National Geological Screening

BGS Research

In response to the launch of the UK’s government White Paper Implementing geological disposalNuclear Waste Services (formerly Radioactive Waste Management) commissioned the BGS to independently put together a series of studies compiling existing, publicly available geological information about England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is referred to as the National Geological Screening (NGS) exercise. The outcome of the exercise is a series of 13 Regional Summary reports corresponding to the BGS Regional Guide series areas.

Each report describes geological features relevant to the safety requirements of a geological disposal facility (GDF) for radioactive waste emplaced onshore and up to 20 km offshore at depths between 200 and 1000 m from the surface. The geological topics considered in the exercise are:

  • rock type
  • rock structure
  • groundwater
  • natural processes
  • resources

The reports

The NGS reports were written for a technical audience to inform Nuclear Waste Services in its discussions with communities interested in finding out about the potential for their area to host a GDF.

The reports for each of the 13 regions can be accessed by clicking the relevant region on Map 1.

An appendix (Appendix A) to the 13 reports was also produced, providing an overview of the structural evolution of the British Isles.

The Welsh borderland East Anglia The Wealden district London and the Thames Valley Eastern England Central England The Pennines and adjacent areas The Hampshire Basin and adjoining areas Northern England Bristol and Gloucester region South West England Wales Northern Ireland

How the NGS reports were produced

In order to gather and present the appropriate geological information in a systematic and consistent way across the 13 regions of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Nuclear Waste Services worked with the BGS to develop suitable methodologies to provide the information on five geological topics relevant to safety requirements. The methodology, termed detailed technical instructions (DTI), developed by BGS scientists in collaboration with Nuclear Waste Services safety case experts, was evaluated by an independent review panel of the Geological Society.

Although the methodology used to undertake the NGS was developed jointly with Nuclear Waste Services, the individual regional reports for England, Wales and Northern Ireland were compiled solely by BGS scientists, using only publicly available geological information.


Questions or queries relating to geological aspects of the NGS exercise can be requested by contacting BGS Enquiries. Please provide your name and affiliation. We will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.

For queries pertaining to safety related aspects, please contact Nuclear Waste Services directly.

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