Read our report on the nuclear industry and see how they've performed over recent years.
Over the past 20 years the nuclear industry has reduced its impact on the environment, particularly its' radioactive discharges to air and water. But the industry still faces serious challenges. We are working with the industry to continue improving their environmental performance through implementation of a sector plan.
The nuclear sector plan was developed with the nuclear industry. It details environmental objectives and indicators of performance that will help ensure environmental impacts are minimised and managed responsibly.
Nuclear industry environmental performance reports
The nuclear sector plan is supported by annual reports on performance. These describe the performance of the sector against the objectives and performance indicators set out in the nuclear sector plan.
Overall the environmental performance of the sector was good again during 2010 and has continued to perform and progress well. Despite this there are aspects of environmental performance that the sector needs to improve on and we are working with industry to address these, particularly with making real progress in the conditioning and packaging of legacy wastes.
The Nuclear Industry Environmental Performance Report 2011 shows the environmental performance of the nuclear sector continues to be good compared to other industry sectors in a number of key areas.
- The numbers of incidents and breaches compares well with other industry sectors. There were no serious breaches of permits or pollution incidents during 2011
- Greenhouse gas emissions remain low
- Some discharges of radioactive pollutants to the environment fell. Some increased - principally due to increased rates of fuel reprocessing at Sellafield
- The industry avoided sending 87 percent of its low level radioactive waste to the Low Level Waste Repository by use of other management techniques
The report also outlined a number of areas where continued focus is required to improve environmental performance including:
- maintaining awareness of resource use and striving for further resource efficiency
- maintaining low discharges to air and water
- better understanding and minimisation of greenhouse gas emissions
- making real progress on the conditioning and packaging of intermediate level wastes, so that it is in a form which is suitable for disposal, or for safe and secure storage
For copies of performance reports from 2006-2010 contact the Nuclear Regulation Group.