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Nirex was latterly a United Kingdom government body that had originally been set up in 1982 by the UK nuclear industry to examine safe, environmental and economic aspects of deep geological disposal of intermediate-level and low-level radioactive waste. Originally known as the Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive, it became the limited company United Kingdom Nirex Limited in 1985. The ownership of Nirex was transferred from the nuclear industry to the UK Government departments Defra and DTI in April 2005, and then to the UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in November 2006. Nirex's staff and functions were integrated into the NDA in April 2007, at which point Nirex ceased trading as a separate entity. Nirex's role continues through the activities of the Radioactive Waste Management Directorate of the NDA.

Nirex had gained widespread notoriety during the 1980s as the focus for widespread public opposition to the burying of nuclear waste in the UK. Nirex was based at Harwell in Oxfordshire and had several roles:

  • to advise organisations and companies that produce radioactive waste on how they should package radioactive waste;
  • to set standards for radioactive waste packaging. It monitored the processes of organisations and companies to check, for example, that they had procedures for keeping adequate records;
  • to produce on behalf of the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs an updated public record of the quantities and types of radioactive waste in the UK;
  • to continue to develop understanding of the scientific, technological and environmental options for dealing with radioactive waste, including developing an understanding of the requirements for public acceptability.

Nirex was also involved in keeping the UK abreast of international expertise in research and development into the disposal of radioactive waste.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "NIREX". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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