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Sellafield: Insurance

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on what date he was informed that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority planned to propose that the proposed insurance indemnification to be granted to the new management tier for Sellafield should be made available for prior scrutiny only to certain hon. Members in July 2008. (250107)

[holding answer 22 January 2009]: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) did not exist when decisions on the Sellafield nuclear indemnity were taken; it was then the responsibility of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

I am told that my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North (Malcolm Wicks) the then Minister for Energy wrote to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee on 9 June 2008 providing him with advance notice and background information on the intention to seek approval in July for a nuclear indemnity for the preferred bidder for the Sellafield competition. While all the bidders would require an indemnity to proceed to contract, it was not possible to submit an indemnity for scrutiny any earlier because the details were subject to competitive tension and evaluation within the competition process.