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Environment Agency

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the annual budget for (a) Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Pollution and (b) the Environment Agency has been for evaluating the research work on radioactive waste disposal carried out by Nirex since its inception. (193638)

I have been asked to reply.

In June 2003, the Environment Agency (EA) entered into a formal agreement with Nirex to scrutinise the company’s research, under section 37 of the Environment Act 1995. Following the integration of Nirex into the NDA, this agreement has continued between the Environment Agency and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), and has a budget of up to £350,000 per year.

The EA had no specific arrangements to scrutinise Nirex research between 1995 and 2003. This reflected the Nirex planning application for an underground rock characterisation facility near Sellafield and the redefined role of Nirex following the planning inquiry. There was however ongoing liaison with the company during this period.

Any extant details of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Pollution’s budget for evaluating Nirex’s research work between 1992 and 1995 will be held at the National Archives.