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Commonwealth Of Independent States (Nuclear Warheads)

Volume 205: debated on Monday 9 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what decisions have been taken by Her Majesty's Government to provide technical and financial support to the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States to dismantle and transport nuclear warheads withdrawn from deployment; what will be the cost of this assistance; and under what budget head the cost will be borne.

The Government have agreed to provide 250 special containers to Russia for the secure transport of nuclear weapons and a number of special nuclear weapons transport vehicles. We will also provide consultancy assistance as required in the fields of nuclear weapons safety procedures; fissile material storage and vehicle design; environmental restoration; assessing the options for converting fissile material from weapons to civil nuclear use; and, if help is needed, implementation of IAEA safeguards.Our preliminary estimate is that the eventual cost of supplying hardware could be up to about £30 million. It will be borne on class I, vote 2.