Does anyone remember a news story about 2 years ago about the UK processing other peoples nuclear waste??
Sellafield currently reprocesses nuclear waste for 34 other countries
Reprocessing is one of the core functions of the facilities at Sellafield. This external income helps to clean up the UK national waste. In effect other countries subsidise UK clean up.
Each country that contracted Sellafield to do this also accepted that all waste generated by these activities would be returned to them for long term storage.
More recently a proposal was accepted (I'm fairly sure it was sorted) known as Intermediate Level Waste Substitution. This broke the link between the "Exact" drum of Concrete or Glass encased waste that was produced by each campaign of reprocessing. It allowed the UK to return some of out High and Very High Level waste to these countries in exchange for keeping the same proportion of Intermediate level waste (easier to handle & store).
We are currently returning HLW to Japan.
Like many industries the Nuclear Industry had a past, same as coal, oil, chemical, steel etc. It's also grown up over the years. Mining has left hundreds with disease and occupational injuries, asbestos has killed plenty and will carry on doing so and construction has claimed many lives and left others with major industries. The key is to learn from the past and move forward.
The majority of the waste that the UK needs to deal with is historic. It already exists, something needs to be done with it. The amount that ongoing nuclear generation will contribute is small.
The plan here to deal with waste is mostly about what is there.
if we stopped generating today and accepted no more fuel this would still need doing.
There is no option to turn it off. The waste exists and it must be dealt with, it must then be stored. As above where should it be stored is a big question. However nowhere is not one of the answers.