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Searching for a UK Geological Disposal Facility

Radioactive Waste Management - Professor Cherry Tweed


Credit: NDA

Early in 2019, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) embarked on a search to find a site for a geological disposal facility (GDF) for the UK’s higher-activity radioactive waste.  This waste has been generated from more than 60 years of the use of nuclear technologies in the UK, for power generation, industry, research, defence and medicine and is currently stored safely in surface facilities around the UK.

A Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), made up of deep underground vaults and tunnels, is internationally recognised as the best option for the long-term management of our higher activity radioactive waste. Geological disposal involves:

  • isolating the radioactive waste in sealed vaults and tunnels deep underground, between 200 metres and 1000 metres below the surface
  • containing the radioactivity while it decays naturally over time

thus preventing radioactivity from ever reaching the surface in levels that could cause harm.

A GDF will provide significant economic benefits to a host community over its 100+ year operating lifetime.

Credit: NDA

The process to find a site for a GDF is a consent-based process with communities at its heart. Our aim is to find a suitable site and a willing community who will decide for themselves if they are willing to host a GDF.

This talk will provide an overview of the technology behind geological disposal, describe the journey with communities to find a site and highlight some of the experience we can learn from other countries involved in similar projects.


The event starts at 5.30pm for refreshments with the talk beginning at 6pm.

Register for free via Eventbrite


Professor Cherry Tweed is the Chief Scientific Advisor to Radioactive Waste Management and an Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham.

She has an MA in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Materials Science from Cambridge University and over 25 years’ experience in geological disposal.

Radioactive Waste Management Ltd. aims to deliver a geological disposal facility and provide radioactive waste management solutions.

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