The National Waste Programme was established to implement the UK’s strategy for the management of solid low level radioactive waste (LLW) from the nuclear industry. It is an industry-wide collaboration led by LLWR on behalf of the NDA.

National LLW Strategy

In 2007, UK Government recognised, in its Policy on the management of solid LLW, that the disposal capacity of the LLW repository would not be sufficient to meet future demand if the existing waste management practice (predominantly disposal to the Repository) continued. The Policy identified the opportunity to manage LLW more efficiently and recognised the Waste Hierarchy as a central principle in LLW management.

In response the NDA, on behalf of the UK Government and devolved administrations, published the 2010 UK Strategy for the Management of Solid Low Level Radioactive Waste from the Nuclear Industry. The strategy has since been updated and was published in February 2016 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The strategy provides a high level framework governing the management of LLW.

The strategy has three guiding themes:

  • Application of the Waste Hierarchy
  • The best use of existing LLW management assets
  • The need for new fit-for-purpose waste management routes

Download the UK 2007 LLW policy and the UK LLW strategy

To learn more about LLW and the Waste Hierarchy, download the pdf below

National Waste Programme

The National Waste Programme (NWP) was established in 2011 to lead the implementation of the changes in LLW management practices and culture needed to deliver the UK strategy.

The NWP is made up of:

  • all nuclear industry waste producers including nuclear sites owned by the NDA, public sector bodies such as the Ministry of Defence, and private sector bodies such as power generators and medical or nuclear services companies
  • the supply chain, who provide waste treatment and alternate disposal services
  • regulators
  • local and national government
  • NDA
  • LLWR and the National Programme Office.

Through the Programme, stakeholders work collaboratively to deliver the safe, secure, environmentally responsible and cost-effective treatment and disposal of LLW in the UK, in accordance with the strategy.

The Programme shares information on good practice across the industry, including ways in which LLW producers can optimise their waste management arrangements. It facilitates access to existing and new LLW management routes.

A summary of the key stakeholder groups that make up the NWP, the principles that guide its delivery, the expected outcomes and the benefits that will result over the life of the programme is available to download, click on the summary diagram.

Or explore this in greater detail by downloading the NWP Blueprint which describes what LLW management practice aims to look like in the future, and the NWP Benefit Map, which identifies the underpinning business changes, projects and enablers required to deliver this future state.

Similar benefit maps are produced by individual waste producers and are included in their Joint Waste Management Plans. These benefit maps illustrate the underpinning activities and projects being carried out by waste-producers, showing how they support and deliver the activities of the wider National Waste Programme.

The National Programme Office, part of LLWR, leads and coordinates the delivery of the NWP, on behalf of the NDA.  It:

  • commissions, facilitates and delivers projects across the nuclear industry to support the sharing of learning and best practice
  • collates and reports information and details of key projects, activities and delivery milestones being implemented across stakeholder organisations
  • manages the governance arrangements of the Programme to support its effective delivery.

LLWR Service Delivery and Service Management teams support the implementation of the national strategy by enabling access to new and existing waste treatment and disposal services in the UK and overseas; this is carried out on behalf of all waste producers.

Information on waste routes and services.

Or, download a summary guide to accessing services.

Strategic Review

The NWP Strategic Review is produced on a three-yearly basis to provide a “state of the nation” view of LLW management within the UK at a given time and to reflect the changes in LLW management practice on a national level since the publication of the previous iteration. The 2016 Strategic Review is available below:

Contact us

For further information on the National Waste Programme, contact: