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Radioactive Waste: Waste Management

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proposals the UK put forward to the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) on 1 October 2008 in respect of the establishment of a working group on radioactive waste management; and what consideration the GNEP has given to the concept of regional repositories for radioactive waste. (229960)

The GNEP Executive Committee was informed of a proposal by the UK to establish a working group on radioactive waste management. My right hon. Friend, the then Minister for Energy said that the GNEP should have a credible strategy for the management of radioactive waste and this strategy should cover operational waste produced during power station operation; decommissioning waste; and any spent fuel for which no reprocessing is planned.

The concept was well received, although some GNEP partners requested more time to consider if there is a need for a separate working group and whether the timing is right to establish a new working group now. A workshop has been organised by GNEP in December to discuss this and recommend the best way forward.

With the UK proposal for a working group on radioactive waste management still under consideration, GNEP has yet to consider any substantive aspect of radioactive waste management including regional repositories.