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Nuclear Waste

Volume 173: debated on Thursday 24 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Stockton, North, Official Report, 9 May, columns 166–67, he will estimate (a) the proportion of low and intermediate-level nuclear waste created by the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from foreign contracts, which will make up the initial inventory for the Nirex repository and (b) the time period over which high-level nuclear waste arising from foreign spent fuel reprocessing contracts will remain in the United Kingdom before being returned to the country of origin.

I understand from British Nuclear Fuels plc that intermediate-level waste arising from the company's overseas reprocessing contracts prior to 1976 is estimated to be in the order of 1 per cent. of the intermediate-level waste included in the initial inventory for the Nirex repository. Low-level waste arising from such contracts will be disposed of at Drigg and not in the Nirex repository.For the disposal of wastes arising from BNFL's post-1976 contracts and the time period for returning high-level waste from such contracts, I refer the hon. Member to the reply by my hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr. Goodlad) to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 2 May 1986, at columns