Skip to main content

"Harvest" Vitrification Programme

Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 6 February 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what progress has been made on the review being carried out of the "Harvest" vitrification programme; and if he will give an estimate at present prices of the expected cost per tonne of encapsulating highly active liquid waste by the "Harvest" method at present developed by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

[pursuant to his reply, 31 January 1980, c. 781]: The "Harvest" vitrification process promises to provide a very satisfactory method of solidifying high-level liquid radioactive waste. The resultant glass is highly resistant to leaching by water and to radiation damage. The United Kingdom also collaborates with other countries, such as the United States of America, France and Australia, which are developing similar and alternative immobilisation processes. The cost of solidifying waste arising from the reprocessing of 1 tonne of spent fuel was estimated in January 1979 to range between £5,000 and £25,000, depending upon the type of fuel. These figures allow for operational costs and depreciation but exclude capital charges.