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Reactor Fuel

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy whether the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority is offering to store spent research reactor Fuel for overseas customers.

The Government are aware of the difficulties currently faced by many operators of research reactors around the world in managing their spent fuel. These reactors are used for a variety of technical and medical research.The Government will not allow spent fuel from overseas customers to be disposed of in the United Kingdom. However, they are content for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKA EA) to reprocess such fuel, provided that any reprocessing contract includes options for the return of waste. It would be the Government's intention that such options would be exercised and wastes returned. If, for whatever reason, the fuel were not reprocessed, it would have to be removed from the United Kingdom within a strictly defined time limit. Reprocessing and storage must be in accordance with the requirements of the relevant regulatory authorities.