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Nuclear Power Stations: Decommissioning

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Office for Civil Nuclear Security on the adequacy of resources to vet drivers recruited by contractors carrying out the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's decommissioning programme. (140388)

In order to comply with the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003, transport companies which hold ‘Approved Carrier’ status to transport nuclear material must ensure that their drivers are security vetted to a level appropriate to the material they are transporting. Security vetting standards in the civil nuclear industry comply with national standards. The Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) has adequate resources in their vetting office to meet current demand.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to paragraph 12-17 of the consultation paper on the future of nuclear power, when he expects (a) the final batch of spent nuclear fuel to be reprocessed at Sellafield and (b) the decommissioning of Sellafield’s reprocessing plants to start. (140389)

The NDA Strategy, which was published in March 2006, noted that all current reprocessing contracts for THORP were expected to be completed by about 2010. However, given that the THORP plant has been closed since an incident in April 2005, it is not possible at this stage to say when the final batch of spent fuel will be reprocessed and the decommissioning of the THORP plant will commence. Decommissioning of the Magnox reprocessing plant is expected to begin in around 2016.