒ

Landfill – a 13% increase in material deposited over 2008 which is believed to be related to regional development activity and generation of CD&E wastes requiring disposal;


Treatment – a 21% this is believed to treatment of wastes may actually have purposes;


Transfer – a 6.5% decrease over 2008 indicating that more waste was sent directly to final treatment, recovery or disposal option;


Recycling/reuse – 29.5% decrease over 2008, the first decrease in several years – this is believed to be linked in part to reduction in waste produced and some waste that was recycled being classified as going through a treatment process;


Incineration without energy recovery – a 15% reduction over 2008 believed to be due to a combination of reduction in waste arisings and management routes further up the hierarchy being selected; and


Incineration with energy recovery – an 87% reduction over 2008 believed to be due to a combination of reduction in waste arisings and management routes further up the hierarchy being selected.

increase over 2008, continuing an upward trend – be linked to change in legislation requiring preprior to final disposal – an element of this material gone through a treatment process for recycling

Management of Hazardous Waste in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove 2.26


The 2011 URS Scott Wilson study also included a review of hazardous waste production and management in East Sussex, Brighton & Hove and the area of the South Downs National Park that lies within the county’s borders. The study showed the following hazardous waste arisings trends.

Hazardous Waste – Review of Waste Management Needs in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, URS Scott Wilson 2011

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste

Table 1 Overall Hazardous Waste Arisings in the Plan Area Total 2006 2007 2008 2009 Tonnes 21,853 22,740 21,545 19,286 % change +4.06 -5.26 -10.49 2.27

In relation to the hazardous waste produced in the Area in 2009, it was noted that around 55.61% was exported for management in the South-East region and a further 32.1% was exported across the wider UK for management.


In analysing the production data for 2009 further, it is possible to identify the distribution of hazardous waste arisings across the county in the table 2 below with the highest proportions highlighted. Table 2 Distribution of Hazardous Waste Produced Across East Sussex Districts in 2009 EWC Chapter 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20


Description Mining and Minerals Agricultural and Food Production Wood and Paper Production Leather and Textile Production Petrol, Gas and Coal Refining/Treatment Inorganic Chemical Processes Organic Chemical Processes MFSU Paints, Varnish, Adhesive and Inks Photographic Industry Thermal Process Waste (inorganic) Metal Treatment and Coating Processes Shaping/Treatment of Metals and Plastics Oil and Oil/Water Mixtures Solvents Packaging, Cloths, Filter Materials Not Otherwise Specified Construction & Demolition Waste & Asbestos Healthcare Waste/Water Treatment and Water Industry Municipal and Similar Commercial Wastes Total Tonnes %

Brighton & Hove -









































40 -

13 -

10 -

4 -

3 -

11 -











1326 3 86

523 2 8

266 6 4

1440 5 22

473 1 8

1102 3 32

1517 409

494 218

134 288

463 646

458 224

2291 512

870 -

690 -

522 -

107 20

89 224

134 2







4668 24.20

2397 12.43

1547 8.03

4311 22.35

1655 8.58

4708 24.41


This distribution reflects the more population-related arisings spread across the county (e.g. Oil and oil/water mixtures from a range of motor maintenance / dismantling activities), together with more specialised, location-specific, processes (e.g. chemical manufacture, metal treatment, and the petro-chemical industry, etc). It can be seen that: Page 9 of 28

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste



Sector 07 (organic chemicals) was primarily produced in Wealden and Eastbourne districts - this is felt to reflect the presence of industry sectors such as pharmaceuticals or medical infrastructure in these areas;


Sector 13 (oil and oil/water wastes) production is reasonably well distributed across the area - this thought to reflect to distribution of commercial premises such as garages, end of life vehicle reprocessors and distribution hubs associated with pockets of commercial and industrial development;


Sector 16 (waste not otherwise specified) production is also reasonably well distributed throughout the area, although a significant proportion is generated in Wealden and Brighton & Hove districts - this is thought to reflect the distribution of commercial premises, such as garages, with the higher concentrations reflecting areas of commercial and industrial development;


Sector 17 (construction and demolition wastes) production is distributed throughout the area, reflecting the construction industry as one of the principal employment sectors - the sector is one that generally responds to new development locally and distribution may vary in future years to reflect this;


Sector 18 (health care ) wastes are primarily generated in Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne, Hastings and Wealden, and this reflects the presence of the main hospital infrastructure in the area; and


Sector 20 (municipal) wastes, mainly comprising WEEE, batteries and accumulators - the presence of a major recycling site in Lewes accounts for the peak of production occurring in this area, although of course the majority of the waste originates from elsewhere in the Area, with the remaining arisings being relatively evenly distributed across the Area at smaller collection points.

In relation to waste management within the Area, East Sussex and Brighton & Hove imported 19,694 tonnes in 2009, together with treating around 12.19% of the hazardous waste generated within its own borders. The main waste management techniques employed are reviewed separately below. Disposal By Landfill In relation to landfill disposal as a route for hazardous waste management in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, the study has identified that: ƒ

There are currently no hazardous landfill facilities in either East Sussex or Brighton and Hove. (There is currently only 1 operational nonhazardous landfill in East Sussex and this site is not currently in a position to accept stabilised non-reactive materials such as the asbestos);

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


2043 tonnes (10.59%) of hazardous waste generated was sent for landfill disposal;


The material sent to landfill primarily (around 89%) comprised construction related wastes – 85% asbestos, and 15% contaminated soils; and


All material sent for landfill disposal was exported from the area, to the East of England, the East Midlands, the South West and to Kent. Incineration With Energy Recovery In relation to incineration with energy recovery as a management route in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, the study has shown that: ƒ

353 tonnes (1.83%) of the hazardous material generated in the Area was sent for incineration with energy recovery;


All the material generated in the Area requiring this form of management was exported to the South West, the East of England, the East Midlands, London, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber. The material exported primarily comprised oil wastes; and


Additionally East Sussex and Brighton and Hove imported from Kent and West Sussex around 188 tonnes of organic chemical wastes (EWC 07) for incineration with energy recovery; all this material was processed in Rother district.

Incineration Without Energy Recovery In relation to incineration without energy recovery as a management route in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, the study has shown that: ƒ

801 tonnes (4.15%) of the hazardous material generated in the Area was sent for incineration without energy recovery,;


All the material generated in the Area was exported for this form of management to Hampshire, Kent and South East London; the material exported primarily comprised healthcare wastes and organic chemicals; and


No incineration without energy recovery took place in the Area during 2009.

Treatment In relation to the treatment of hazardous waste in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove it has been confirmed that: Page 11 of 28

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


4333 tonnes (21.95%) of hazardous waste generated in the Area was sent for treatment;


There was no recorded treatment of hazardous waste within the area borders and all hazardous material that was treated was exported to other areas of the South East, the South West, Wales, the East Midlands, London, East of England, the North East and the North West; and


Material exported comprised healthcare waste (EWC 18), construction wastes (EWC 17), oil wastes (EWC 13) and wastes not otherwise specified (associated with end-of-life vehicles, batteries, gas bottles, tank cleaning wastes) and export appears to be directed to individual facilities for specific waste streams.

In looking at the waste streams exported for treatment, it is likely that: ƒ

EWC 13 (oil wastes) and EWC 16 (not otherwise specified) will have undergone treatment aimed improving their potential for recycling/recovery;


EWC 17 (construction wastes) were most likely sent for pre-treatment prior to landfill disposal; and


EWC 18 (healthcare wastes) could potentially have been sent to either improve their potential for recovery or to reduce their hazardous nature prior to final disposal.

Recycling/ Reuse In relation to recycling and reuse of hazardous waste in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove it has been confirmed that: ƒ

6218 tonnes (32.24%) of hazardous waste generated in the Area was sent for some form of recycling and reuse;


Only 26% of the material generated in the Area was managed in the area; the remaining 74% was exported throughout the England and Wales with the exception of the North East;


Recycling and reuse accounted for around 93.3% of the hazardous waste material managed within the area’s borders; this included 18,996 tonnes of imported material and around 1594 tonnes of material produced in the area; recycling and reuse is centred around Rother (chemicals) and Lewes (WEEE & batteries);


Material exported for recycling and reuse comprised oil wastes, wastes not otherwise specified (associated with batteries) and municipal wastes (namely batteries and WEEE); export appears to be directed to facilities for specific wastes streams; and

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


Material imported for recycling and reuse primarily comprised organic chemicals, municipal waste stream (WEEE & batteries) and waste not otherwise specified (WEEE & batteries).

Transfer In relation to transfer of hazardous waste in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove it has been confirmed that: ƒ

1167 tonnes (6.05%) of hazardous waste generated in the Area was transferred for disposal, and a further 4471 tonnes (23.18%) was transferred for recycling;


79.4% of the hazardous waste transferred for disposal was exported, and around 93% of the waste transferred for recycling was exported; exports associated with transfer occurred throughout England and Wales; and


Transferred material was primarily imported to East Sussex to a transfer point in the Area for recycling/recovery purposes at facilities in Lewes and Wealden. Imports mainly comprised batteries (Wealden) and end of life vehicles at Lewes.

It should be noted that materials recorded as being transferred will ultimately travel to an end destination where processing for recovery or disposal takes place – as such it is not possible to conclusively eliminate the potential for double-counting in the transfer data. 2.31

In relation to hazardous waste movements to and from the Plan Area, it is possible to identify the import/export balance based on the 2009 South-East Hazardous Waste Spreadsheet. Table 3 below summarises this data. Table 3 East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Import and Export In 2009 Region (WCA area) Brighton & Hove Eastbourne Hastings Lewes Rother Wealden Total East Sussex

Export from the Plan Area 4179 1975 1264 3832 1500 4165 16915

Import from England/Wales 16 0 0 7585 11729 364 19694

Import/Export Balance -4163 -1975 -1264 +3753 +10229 -3801 + 2779

The import/export movements for the Plan Area are shown in the chart in Appendix 3 2.32

It can be seen that the Area continues to be an overall net importer of hazardous waste, and that the two district areas with the greatest import/export activity are Lewes and Rother. It has been noted that: Page 13 of 28

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East Sussex and Brighton & Hove only manage around 12% of the hazardous waste it produces; while


88% of hazardous waste produced in the area is exported for management elsewhere in England and Wales. The distribution of waste exported to other regions for management shows a prevalence for those immediately adjacent to the borders of the South East region, (i.e. the South West, London, the East of England and the East Midlands), while more distant destinations are reflective of particular waste types being sent to specific management facilities.

An analysis of the export data shows that hazardous waste is exported from the Area primarily for: x

Recycling and reuse (27%), this is focussed on particular waste streams associated with EWC chapters 13 (oil/oily wastes), 16 (waste not otherwise specified) and 20 (municipal) which are exported to established facilities elsewhere in the UK;


Incineration with or without energy recovery (7%), this is focussed on particular waste streams associated with EWC chapters 13 (oil/oily wastes), 18 (healthcare) and 19 (waste/wastewater treatment) which are exported to established facilities elsewhere in the UK;


Transfer (28%) is associated with movements of EWC chapters 13 (oil/oily wastes), EWC 16 (waste not otherwise specified), 17 (construction wastes) and 18 (healthcare).


Landfill (12%), in the absence of any effective hazardous merchant inarea capacity, primarily for EWC chapters 16 (waste not otherwise specified) and 17 (construction wastes); and


Treatment (25%), this is focussed on particular waste streams associated with EWC chapters 13 (Oil/oily wastes) and 18 (healthcare) and to a lesser extent chapters 16 (waste not otherwise specified) and 17 (construction wastes) which are exported to established facilities elsewhere in the UK.

With the exception of EWC 18 (healthcare wastes), evidence suggests that such exports of other waste streams will continue in the absence of area level capacity, whether for landfilling in the complete absence of capacity, or treatment/recovery, with the existence of historic capacity elsewhere across England and Wales, along with its established market share and existing delivery infrastructure. In respect of EWC 18 (healthcare wastes), it is known that a new clinical waste incinerator is proposed for development in Eastbourne, which should be able to handle the clinical wastes currently exported.

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


Analysis of the imported materials identifies that: ƒ

EWC chapter 07 (organic chemicals) represents around 59.42% of the imported material, with import primarily for recovery and reuse, with a very small proportion going to incineration with energy recovery. This material is essentially being received at the SRM facility in Rye where the material is recovered primarily for use as a solvent fuel;


EWC chapter 20 (municipal) represents around 35% of imports Waste streams are primarily discarded WEEE, fluorescent tubes, batteries and accumulators and importation is for recycling and reuse through the MDJ Light brothers facility in Lewes; and


EWC chapter 16 (not otherwise specified) represents around 5% of the imports, and importation is related to recycling and reuse or transfer for recovery primarily of discarded WEEE and batteries. Material is being managed through the MDJ Light brothers in Lewes with a smaller proportion being transferred through a facility in Wealden. A small amount of waste associated with end-of-life vehicles is also imported for transfer for recovery at a site in Lewes.

Hazardous Waste Capacity Recommendations 2.36

Working on the basis of a positive input into the WDMF Core Strategy, the following recommendations for preferred options can be made for the future delivery of hazardous waste management capacity: ƒ

There is insufficient evidence for ESCC and BHCC to look at promoting the development of SNRHW landfill capacity to deal with the CD&E waste streams currently exported. This is in accordance with the “Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England” (March 2010) which indicates there is sufficient SNRHW capacity nationally;


Current levels and types of hazardous waste going to landfill or the additional requirement to deal with the EfW residues that will be produced from the Newhaven ERF facility do not support the development of true hazardous merchant capacity within the Area unless ESCC and BHCC wish to establish a facility that would meet the needs of the South East region and accept a considerable degree of waste import for landfill disposal (ref SE Hazardous Study). This is considered unlikely in view of sub-optimal geology, poor transport from centres of production and the confirmation that there is adequate hazardous landfill capacity nationally in the Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management for England (March 2010);


In relation to healthcare wastes, there is sufficient evidence to support the development of new capacity for treatment (including thermal treatment technologies) or incineration of healthcare Page 15 of 28

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wastes that are currently primarily exported. It is noted that planning permission is being sought for a new clinical waste to energy plant at Eastbourne District Hospital and that this would address the current capacity gap. In the event that the proposed facility is not progressed, the Council’s will need to make provision to fill the capacity gap through a similar treatment facility; ƒ

There is insufficient evidence to support the development of treatment capacity in relation to CD&E waste streams (i.e. contaminated soils) given the decreasing volume of these materials and the expectation of a static housing market. It is however noted that the Area should not discount treatment delivered via mobile treatment plant that could be moved close to the source of production.


Given the distribution of the hazardous waste transfer in A09 hazardous transfer, A11 Household, Commercial & Industrial Transfer, A12 Clinical transfer and A13 Civic Amenity facilities during 2008 and 2009, and utilisation of A09 capacity for non-hazardous waste streams, it is prudent for ESCC and BHCC to assess the types of materials being accepted across the range of transfer station types to ensure that future hazardous waste transfer capacity is not compromised.


In relation to oil wastes that are primarily being exported at present, there is insufficient evidence to support the development of new capacity for the treatment (including thermal treatment technologies) based on the quantity of materials to be managed. That said new capacity introduced through further development of existing treatment facilities or introduction of novel treatment approaches should not be dismissed;


New Metal Recycling Site (MRS) treatment capacity is felt to be adequate at this stage, and so no new capacity has been recommended.


Recycling and reuse capacity is currently felt to be adequate, as the area is a significant importer in respect of organic chemical, WEEE and battery waste streams; however, it was noted from the data that a similar range of waste streams is exported to facilities for recovery and reuse elsewhere in the UK, and it is therefore considered important for ESCC, BHCC and SDNPA to safeguard and promote the release of the current in-area capacity for its exported waste streams where possible.

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


Low Level Radioactive Waste What is Low Level Radioactive Waste?


The 2010 UK Radioactive Waste Inventory11 describes radioactive waste as ‘material that has no further use, and is above a pre-determined level of radioactivity’ – waste with levels of radioactivity below this threshold, while still radioactive, is not described as such for purposes of identity and management.


Radioactive waste may therefore arise from both nuclear and non-nuclear activities, as sources of radiation are used across the defence, power generation, medical and manufacturing sectors, as well as at research establishments.


Radioactive waste is divided into three main categories, Low Level (LLW), Intermediate Level (ILW) or High Level (HLW), according to how much radiation it contains and the heat the decay of this radioactivity produces. This document deals only with low level and very low level radioactive waste as this was identified as a strategic issue in the South East Regional Plan.


Low level radioactive waste types are defined within the Central government policy document on the management of solid low level radioactive waste (2007) as:



Low Level Waste (LLW) – these are radioactive wastes other than that suitable for disposal with ordinary refuse, but not exceeding 4 gigabecquerels per tonne of alpha activity, or 12 gigabecquerels per tonne of beta or gamma activity12. Unlike HLW and ILW, LLW does not normally require shielding during handling or transport. Currently, LLW consists largely of paper, plastics and scrap metal items that have been used in hospitals, research establishments and the nuclear industry. In future there will be large volumes in the form of soil, concrete and steel, as nuclear plant are decommissioned. LLW represents about 90% by volume of UK radioactive wastes (but contains less than 0.0003% of the radioactivity).


Very Low Level Waste (VLLW) – this is a sub-category of LLW, consisting of the same sorts of materials, and divided into Low Volume („dustbin loads̏) and High Volume („bulk disposal̏). Low volume VLLW can be disposed of to unspecified destinations with municipal, commercial or industrial waste. High volume VLLW can be disposed of to specified landfill sites and controls are necessary as specified by the environmental regulators. For low volume VLLW, each 0.1 m cubed of

UK Radioactive Waste Inventory (NDA 2004, 2007 and 2010) A Becquerel is the unit of radioactivity, representing on disintegration per second and a gigabecquerel is 1000 million becquerels. Page 17 of 28 12

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste

waste must contain less than 400 kilobecquerels of total activity or single items must contain less than 40 kBq. For high volume VLLW, the maximum concentration should be 4 MBq/tonne. Different activities are specified for wastes containing Carbon 14 and Tritium. Planning For Low Level Radioactive Waste 3.5

It is recognised nationally13 that Planning Authorities need to consider requirements for Low Level radioactive waste management within their Plan Area. The nature and scale of potential radioactive waste developments that need to be considered in a Plan Area will vary dependant a range of factors including: ƒ

Presence of nuclear licensed site in the Plan Area;


Permissions held on licensed sites for on-site radioactive waste management and the possible use of off-site facilities;


The increased use of controlled burial at landfill or incineration of LLW and VLLW;


The decommissioning of nuclear plants;


The adequacy of local provision for managing LLW and VLLW and whether an area may be available for participation of a geological repository.


Planning Policy Statements (PPS) have been prepared to set out Government Policies on difference aspects of land-use planning. PPS10 “Planning for Sustainable Waste Management” although not specifically targeted at LLW highlights the Government’s policy on moving waste up the waste hierarchy and the need for “positive planning” that provides “sufficient opportunities for new waste management facilities of the right type, in the right place, and at the right time”. This document also identifies that planners should “take account of any waste management requirement identified nationally” which in the case of LLW requires consideration of Government Policy and National Strategy documents for both nuclear and non-nuclear LLW sources.


Government Policy regarding the management of low level radioactive waste materials is set out in the “Policy for the Long Term Management of Solid Low Level Radioactive Waste in the United Kingdom”, March 2007, which addresses the management of solid LLW. This policy document acknowledges the limitations on the capacity at the LLW repository near Drigg, Cumbria to meet future national LLW needs and introduced a more flexible framework for the disposal of certain categories of LLW to existing landfill. Government policy also stresses the need to reduce, reuse and recycle waste wherever possible to reduce the amount of LLW that has to be disposed of.


Briefing for Local Authority Planners on Radioactive Waste Management, NuLeAF, March 2008

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


In relation to national strategy for the management of LLW this is set out separately for nuclear14 and non-nuclear15 LLW sources. In common with non-radioactive waste strategies, the LLW strategies focus on three main strategic themes: ƒ ƒ ƒ


LLW strategies identify accepted routes for the management of LLW waste streams as well as identifying strategic threats to management including: ƒ ƒ ƒ


Application of the waste hierarchy; Best use of existing LLW management assets; and Need for new fit-for-purpose waste management routes.

Limited capacity and small number of facilities for incineration of LLW Almost complete absence of landfill sites accepting LLW for controlled burial; and The uncertainty regarding the future availability of the LLW capacity at Drigg.

The Government policy on LLW management is also explicit in stating that the proximity principle needs to be taken into account when the consigning sites take waste management decisions. The Policy states that the proximity principle needs to be weighed against other factors when considering various LLW management options and this will inevitably mean that sometimes the preferred option may not be the nearest to the site of origin of the waste.

Management of Low Level Radioactive Waste – the Legislative Framework 3.11

Management of LLW wastes is primarily regulated through the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR) 2010 which supersedes the earlier Radioactive Substances Act (RSA). The regulations govern the keeping/use of radioactive material to prevent loss to the environment and to control accumulation and disposal of radioactive waste to minimise environmental impact. Disposal of radioactive waste includes discharges of aerial and liquid effluent, deposit or burial of solid radioactive waste, and transfer of radioactive waste from a site.


Other relevant legislation includes:

14 15


Nuclear Installations Act 1965 aimed at the licensing and operating of a nuclear installations and enables the HSE to attach specific conditions in relation to the handling, treatment and disposal of nuclear matter.


Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 which specify the requirements for

UK Strategy for the Management of Solid LLW from the Nuclear Industry (August 2010) UK Strategy for the Management of Solid LLW from the Non-Nuclear Industry (December 2010) Page 19 of 28

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the radiological protection of workers and the public. It applies to both nuclear licensed and non-licensed sites. ƒ

Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Regulations 2008 which govern the import/export of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive contaminated materials primarily for treatment and recycling purposes where there is a lack of suitable national facilities.


Radioactive Contaminated Land (Modification of Enactments) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. These regulations cover land contaminated with radioactivity originating from both nuclear and nonnuclear installations, and is aimed at dealing with risks from a site in its current use and in ensuring that a developer considers the available remedial options to ensure that exposure of people undertaking the development work is as low as reasonably achievable.


Article 37 Euratom Treaty which requires the notification to the European Commission of any new plan for the disposal of radioactive waste. This means that landfill operators will need to prepare information for submission to the European Commission before a permit application can be determined. The Commission will then take up to six months to give an opinion and a permit for the disposals of radioactive waste to landfill will not be issued until after a favourable opinion has been received from the Commission.

Management of LLW 3.13

Radioactive waste will undergo some or all the following steps depending on the type of waste and the strategy for its management: ƒ

Pre-treatment where the aim is to segregate waste into streams that will be managed in similar ways;


Treatment which involves changing the characteristics of the waste by volume reduction, radionuclide removal or change of composition;


Conditioning which involves the transformation of the waste into a form suitable for handling, storage and disposal. This usually involves immobilisation and packaging;


Storage which involves emplacement of the waste in a facility with the intention to retrieve for another step in the management process;


Retrieval is the removal of wastes from storage for inspection, further storage or disposal; and


Disposal which occurs when packages of radioactive waste are emplaced in a facility with no intention of retrieval, or packages are incinerated or liquid/gaseous effluent is discharged into the environment.

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste

LLW from Nuclear Sources 3.14

Nuclear radioactive waste is produced from a number of sources including: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

Fuel fabrication and uranium enrichment; Nuclear power reactors; Spent fuel reprocessing; Nuclear energy research and development; Defence activities; Medical and industrial operations

In 2010 the UK Radioactive Waste Inventory16 (UK-RWI 2010) recorded the total volume of all radioactive waste in the UK at 4.7 million cubic metres with around 93.9% of this material comprising LLW materials. 3.15

LLW materials comprise a range of materials including cement, concrete, rubble, soils, metals, rubber and plastics mainly associated with maintenance, site clearance and decommissioning activities. The proportion of these materials nationally is shown in Figure 1 below. Figure 1 Composition of LLW

S o il & R ubble 16 .9 6 %

Uns pe c if ie d 3 .4 3 %

M e t a ls 16 .6 8 %

G la s s & C e ra m ic s 0 .2 1% C e llulo s ic s 2 .15 % G ra phit e 0 .3 2 %

P la s t ic s 1.0 3 %

O t he r Ino rga nic s < 0 .0 1%

R ubbe r 0 .2 8 %

S ludge s , F lo c s & Liquids 0 .2 4 %

O t he r O rga nic s 0 .7 5 %

C o nc re t e , C e m e nt , S a nd 5 7 .9 5 %


UK Radioactive Waste Inventory – this is produced every three years and identifies sources, types and quantities of radioactive waste streams both now and predicted arisings. Page 21 of 28

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UK-RWI 2010 confirms that radioactive waste (all types) from nuclear sources is produced at 35 sites across the UK and the distribution of these sites is shown on the map in Appendix 2. Although several sites lie within the South East region, none lie within the East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Plan area and at the time of writing none were planned. The estimated volume of LLW at 01 April 2010 and forecast to arise at sites located in the South East region is shown in table 4 below. Table 4 Forecast LLW Arisings In South East Region at 01 April 2010 3 Site Operator Volume (m ) Volume When all wastes at At 01/4/2010 and future arisings are packaged 01/04/2010 No of Packaged Conditioned Packages Volume (m3) Volume (m3) AWE MoD 998 2,150 41,900 33,500 Aldermaston HMNB MoD 9.2 1 17.9 14.4 Portsmouth Dungeness B British Energy 78.5 990 19,600 17,300 Amersham GE Healthcare 0 210 4,090 3,275 Ltd Harwell GE Healthcare 0 3 40.4 32.3 Ltd Culham NDA 600 458 8,100 6,350 Dungeness A NDA 789 1,750 34,900 32,000 Harwell NDA 2,820 881 99,600 96,200 Minor Producers Various 568 530 10,100 8,030 TOTAL All Sites 5,863.7 6,973 218,348.3 196,701.7

Note forecast arisings include arisings expected from site clearance and decommissioning that will take place to around 2100.


The closest point of radioactive waste production from nuclear sources is at Dungeness, Kent. The NDA are currently managing the decommissioning of Dungeness A which has activities scheduled over the next 100 years and is estimated to produce around 32,000 m3 of conditioned packaged LLW during this period that will require some form of management. British Energy are currently operating the power plant at Dungeness B with decommissioning activities due to commence in 2018 and forecast to continue over approximately 100 years - 17,300 m3 of conditioned packaged LLW requiring management is estimated to be produced as a result of the operational and decommissioning activities during this period. Currently there is no specified plan to direct any of this LLW to the East Sussex Plan Area for management. LLW from Non-Nuclear Sources



The national strategy17 acknowledges that the majority of the non nuclear waste streams defined as LLW are similar in their physical and chemical nature to the wide variety of other municipal, commercial and industrial wastes. It is distinguished from these directive wastes in that it contains radioactivity which is additional to that which is present naturally and unmodified in the earth’s raw materials (and therefore also in all types of waste). Most LLW produced by the non-nuclear industry contains only very small quantities of this additional radioactivity.

UK Strategy for the Management of Solid LLW from the Non-Nuclear Industry (December 2010)

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste



Sources of non-nuclear waste can include emitter sources (ie will emit radiation) and non-emitter sources. There is no definitive list of all sources against which to report although these are understood to include: ƒ

‘spent’ radioactive materials from industrial and medical sources that are returned to GE Healthcare Ltd at Amersham;


RSA registered sites, including medical care and veterinary facilities;


Medical, industrial and nuclear R&D facilities;


Commercial and industrial applications (eg non- destructive testing);


The Ministry of Defence activities;


Educational establishments;


Waste sector; and


Some construction/energy sites.

Research in conjunction with this report has shown that there is no national data-base of non-nuclear LLW and VLLW radioactive waste arisings; nor is there any individual regional data-base. The main data which is available, and which was used for development of the “Strategy for the Management of Solid LLW from Non-nuclear Industry”, was produced by Atkins in 2008. This showed the combined total of LLW and VLLW in the UK was approximately 50,000m3 per year, and that this was split as follows: ƒ ƒ

LLW per year was around 4,800 m3 plus 13 tonnes; and VLLW per year was around 46,500 m3 plus 41 tonnes.

The study also showed that: the medical sector was responsible for 77%; and research sector was responsible for 21% with clinical and laboratory wastes being the most commonly reported. 3.21

On the basis of the Atkins report UK non-nuclear LLW/VLLW production rates are estimated at or around 1% of the amount produced by the nuclear industry, which, spread as it is across the whole of the country, has benefits-of-scale implications for management and final disposal which do not otherwise apply to the nuclear industry. In the absence of detailed data, it has not been possible to verify the above information, and this must therefore be considered only as an initial, ‘working’, estimate.


In terms of facilities producing LLW and VLLW in the East Sussex Plan Area, the Environment Agency confirmed that 4 sites held RSA licences which cover the production, storage and use of radioactive materials. The sites were:


University of Sussex, Falmer Page 23 of 28

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Eastbourne District General Hospital


Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton


Conquest Hospital, Hastings

The LLW produced was reported in kilo becquerels as follows:


1,221,009,000 kBq was released to wastewater which is managed through permitted discharges from each of the producing sites. Such releases will be for material produced at that site and as such no imported LLW would be expected to be managed by this route;


274,260 kBq was ‘transferred for radioactive waste incineration’, which indicates that transfer capacity is available in-area at the point of generation,


Incineration capacity is currently only available in the wider South East/London area at incinerators located at Fawley, Colinbrook, Ashford and Sidcup

In respect of other LLW waste management capacity in the East Sussex Plan area the following was noted: ƒ

The proposed energy from waste incinerator for Eastbourne District Hospital is intended to accept clinical LLW (ie each 0.1m3 of waste accepted must contain less than 400 kilobecquerels (kBq) of total activity or single items containing less than 40kBq of total activity). In the event that this facility receives planning permission, it would provide in-area capacity for incineration of clinical LLW in the future;


No landfill site in the Plan Area is currently authorised to accept LLW/VLLW waste streams and at the time of writing no site has applied for permission to accept these waste streams. Given the limited opportunity for additional landfill capacity to be developed in the Plan Area and the low volume of LLW produced in the Area, it is unlikely that landfill capacity for LLW/VLLW will be developed during the plan period; and


Other LLW treatment facilities that facilitate recycling and reuse do not currently exist in the Plan Area and are unlikely to be developed during the plan period as there is no significant producer within the Plan Area that would utilise such a facility.

Key Findings 3.25

Specific area circumstances include the following: ƒ

Absence of nuclear LLW waste producers in the plan area and the low quantity of LLW from non-nuclear producers;

Information Paper 7 – Hazardous and Low Level Radioactive Waste


Pre-existence of capacity for managing radioactive wastewater and transfer for incineration;


Confirmation that no landfill is currently licensed to accept LLW/VLLW and none have applied for such a permit; or


Recognition that pre-existing specialist facilities out-of-area will continue to be used for certain processes, based on the historic drivers for their location and the specialist nature of the management process they provide.

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Appendix 1- List of other information papers prepared 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

The Future Need for Waste Management The Future Need for Minerals Production and Management Sustainable Waste Management Waste Management Methods and Technologies Land Disposal Spatial Portrait of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Hazardous Waste Transportation of Waste and Minerals Climate Change and Waste and Minerals Waste Water and Sewage Sludge Treatment

Waste and Minerals Policy Team Planning Service – Transport & Environment East Sussex County Council County Hall St Anne’s Crescent Lewes East Sussex BN7 1UE

01273 481846 Planning Strategy & Projects Brighton & Hove City Council Hove Town Hall Norton Road Hove East Sussex BN3 3BQ

01273 292505

[email protected]