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Nuclear Fuel (Reprocessing)

Volume 174: debated on Thursday 14 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what further capital investment will be required by British Nuclear Fuels plc to meet its contractual obligations to the owners of foreign nuclear fuel to be reprocessed in Britain;(2) what capital has been invested by British Nuclear Fuels plc to enable it to reprocess foreign nuclear fuel in Britain.

British Nuclear Fuels plc has reprocessing contracts for both Magnox fuel and thermal oxide fuel. Magnox fuel is reprocessed in facilities constructed for the United Kingdom's own Magnox reactors and no significant additional capital investment has been necessary to reprocess foreign fuel.British Nuclear Fuels plc thermal oxide reprocessing plant is being constructed to store and reprocess both United Kingdom and foreign thermal oxide fuel. Several of the associated plants for the treatment of wastes arising from THORP reprocessing will also treat wastes from Magnox fuel. British Nuclear Fuels plc estimates that the allocation of capital investment for the storage, reprocessing and waste management of foreign thermal oxide fuel to date is £1,100 million with £600 million still to be spent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what is the estimated value of British Nuclear Fuels plc contracts to reprocess foreign nuclear fuel in Britain in the current year and each succeeding year up to 1995;(2) what is the estimated total value of British Nuclear Fuels plc contracts to reprocess foreign nuclear fuel in Britain;(3) what is the longest period of any contract entered into by British Nuclear Fuels Ltdplc to reprocess foreign nuclear fuel in Britain.

BNFL's estimated turnover relating to storage, reprocessing and waste treatment still to be performed on foreign nuclear fuel is around £4 billion, excluding £0·75 billion from the series of contracts which BNFL is currently completing with West German utilities. More detailed information on contracts is a matter for the company.