There are presently no proposals to site a geological disposal facility for radioactive or nuclear waste on the island of Ireland. Following previous unsuccessful attempts to identify a long-term geological disposal facility, the United Kingdom's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a consultation paper on how to better engage and represent communities across England and Northern Ireland in any future process to consider siting a geological disposal facility. The consultation paper notes that “the process to identify and select a site for a geological disposal facility requires detailed technical work that is estimated to take around 15 to 20 years”.
Even if a community proposal won public support in Northern Ireland, the final decision on whether there should be a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste there would be a decision for the Northern Ireland Executive as a whole, taking into account planning and environmental considerations.
The United Kingdom-Ireland Contact Group on Radiological Matters, comprising officials from United Kingdom and Irish Government Departments, and scientific agencies responsible for ensuring radiological safety, meet biannually to discuss matters of interest to both parties, including existing and planned installations, transport of radiological materials, and long-term strategies to safely store radiological and nuclear waste. Ireland will engage on this matter through this Group and continue to monitor developments in this area.