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Nuclear Installations

Volume 81: debated on Tuesday 18 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the different stages of decommissioning and dismantling a civil nuclear power station installation.

The operations involved in the management and dismantling of redundant nuclear facilities are now generally termed decommissioning. A standard terminology has been adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency to describe three main stages in decommissioning nuclear facilities, namely:

Stage 1 A minimum series of operations to remove major sources of radioactivity from the facility and make it safe. Continued and long-term routine surveillance and inspection is required.

Stage 2 Reduction of the main structure to the minimum possible size and removal of all equipment.

The residual structure would be sealed off to prevent access and subjected to periodic surveillance and inspection.

The review group, under the chairmanship of Sir John Kendrew has now reported to the chairmen of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils and the Science and Engineering Research Council. I am arranging for copies of the report to be placed today in the Libraries of both Houses. I expect advice from the SERC and the ABRC on this subject later this year.