Agenda and minutes

Venue: This meeting will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location.

Contact: Clive Willoughby  Tel: 01946 598328

No. Item

SN 20/19

Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence received for this meeting.


SN 20/20

Declarations of Interest


Councillor Steven Morgan declared a potential interest in the Moorside development area as a retained arbiter which support the Holding Company board of directors responsible for the Hinkley Point Nuclear Project.  He supports the HOLDCO board of directors under a contract through his family’s consultancy company .  The  HOLDCO Board includes EdF representatives as well as CGN, a Chinese nuclear company, but the Hinkley Point HOLDCO  is not a party to any part of the known Moorside proposals.


SN 20/21

Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 388 KB


The Chair reminded Members of the role and objectives of Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board which is advisory to the Executive.

With regards the Nuclear Position Statements, these are guides for officers and determined by the Executive using recommendations from this Board.


Councillor Pollen expressed his concern that Nuclear Position Statements are the Council’s position and should have the support of Full Council and not be an Executive decision.

The Chair reminded the Board that all Councillors are welcome to attend the Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board meetings.


Consideration was given to the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2020.


A vote was then taken by way of a roll call.


On a vote of 7 For, 0 Against and 0 Abstentions, it was therefore:-


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2020 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair as soon as practicable.



SN 20/22

NDA Business Plan and Strategy 4 update pdf icon PDF 350 KB


The Nuclear Sector Development Manager introduced this item and Stephen Asquith (NDA) who made a presentation to the Board.


The Board were reminded that the Business Plan was a requirement of the Energy Act 2004 requires the NDA to include:

·        A summary of the work intended to be carried out

·        An estimate of the expenditure expected to be incurred

·        How plans contribute to objectives set out in the Strategy

The Business Plan is published annually by the end of March, covers a three year period and must include public consultation.

It contains a separate section for each business, setting out key activities for the coming three years. Planned expenditure for 2021/22 is also given. The key activities are linked either to the 47 Strategic Outcomes or to Critical Enablers.


There were five Strategic Themes: Spent Fuels, Nuclear Materials, Integrated Waste Management and Site Decommissioning & Remediation.

The fifth theme is ‘Critical Enablers’

·        Asset Management

·        Cyber Security

·        Health, Safety, Sustainability, Environment and Wellbeing

·        Information Governance

·        People

·        Public and Stakeholder Engagement

·        Research, Development and Innovation

·        Security and Resilience

·        Socio-Economics

·        Supply Chain

·        Transport and Logistics


The Board were advised that the planned Sellafield expenditure for 2021/22 was £2,220m (2020/21 plan was £2,150m).


The highlights for 2021-24 were:

·        Begin retrievals from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silo and Magnox Swarf Storage Silo.

·        Complete Magnox reprocessing.

·        Complete decommissioning and demolition of the upper diffuser section of the Windscale Pile Chimney Number 1.

·        Support SME organisations by increasing overall spend with them in line with the Government growth agenda.


The Board were then advised that the planned LLWR expenditure for 2021/22 was £77m (2020/21 plan was £82m).


The highlights for 2021-24 were:

·        Transition to NDA subsidiary (July 2021).

·        PCM magazine demolition.

·        Enabling works for phased construction of the final cap for trenches 1 to 7 and Vault 8.


The Board were advised that consultation on the Business Plan commenced on 7th December 2020 and runs until 1st February 2021.

In early February 2021, the NDA will consolidate responses and update the draft Business Plan with the aim of publishing by the end of March 2021.


During the discussion that followed;


Councillor Pollen asked about funding and suggested this was a major issue going forward.


Stephen Asquith replied that the level of funding for 2021/22 showed a level of confidence in the business and that NDA would take part I the Government spending review for future years.


Councillor Moore asked about LLWR and if when they become part of the NDA, would this result in a direct saving.


In reply, it was confirmed it would be a saving in terms of fees.

A vote was then taken by way of a roll call.


On a vote of 7 For, 0 Against and 0 Abstentions, it was therefore:-



a) the information in the presentation be noted,

b) comments on the draft NDA Business Plan consultation response be provided by 18th January 2021, prior to the consultation deadline of 1st February 2021,


c)  authority  ...  view the full minutes text for item SN 20/22

SN 20/23

GDF Working Group Update pdf icon PDF 382 KB


The Nuclear Projects Manager introduced a report on the UK Government’s approach to identifying a site and a willing host community for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for higher-activity radioactive waste, as described within the Government’s Working with Communities policy.


Members were reminded that at the Executive meeting held on 21 July 2020, it was agreed that the Council open discussions with Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) Ltd with a view to establishing a Working Group in Copeland, to explore any potential sites for consideration as a location for a GDF.


The decision was made with the following conditions attached:

·        That those areas of the Borough currently within the boundary of the Lake District National Park (both above and below ground) are excluded from any consideration from the outset.

·        That in recognition of the current Working with Communities (WwC) process which allows for a GDF to be located in an ‘in-shore area’, that the in-shore area off the coast of Copeland is worthy of consideration

·        That the Council wants to see a credible and independent Chair appointed to the Working Group and that all the Councils legitimate costs of engaging in the process are covered.


Board Members were also reminded that they had previously been appraised of the intentions of the other Interested Parties across the Borough and their plans to establish a Working Group, and the ‘route map’ of workstreams that would be required to get to the point of launching a Working Group.

Throughout the summer several meetings with RWM and the other Interested Parties were held to discuss a range of issues that needed to be considered in the process leading up to the launch of a Working Group.


Forming a Working Group is the first formal step in the Government’s

‘Working with Communities’ policy with 3 specific aims.

The Working Group would.

·        Engage with local people to begin to understand their views, based on achieving the twin aims of finding a suitable site and a willing host community,

·        Identify and propose a Search Area (or Areas) for further consideration.

·        Recruit initial members for a Community Partnership, that could take the process further forward beyond a Working Group.


As a reminder to Members, the Council’s engagement at the Working Group stage does not pre-suppose support for a GDF in Copeland. According to the WwC process, any future decision on this matter will be subject to a future Test of Public Support (ToPS), much later in the process.


Meetings with RWM and the other Interested Parties have considered a range of work streams including:

·        Appointment of an Independent Chair and Mark Cullinan has now been appointed to that role.

·        Establishing Terms of Reference for the Working Group

·        Appointing Secretarial, Facilitation and Communications support for the Working Group

·        Considering membership of the Working Group

·        Establishing a work plan for the Group

·        Developing a Communications Plan for the launch and on-going work of the Group including the creation of a website and social media platforms for the Group

·        Consideration of arrangements  ...  view the full minutes text for item SN 20/23

SN 20/24

10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution

On 18th November, the Prime Minister set out a 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution, which paves the way for the expected Energy White Paper. This plan includes commitments across a range of decarbonisation themes that are of relevance and interest for Copeland and this committee, including nuclear, offshore wind and hydrogen.

Members are asked to familiarise themselves with the 10 Point Plan, which is available via the following link:



The Nuclear Projects Manager introduced this report to the Board following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 18 November 2020 setting out a 10 point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, aimed at Building Back Better, Supporting Green Jobs and Accelerating the UK’s path to Net Zero Emissions.

The plan focuses on increasing ambition in the following areas:

·         advancing offshore wind

·         driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen

·         delivering new and advanced nuclear power

·         accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles

·         green public transport, cycling and walking

·         ‘jet zero’ and green ships

·         greener buildings

·         investing in carbon capture, usage and storage

·         protecting our natural environment

·         green finance and innovation

The ten point plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment, and potentially 3 times as much from the private sector, to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.

A discussion followed concentrating on how this might impact on Copeland, particularly with the Energy White Paper that is due shortly.


Councillor Pollen asked how much of this was new money and how this compared with other countries.

With regards the ‘green transport plan’, in Copeland there is not any transport plan.


Councillor Wilson agreed and added that there was also no transport in the south of Copeland.


Councillor Banks although broadly supporting the principle, stated that the practicalities of electric charging in the rural areas were unrealistic.


Councillor Dinsdale suggested that future Planning permissions could include a requirement for electric charging.


The Nuclear Projects Manager agreed to take note of the comments made and will bring this back to the Board when the Government’s White Paper arrives.


SN 20/25

Public Accounts Committee Report on NDA's Management of the Magnox Contract

Members are recommended to look at the following website prior to the meeting:



The Board considered a report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on the NDAs management of the Magnox contract.


The conclusions and recommendations stated within the report were:


1.     There remains significant uncertainty over the cost and timetable for decommissioning the Magnox sites and estimates continue to increase.


Rec: The NDA should set out how it will develop a clearer means of reporting publicly on the level of uncertainty and risk across its sites.


  1. The uncertainty affecting the Magnox sites reflects a wider uncertainty about the costs and timetable of decommissioning the whole civil nuclear estate.


Rec: Taking into account the feedback from its public consultation, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority should exploit opportunities to reduce the time taken to decommission its sites, and should identify the impact of such reductions on the cost profile.


  1. A shortage of the right skills within the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and across the nuclear industry remains a significant barrier to progress.


Rec: Within 6 months of publication of this report, the Department and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority should publish a detailed plan for how they plan to meet the demand for skills across the UK nuclear industry over the next 5–10 years.


  1. For the new delivery model to work, it will be vital that the Department exercises strong oversight of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and implements the findings of forthcoming reviews into the failure of the original Magnox contract and the role of the Authority.


Rec: On publication of the Holliday report and tailored review, the Department and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority should set out publicly what has been learnt from them and how the reports are being used to inform the development of the new delivery and governance models.


5.     The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is not doing enough to exploit its various assets, either for the benefit of local communities or the UK economy as a whole.


Rec: The NDA should develop a strategy for maximising the economic benefits of developing and, where appropriate, exporting its knowledge and assets to alleviate the burden on the taxpayer. These include the skills and experience of the UK nuclear industry, the decommissioning technologies it has developed, and the land and other physical assets the NDA holds.


6.     Public accountability is hindered by a lack of transparency about the scale and nature of the challenge of decommissioning and the performance of the NDA.


Rec: NDA should be more transparent about its current and future plans with the local communities surrounding its 17 sites to strengthen public accountability and make clear the socioeconomic impact of its planned activities.


A discussion followed where:-


Councillor Morgan referred to the NDAs surplus properties and suggested that if there are any such properties in Copeland, the Council should be looking at them with a view to possibly taking them back.


Councillor Moore mentioned that an area around the LLWR site at Drigg was already being looked at by Drigg & Carleton Parish Council.


Councillor Pollen stated he would like this  ...  view the full minutes text for item SN 20/25

SN 20/26

Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board Forward Plan


The Board considered a draft Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board Forward Plan, to show examples of items coming up in the next year.


It was considered that this would be very useful and received broad agreement.


The Nuclear team will develop the plan and bring back to this Board prior to publicising to all Councillors.


SN 20/27

Nuclear Projects Update


The Principal Planning Officer provided the Board with an update regarding Nuclear projects.


RESOLVED:- That the Update be noted.


SN 20/28

Exempt Information

The Chair to move:

That under Section 100 (a) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item on the grounds that, if they were present, there could be disclosed to them exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Act.


Consideration was given to a motion proposing that the remainder of the meeting be held in private.


A vote was then taken by way of a roll call.


On a vote of 7 For, 0 Against and 0 Abstentions, it was therefore:-


RESOLVED – that the press and public be excluded for the remaining items of business in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.


SN 20/29

Planning Update


The Principal Planning Officer provided the Board with an update of developments at Sellafield Limited.


RESOLVED:- That the Update be noted.


SN 20/30

Date and Time of Next Meeting


The next meeting of the Strategic Nuclear and Energy Board will be a virtual meeting on a date to be determined by the Chair and Officers and notice will be given in the normal way.



Original text