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Nuclear Submarines

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent progress has been made on the disposal of the Royal Navy's redundant nuclear submarines; and whether he plans to move these submarines from their present location. [112023]

Industry are in the process of submitting outline proposals for undertaking the work to store intermediate level waste from our decommissioned nuclear powered submarines. An exercise will then determine the most effective procurement strategy, and detailed evaluation, which will inform a further period of public consultation, will lead to the selection of potential bidders who will be invited to undertake more detailed negotiations. This is expected to take around three years to complete and after further public consultation will result in the selection of a preferred bidder, solution and site. Currently we have no plans to move our decommissioned nuclear powered submarines from their present locations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to introduce a PFI scheme for the management of defence nuclear waste from nuclear submarine decommissioning. [114073]

We are undertaking a project to determine the interim land storage arrangements for Intermediate Level Waste from decommissioned nuclear powered submarines, and industry are in the process of submitting outline proposals for undertaking the work. Private Finance Initiative, partnering and prime contracting are the procurement options currently being considered, with PFI being the preferred option in accordance with Treasury Guidelines. PFI will only be pursued, however, if it can be demonstrated that it offers the most effective procurement strategy.