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G8 Declaration (Nuclear Non-Proliferation)

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what additional resources he intends to commit to provide support and advance the International Atomic Energy Agency to improve the security of radioactive sources, as set out in paragraph 6 of the Evian G8 Declaration on Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Securing Radioactive Sources, of 3 June 2003.[120798]

The UK is a strong supporter of the International Atomic Energy Agency and its work, including on the safety and security of nuclear and radioactive materials. In March 2002, the UK announced a voluntary contribution of £250,000 towards the IAEA's Nuclear Security Fund (NSF) for work in Russia and the Former Soviet Union. We have since announced an additional £250,000 per year for the next two years, bringing our total additional voluntary contribution to £750,000. We are also supporting the IAEA's programmes in other ways, including active participation in the revision of the IAEA Code Of Conduct On The Safety And Security Of Radioactive Sources and the provision of UK expertise where appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on developments in the Russian plutonium disposition programme being funded under the G8 Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction; how much of the United Kingdom pledge of $750 million has been spent; and for what projects it is earmarked in future.[120800]

The United Kingdom supports the Plutonium Disposition Programme and has committed £70 million over 10 years to its completion. We are participating fully in the negotiations on how best to implement this US/Russia-led project.In 2002–03, we spent approximately £15 million as part of our G8 Global Partnership commitment, and in 2003–04, we anticipate spending some £33 million. Our current project plans include the dismantling of nuclear submarines, making safe spent nuclear fuel, finding sustainable employment for former weapons scientists, improving nuclear safety and security of nuclear materials, decommissioning a reactor in Kazakhstan, contributing to a shelter at Chernobyl, and chemical weapons destruction. We will negotiate further projects with Russia in due course, as part of this 10-year programme.