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Pressurised Water Reactors

Volume 976: debated on Wednesday 16 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether fuel for the pressurised water reactor will be purchased from the United States of America if this type of reactor is adopted by the Central Electricity Generating Board.

The procurement of fuel for a PWR station would be a matter for the CEGB. Licence arrangements already agreed between Westinghouse and BNFL would permit fuel to be manufactured in this country.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether fuel for the pressurised water reactor can be enriched by the plant at Capenhurst; whether modifications will be required; and, if so, at what cost.

Fuel for a United Kingdom pressurised water reactor could be enriched by the Capenhurst centrifuge plant without any modification to the plant. Many of Urenco's existing contracts are for enrichment supplies for PWRs in other countries.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether spent fuel from a pressurised water reactor can be reprocessed by the plant at Windscale; whether modifications will be required; and, if so, at what cost.

The thermal oxide reprocessing plant currently being designed for construction at Windscale will be able to reprocess PWR fuel elements. There are existing contracts with overseas customers for the reprocessing of such fuels.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what will be the type of cladding of fuel rods in a pressurised water reactor; and in what respects this will differ from the fuel rods used in the advanced gas cooled reactor design.

Material currently used in pressurised water reactor designs for cladding of fuel rods is a zirconium alloy, whereas the cladding used in advanced gas cooled reactors is stainless steel.