- Define Credible Options
- Assess and Select Preferred Option
- Approve Strategy
- Implement Strategy
Keep informed with the latest news and developments from the NDA
26 March 2013
£31 million injection for new nuclear technology
Decommissioning research projects among nuclear beneficiaries as Business Secretary Vince Cable announces major collaborative funding awards that will enhance the supply chain and increase opportunities to commercialise new technologies.
10 December 2012
Views sought on Business Plan
Stakeholder views are invited on the NDA’s draft Business Plan 2013-2016 which is published for consultation. The consultation runs from 10 December until 1 February.
23 April 2012
Engagement Plan for 2012/13
NDA has published plans giving details of the opportunities stakeholders have to input into strategic decision making.
05 April 2012
£15 million boost for collaborative research
Up to £15 million of investment is being made to support nuclear research and development (R&D) in the supply chain, following a joint initiative by Government organisations.
07 November 2011
DCF brings world-leading research to West Cumbria
The recently constructed Dalton Cumbrian Facility is the result of an initial £20m joint investment that will bring world-leading research to West Cumbria.
Find more News Items
Research and Development
Last Updated: 11 December 2011
Current Stage of Strategy Development
The current strategy will continue to be implemented and monitored for effectiveness.
Research and Development (R&D) is a supplemental function as specified in the Energy Act 2004. As such NDA is required to promote and, where necessary, carry out research in relation to its primary function of decommissioning and clean-up. There are close links to other Energy Act requirements such as sharing of good practice, enabling innovation and developing skills.
Technology and the underpinning R&D are fundamental to ensuring the safe, cost-effective delivery of our mission. Together with innovation and the sharing of good practice both nationally and internationally, the intelligent application of R&D can reduce costs and timescales.
There are close links between R&D and many organisations including the nuclear regulators (Nuclear Directorate (ND) of Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)), Research Councils and Government.
To ensure that delivery of the NDA's mission is technically underpinned by sufficient and appropriate R&D.
Scope and Boundaries
The R&D Strategy defines our approach to ensuring sufficient and appropriate R&D is carried out to deliver our mission. The scope of this topic spans technical underpinning work carried out via the Site Licence Companies (SLCs) and R&D sponsored directly by the NDA. For example it ranges from technical development and optioneering studies to underpin delivery of key decommissioning projects to focussed research to develop and preserve key technical and engineering skills.
The scope includes working closely with the organisations listed above and supply chain companies to ensure national and international good practice is gained and shared to ensure robust technical underpinning and support innovation.
As a critical enabler the strategy interfaces with the majority of other Topic Strategies, but with particular relevance to the following:
- Decommissioning because it determines the approach to delivering our mission
- People (Skills and Capability) in terms of availability of technically skilled people
- International Relations because of the need to access international experience
- Supply Chain Development because of the need to achieve innovation and better value for money
- Higher Activity Waste because of the links to the Geological Disposal Facility and the need to technically underpin the interim storage and ultimate disposal of HAW
- Land Quality Management because of the impact on site end states.
- Lower Activity Wastes because of the potential for waste re-categorisation
- Information and Knowledge Management because of the need to share good practice
- Nuclear Material and Spent Fuel strategies because of the need to underpin credible options and inform policy development
The following list of credible options relates to responsibility for carrying out the R&D:
1. SLCs carry out R&D in conjunction with the supply chain to deliver the NDA's mission
2. SLCs carry out R&D in conjunction with the supply chain, with an NDA led strategic R&D programme being carried out by a third party. NDA provide overall leadership in order to deliver the NDA's mission.
3. SLCs carry out R&D in conjunction with the supply chain, with an NDA led strategic R&D programme being carried out by multiple organisations in the supply chain. NDA provide overall leadership in order to deliver the NDA's mission
In all cases safety, security and environmental regulation of the SLC programmes is carried out by the appropriate regulator. This may involve the regulator requesting that SLCs carry out or fund R&D that they believe is essential.
Our strategy is that, where possible, R&D is undertaken by the SLCs and their supply chain. Where necessary the NDA will directly maintain a strategic R&D programme. Overall strategic coordination is provided by the NDA.
Using an integrated and transparent approach, and working closely with SLCs, we will ensure that R&D is identified and prioritised in order to underpin strategic decision making and implementation. Our strategic R&D programme focuses on targeted, estate-wide R&D needs, risks and opportunities to inform and develop strategy, encourage innovation and support key technical skills.
We will also work with other organisations such as research councils and universities to encourage and leverage investment in R&D, taking advantage of collaborative programmes and match funding opportunities. In particular we will identify synergies with other organisations such as EDF Energy and MoD in order to promote sharing of experience and avoid duplication.
We have also established governing bodies to co-ordinate R&D and share national and international good practice, including the Research Board and the Nuclear Waste Research Forum. We will continue to work with Government and other stakeholders to identify opportunities for strategic coordination of R&D for decommissioning and clean-up focussing on effective spending of R&D funds and removing duplication of effort. The terms of reference and membership of the NDA Research Board are being reviewed and we intend to appoint an independent chair to this Board to focus on effective spending of R&D funds and ensure strategic oversight.
The current strategy is defined by a set of principles which are summarised below:
- Promote and actively support a balanced portfolio of short, medium and long term R&D programmes that support NDA's mission in decommissioning and clean up and associated skills programmes
- Ensure the appropriate application of technical governance in delivery of R&D programmes
- Ensure robust technical underpinning of Lifetime Plans and clear identification of associated R&D work to mitigate risk and reduce cost and timescales across NDA's mission
- Understand the impact of directly and indirectly funded R&D on NDA's mission through development and implementation of metrics
- Actively support and encourage innovation through the supply chain including challenging the traditional approach to R&D and promoting dissemination of knowledge and experience
- Ensure strategic alignment and sufficient peer review in developing national programmes of R&D work. Where appropriate seek to organise R&D on a national basis so that the necessary capabilities are available to support all NDA sites
- Establish mechanisms to support access to national and international experience and good practice. Where appropriate this may involve funding R&D in conjunction with other international organisations and companies
- Identify and support the preservation of key scientific and technical skills as part of the wider skills programme including investment in universities and strategic facilities
- Encourage and support world class R&D in strategic nuclear centres of excellence
- Engage with training organisations and the supply chain to ensure key scientific and technical skills are available to meet medium to long term needs.
The strategy is mature with the principles being progressively refined and implemented.
Development of the strategy will focus on continuing to meet our Energy Act obligations by:
- Implementation of a robust technical baseline approach and ensuring our plans are based on sound technical approaches
- Strategic coordination of estate wide R&D needs, risk and opportunities including appointment of an independent chair to the NDA Research Board
- Maximising opportunities for timely innovation and focussed securing and sharing of good practice
- Continuing to seek opportunities for collaboration in the UK and internationally to reduce costs and create innovation
This will be delivered by working closely with our SLCs and stakeholders and direct funding of strategic R&D work.
Stakeholder Engagement on Research and Development
Engagement has taken place with:
- NDA Topic Strategy leads
- SLCs through the Nuclear Waste Research Forum
- regulators and DECC through our Research Board in Waste Management and the Strategy Development Implementation Group (SDIG)
- NSG broader stakeholders and via consultation on our Draft Strategy