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What is SD:SPUR?

Now part of SAFEGROUNDS+, SD:SPUR stands for Site Decommissioning:Sustainable Practices in the Use of Resources. The initiative was developed to establish through dialogue safe, socially, economically and environmentally sustainable practices in the use of resources arising from the decommissioning of nuclear sites.

Why was SD:SPUR initiated?

Several of the nuclear research sites and nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the UK are now being decommissioned and many others are due to begin decommissioning within the next decade. Many assets on these sites (eg buildings and other facilities) will become redundant and some could be refurbished for reuse. Others will be demolished and deconstructed, generating large volumes of waste, the majority of which by volume will contain no artificial radioactivity or levels of radioactivity that are so low they may be treated and regulated in the same manner as conventional wastes.

In 2002, the Safety Issues Task Force (SITF) (now disbanded) identified a need for guidance to address the sustainable management of assets and the large amounts of demolition and deconstruction wastes being generated. Building upon the existing relationship between CIRIA and SITF developed through the SAFEGROUNDS project a project was launched to develop guidance through a process of extensive stakeholder consultation. A scoping study report was published in 2003, which led to the current SD:SPUR project, which was launched in 2004. The project was funded by the member organisations of SITF (AWE, British Energy, BNFL and UKAEA), the RMC Environment Fund and the Health & Safety Executive Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (HSE NII) and the project was guided by a Project Steering Group (PSG) comprising operators of nuclear licensed sites, government departments and agencies, and non-governmental organisations.

The SD:SPUR project (2004-2005)

The SD:SPUR project had the primary aim of developing generalised (non-statutory) guidance for dealing sustainably with the assets and large volumes of radiologically clean and slightly radioactive solid wastes that arise from the decommissioning of nuclear sites. The scope of the project also included the following specific objectives, which were intended to help inform the development of the guidance:

A further aim of the project was to develop a site specific case study and planning model for the UKAEA nuclear licensed site at Dounreay as a demonstration of how the generalised guidance could be applied to a site under active decommissioning.

Work to achieve these objectives was completed in June 2005 and resulted in the production of guidance. The guidance, which is freely available through this website, provides those involved in site waste management with a framework for thinking strategically about the incorporation of sustainability considerations within asset and waste management. It has been developed so as to be applicable to, and complementary with, requirements on operators to use BPEO in the development of Integrated Waste Strategies (IWS).

Following the initial guidance, SD:SPUR's focus switched to becoming a learning network. Its activities in recent years have included succesful conference-style events run in partnership with SAFESPUR and a review of information shortfalls. These are available in the guidance and information section of this site. The aims of SD:SPUR were:

The governance of SD-SPUR was combined with that of SAFEGOUNDS in 2012 to form the SAFEGROUNDS+ Steering Group.




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