The Upstream Optioneering project was created by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) to support the development and implementation of opportunities to optimise the management of UK higher activity waste, spent fuel and other materials that may be disposed of in a geological disposal facility.

The project works in an integrative manner with the NDA, RWMD and waste producers, and was split into three phases:

• In Phase 1 waste management opportunities were identified and collated from across the NDA estate.

• In Phase 2, opportunities collated during Phase 1, were further consolidated, analysed and prioritised to develop a three year work programme. Prioritisation ensured that resources were deployed appropriately and opportunities can be realised before the potential benefit diminishes.

• Phase 3, which began in April 2012, comprises a three year work programme to address the prioritised opportunities. Work varies from direct implementation of opportunities to scoping studies that may pave the way for more detailed subsequent work by Site Licence Companies. The work programme is flexible and, subject to change control, varies depending on the needs of project sponsors (RWMD, NDA Strategy and NDA Delivery).

This paper provides an overview of the Upstream Optioneering project (focusing particularly on Phases 2 and 3), summarises work carried out to date within the three year work programme, and provides some examples of the main findings concerning specific opportunities from Year One of the Phase 3 work programme.

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