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Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the financial impact of the delay in the restart of the THORP Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield; and when he expects the plant to be restarted. (138229)

[holding answer 21 May 2007]: The Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate issued a ‘Consent’ on 9 January 2007 to allow the THORP plant to restart operations having been satisfied that the site licensee, British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd., had done all work necessary to ensure THORP could be restarted safely. Some areas of the plant have already resumed operation and the timing of restart of full reprocessing is currently delayed while ongoing investigations of the site's downstream evaporation facilities are underway. The precise date to restart reprocessing fuel at THORP is a matter for the site licensee in discussion with the site owner the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and is not expected before this summer. The financial aspects of this situation are a commercial matter for the NDA.