NDA has a responsibility to ensure decommissioning activities are sufficiently technically underpinned and appropriate Research and Development (R&D) is carried out. The NDA funds research and development (R&D) indirectly via the Site Licence Companies (SLCs) or directly. The main component of directly funded R&D is the NDA Direct Research Portfolio (DRP). The DRP is split into four framework areas: • University Interactions; • Waste Processing; • Material Characterisation; • Actinide and Strategic Nuclear Materials. These four framework areas were competed through an Official Journal of European Union (OJEU) process in 2008. Although all four areas involve waste management, Waste Processing and Material Characterisation specifically deal with Higher Activity Waste (HAW) waste management issues. The Waste Processing area was awarded to three groups: (i) National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), (ii) Consortium led by Hyder Consulting Ltd, and (iii) Consortium led by UKAEA Ltd. The Material Characterisation area was awarded to three groups: (i) NNL, (ii) Serco, and (iii) Consortium led by UKAEA Ltd. The initial work in Waste Processing and Material Characterisation was centred on establishing a forward research programme to address the generic needs of the UK civil nuclear industry and the NDA strategic drivers for waste management and land quality. This has been achieved by the four main framework contractors from the Waste Processing and Materials Characterisation areas working together with the NDA to identify the key research themes and begin the development of the NDA’s HAW Management Research Programme. The process also involves active engagement with both industry and regulators via the Nuclear Waste Research Forum (NWRF). The NDA’s HAW Management Research Programme includes a number of themes: • Optimisation of Interim Store Operation & Design; • Alternative Waste Encapsulants; • Waste Package Integrity; • Alternative Waste treatment methods; • Alternative storage and disposal options; • Integrated waste management solutions; • Materials characterisation. The NDA, with additional support from its framework contractors and the Nuclear Waste Research Forum, is now developing a more detailed scope for each research theme and prioritising the research projects to ensure alignment with its strategic development programme.

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