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Fission Products

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 4 July 1990

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To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her answer to the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown), Official Report, 28 June, columns 484–85, if she will give a full breakdown of the costs for the disposal of the fission products of nuclear power; and if she will make a statement.

The costs of disposing of the products of nuclear generation can be expressed in purely monetary terms since the technology of waste disposal is sufficiently developed. These have been quantified, for example, in the 1988–89 accounts of the CEGB by provisions for reprocessing of spent fuel and associated waste management, and disposal costs amount to £6.4 billion at 31 March 1989. The costs of dealing with the effects of global warming as the result of the emission of greenhouse gases are not known, but could be extremely large.