LONDON: Today, Tuesday 15 November 2022, leaders from the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), reaffirmed their collaboration to share information, lessons learned, and good practices in multiple aspects of sustainability, including:
- current and upcoming national policies for integrating sustainability in government operations
- strategies being developed and implemented within each organisation to achieve net-zero carbon emissions
- socio-economic initiatives underway to help ensure that the communities affected by the management of legacy nuclear sites are not disadvantaged
- plans and actions being undertaken to ensure resiliency of legacy nuclear sites to climate change effects
- the use of more sustainable materials (for example, mass timber) in the construction of new facilities to support the decommissioning program and future use of sites
Through this work, the trilateral partnership is meeting one of its primary objectives of enhancing collaboration and collective approaches to sustainability and climate resilience while reducing negative impacts on communities and the environment arising from the decommissioning and remediation of legacy nuclear sites.
A main principle of this shared approach is engaging with local communities and governments, indigenous peoples, and other stakeholder groups to identify optimum approaches for long-term stewardship of land and natural resources.
In the coming year, the leaders from the three organisations intend to continue to share experiences and plans in critical areas of sustainability, such as:
- developing and implementing holistic cost accounting principles into nuclear legacy projects to demonstrate the long-term value of increased up-front capital costs
- addressing culture issues through climate change literacy and educational activities
- implementing energy efficiency measures
- moving towards carbon pollution free electricity (CFE) and zero-emission fleets
- returning “cleaned up” land to local communities for economic development, conservation, and recreation
This cooperative effort is being conducted under a Statement of Intent signed in March 2020 by DOE, NDA and AECL for the Exchange of Information Concerning Management of Radioactive Waste.