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Spent Fuel Elements (Processing)

Volume 981: debated on Thursday 27 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the volume of processing capacity for spent fuel elements in (a) the United Kingdom, (b) France and (c) the rest of the world; and whether he considers that capacity so far projected will match demand on the service in 1990.

Outside countries with centrally-planned economies, only the United Kingdom and France are currently offering commercial reprocessing services. Their current capacities were set out in the reply I gave my hon. Friend on 3 March.—[Vol. 980, c. 12–13.]Magnox capacity should be adequate to meet annual arisings in 1990. It is expected, however, that capacity for the reprocessing of oxide fuel will fall short of demand. Estimates given to the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation Programme—(INFCE)—indicated that by 1990 total world—outside those countries with centrally-planned economies (WOCA)—oxide fuel reprocessing capacity would be within the range 6,700–9,000 tonnes U as oxide fuel. The total WOCA estimate of spent oxide fuel in storage or awaiting reprocessing at that date is approximately 85,000 tonnes U as oxide fuel, with annual arisings of about 10,000 tonnes U as oxide fuel in that year and increasing thereafter.