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Power Station Statistics

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is the uranium charge of each operating Magnox and advanced gas-cooled reactor in the United Kingdom; what will be the expected figure for the pressurised water reactor plants to be constructed; and how much plutonium he estimates will be produced by each during the effective life of the stations.

For the uranium charges for Magnox and advanced gas-cooled reactors, I refer the hon. Member to the reply by the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) to my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, North (Sir T. Skeet) on 14 December 1977 at column 218. I understand that the core of a pressurised water reactor of the type under construction at Sizewell B requires approximately 500 tonnes of natural uranium in its manufacture.The lifetime production of plutonium during the life of any nuclear station is dependent on its load factor and assumed lifetime. In evidence to the Sizewell inquiry, a copy of which has been placed in the House Library, British Nuclear Fuels plc estimated that the total lifetime production of plutonium from the United Kingdom's civil Magnox and advanced gas-cooled stations will amount to some 78 tonnes. The amount of plutonium produced by a PWR station similar to Sizewell B during its lifetime was estimated to be about 8 tonnes.