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Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what locations will be included in the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Submarine Dismantling Project; what timetable he has set for the conduct of the assessment; and against what criteria the assessment will be made. (274640)

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP) will consider location options for both the submarine dismantling facility and the interim storage of the resulting Intermediate-Level Waste (ILW). In both cases, the SEA proposes to consider the following types of location:

(i) Conduct activity at a Green-Field (not previously developed) location;

(ii) Conduct activity at a Brown-Field (previously developed) location; and

(iii) Conduct activity at an existing nuclear licensed/ authorised location.

It is the intention for the SEA report to be completed before spring 2010, following a period of public consultation.

Assessment will be made against the criteria detailed in EU Directive 2001/42/EC ‘On the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and Programmes on the Environment' and the ‘Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (SI 2004 No 1633)'. It should be noted that the latter document normally applies only to England but, in line with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now Department for Communities and Local Government) guidance, is also applicable to those activities with a UK-wide remit.