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Radioactive Wastes: Waste Management

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government intends to take to ensure the independence of the successor body to the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. (141781)

The reconstituted Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) will be appointed as an advisory non-departmental public body, according to the Code of Practice of the Commissioner of Public Appointments, as was the original CoRWM Committee. It will therefore be independent of Government or any other interest.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings he has held with the (a) Environment Agency, (b) the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and (c) Office of Civil Nuclear Security on the new arrangements for the setting of packaging standards for radioactive waste; and if he will place in the Library copies of the minutes of such meetings. (141796)

No such meetings were held by the Secretary of State. However, as stated in his announcement of 25 October, the independent environment and nuclear safety regulators believe that this proposal to nominate the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) as the geological disposal facility implementing body provides a framework that they can regulate in a strong and effective manner. They are content that the NDA will be responsible for implementing the geological disposal programme, within the constitutional arrangements described. The regulators’ support is of major importance, as strong independent regulation is key both to ensuring the safety of people and the environment and to securing confidence and trust in the delivery arrangements.