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Nuclear Decommissioning

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the adequacy of resources held by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to carry out its additional responsibilities required by the decommissioning programme planned for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; and what discussions she has had with the Chief Nuclear Inspector on this matter. [107664]

Resourcing of the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is a matter for the Health and Safety Commission and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. I understand the Health and Safety Executive is currently considering its resource requirements in the light of proposals for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no discussions with the Health and Safety Executive's Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations on this matter.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which institution will hold the site licence for (a) the Sellafield MOX plant and (b) THORP, when their ownership is transferred to the new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. [107665]

As the White Paper on Managing the Nuclear Legacy (Cm5552) explained, for regulatory and operational reasons Sellafield will remain a single licensed site. As and when the NBA is established, I would expect the licence to remain with BNFL plc.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the policy commitment to transparency in the White Paper on the proposed nuclear liabilities management arrangements will apply to the publication of future contracts negotiated for (a) THORP and (b) the Sellafield Mox plant, once their operation is transferred to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. [107668]

The basis on which the commitment to an open and transparent NBA should be implemented is one of the issues on which we will be seeking views from stakeholders prior to the NDA being established. The starting point is that information should be published unless there are good reasons for not doing so. It will be for the NDA to make those judgements and justify them as and when necessary.