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Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what was the design capacity of the existing oxide fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale;(2) what the capacity of the oxide fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale is likely to be when its refit is completed;(3) when the oxide fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale is due to be commissioned.

I am advised that the existing head and oxide plant, which was adapted from an earlier plant, was designed to handle about 1 tonne a day of oxide fuel. It fed into the main reprocessing plant and its actual throughput was dependent on the extent to which the capacity of that plant was taken up with Magnox fuel. Current forecasts indicate that when the head-end plant is recommissioned in two or three years' time the loading in the Magnox plant will preclude its use up to its design capacity.