National Geological Screening

In response to the launch of the UK's government White Paper Implementing geological disposal: a framework for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) commissioned the BGS to independently compile 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 exercise. The outcome of the exercise is a series of 13 reports corresponding to the BGS Regional Guide series areas.

National Geological Screening 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 surface. The geological topics considered in the exercise include rock type, rock structure, groundwater, natural processes and resources.

The BGS reports are written for a technical audience to inform RWM in its discussions with communities interested in finding out about the potential for their area to host a GDF.

How the National Geological Screening 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, RWM worked with the BGS to develop suitable methodologies to provide the information on five geological relevant to safety requirements. The methodology, termed detailed technical instructions (DTI), developed by BGS scientists in collaboration with RWM safety case experts, was evaluated by an independent review panel of the Geological Society.

View the detailed technical instructions.

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

The reports

The BGS reports for the 13 regions can be accessed by clicking the region on the map.

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


Questions or queries relating to geological aspects of the National Geological Screening 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 Radioactive Waste Management directly.

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