Steel and Copper Use in a GDF

Marianne Birkby made this Freedom of Information request to Radioactive Waste Management Limited

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Marianne Birkby

Dear Radioactive Waste Management Limited,

Governments preferred option for disposal of heat generating nuclear waste is a GDF

1. What is the total predicted quantities of steel (of all qualities) required to facilitate one or more GDF's containing the full inventory of existing and future wastes in the UK earmarked for geological disposal?

2. What is the total predicted quantities of copper (of all qualities) required to facilitate one or more GDF's containing the full inventory of existing and future wastes in the UK earmarked for geological disposal?

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Marianne Birkby

Flint, Duncan,

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Dear Marianne ([1][FOI #680424 email])

 

Thank you for your request for information about copper and steel
quantities required for geological disposal of the waste inventory
destined for disposal in a UK GDF.

 

Your request

 

Dear Radioactive Waste Management Limited,

 

Governments preferred option for disposal of heat generating nuclear waste
is a GDF

 

1.    What is the total predicted quantities of  steel (of all qualities)
required to facilitate one or more GDF's containing the full inventory of
existing and future wastes in the UK earmarked for geological disposal?

 

2.  What is the total predicted quantities of copper (of all qualities)
required to facilitate one or more GDF's containing the full inventory of
existing and future wastes in the UK earmarked for geological disposal?

 

Our response

 

We have interpreted your request as asking about the amount of copper and
steel required to package all the inventory designated for disposal in a
GDF. This information is already publicly available and can be found by
summing the numbers in appendices C2 & C3 of the latest Inventory for
Geological Disposal –
[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
 

 

I trust this response meets with your approval ; If however you are
dissatisfied with the way in which RWM has dealt with your request, you
have the right to require us to review our actions and decisions. If you
wish to request a review, please write to me within 40 working days. You
will receive a full response to your request for review within 20 working
days of its receipt.

 

If you are still dissatisfied with the way in which we have handled your
request for review you may then ask the Information Commissioner to review
our decision. You must submit this to the Commissioner within six months
of receiving the response to review letter.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Duncan Flint

Media Manager

 

T: 01925 802297

M: 07803 495577

 

Media line :10925 802830

W: [3]gov.uk/rwm - [4]Geological Disposal

 

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References

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1. mailto:[FOI #680424 email]
2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
3. http://www.gov.uk/rwm
4. https://geologicaldisposal.campaign.gov....
5. https://twitter.com/rwm_gdf_uk
6. https://www.linkedin.com/company/radioac...
7. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/...

Dear Duncan Flint,

Thank you. I have looked at the documents and appendices you provided in the links, but the total numbers of drums, boxes, containers etc does not seem to be indicated making calculations of tonnage impossible.

It is in the public interest to have sight of the TOTAL predicted volume in tonnes of
1. steel and
2. copper

This should be easily accessible and transparent rather than hidden from public view in difficult to interpret tables which do not give the full picture.

Also the Total volume of steel predicted to be used should also include that to be used in the many dedicated and specially reinforced HGV vehicles and ships predicted to be needed to facilitate a GDF.

I hope you can provide these numbers as Totals , they should be in the public domain as a given.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

Flint, Duncan,

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Dear Marianne,

Thank you for your subsequent FOI request on the topic of materials used in a GDF. RWM acknowledge of receipt of this 2nd request and will respond in due course.

Sincerely

Duncan Flint

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Dear Mr Flint,

The response to my request is late. .By law, the authority should normally have responded promptly and by 26 August 2020.

Yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby

Flint, Duncan,

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Hi Marianne,

We received your request on the 3rd August; This means we have up to 20 working days from the 4th August (i.e. day 1) to respond. This takes us to close of business on the 1st September.

For information, the FOI act does also allow for us to extend the response deadline by a further 20 days to consider the 'public interest test', however I do expect to reply to you within the original 20 day deadline.

Kind regards

Duncan

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Flint, Duncan,

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Dear Marianne, 

 

Thank you for your further request for information about the use of
materials, particularly steel and copper, in a GDF.

 

Your request

 

I have looked at the documents and appendices you provided in the links,
but the total numbers of drums, boxes, containers etc does not seem to be
indicated making calculations of tonnage impossible.

 

It is in the public interest to have sight of the TOTAL predicted volume
in tonnes of 1. steel and 2.  copper

 

This should be easily accessible and transparent rather than hidden from
public view in difficult to interpret tables which do not give the full
picture.

 

Also the Total volume of steel predicted to be used should also include
that to be used in the many dedicated and specially reinforced  HGV
vehicles and ships predicted to be needed to facilitate a GDF.

 

I hope you can provide these numbers as Totals , they should be in the
public domain as a given.

 

 

Our response

 

RWM takes its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act very
seriously particularly as it directs us, as a public organisation, to
supply you where we can, with information which we hold subject to certain
exemptions. Please be aware however that some of the information you have
requested is not yet available. We also appreciate that some of the
information referred to in the documents below is necessarily of a
technical nature but we can help to steer you in the right direction.

 

Regarding the inventory report we previously sent you, the tables from
page 77 onwards (
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
) clearly show the amount of copper and steel required for the total
planned inventory of radioactive materials destined for geological
disposal; this even includes the packaging requirements for materials not
yet designated for disposal (but for planning purpose we assume will be)
so in this sense it is a set of 'total' packaging material requirements.

 

Supplementary to the inventory materials information supplied previously
and as detailed above,  I can now additionally provide information about
the materials that will be used to construct a GDF. Please bear in mind
that at this very early stage in the siting process we do not know the
location or the geology and therefore the specifics of engineering to
construct a GDF.  At this stage therefore we are dealing with generic
designs with indicative / illustrative numbers.

 

Our work is currently focused on developing these generic illustrative
designs, which in the future will be tailored to the specific conditions
of geology, the waste inventory, and other constraints resulting from the
siting process.  The design of the facility and therefore materials used
will depend to a large extent on the actual site chosen,  the inventory
for disposal at the time, the properties of the host rock, prevailing
regulatory requirements and on the outcome of future research and
development. 

 

Our current published illustrative designs identify approximately between
6,000 and 13,000 tonnes of steel to be used in the construction of the
underground disposal facility used as rock support systems (assuming each
rock-bolt ~ 0.01 tonne) and steel reinforcement. The volume of steel
reinforcement and number of rock-bolts can be found in  Appendix D (pages
141/142) of the RWM report Generic Disposal Facility Designs -
[2]https://rwm.nda.gov.uk/publication/geolo...
. At this stage we are not assuming copper will be involved in the
construction of the GDF.  These figures do not include the volume of
materials associated with the waste packages (as detailed above) or the
underground equipment and plant which will be used in the construction and
operation of the facility.

 

The visual appearance of the GDF in the landscape will be influenced by a
combination of building design, materials, layout, structure, form and
colour, landscape works (both on site and off site) and local landscape
character.  At this stage we have not calculated the volume of materials
required to construct the surface buildings.

 

The transport system considers the use of rail, road and sea.  Again, at
this stage we have not identified the volume and type of material required
to build any transport vehicles which will be site and location specific.

 

I trust this meets with your approval and I appreciate that we haven't
been able to provide you with a single materials figure for copper and
steel. However, at this stage of the siting process this information is
not available because of the number possible variables which are largely
site dependant.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which RWM has dealt with your
request, you have the right to require us to review our actions and
decisions. If you wish to request a review, please write to me within 40
working days. You will receive a full response to your request for review
within 20 working days of its receipt.

 

If you are still dissatisfied with the way in which we have handled your
request for review you may then ask the Information Commissioner to review
our decision. You must submit your complaint to the Commissioner within
six months of receiving the response to review letter.

 

Thank you for your continued interest in the GDF programme, for which RWM
will be happy to arrange a briefing with our technical experts to discuss
these points of interest further.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Duncan Flint

Media Manager

 

Radioactive Waste Management

Building 329 West

Thomson Avenue

Harwell Oxford

Didcot

OX11 0GD

 

T: 01925 802292

M: 07803 495577

W: [3]http://www.gov.uk/rwm

E: [4][email address]  | [5][email address]

 

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References

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1. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
2. https://rwm.nda.gov.uk/publication/geolo...
3. http://www.gov.uk/rwm
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]