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Radioactive Materials: Waste Management

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether substitution of some UK-origin high level radioactive waste for intermediate level waste was applied under the repatriation agreement covering the long-term management of radioactive waste arising from reprocessing of imported foreign origin spent fuel in the shipment of radioactive waste from Sellafield to Japan sent on 20 January 2009; how much nuclear waste was in the shipment; how much the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has spent on supporting this shipment; and whether an armed escort vessel is accompanying the shipment. (313747)

Over the programme to return highly active waste (HAW) arising from reprocessing of overseas spent fuel, the return of substituted HAW will take place. The details of the status of individual customers' HAW returns is a commercial matter between the parties involved.

The first shipment consists of 28 HLW canisters in one transport flask, with each canister (vitrified waste and stainless steel) weighing up to 550kg.

The NDA's expenditure in supporting this shipment is customer funded.

In accordance with national and international regulations, the vessel will not be armed nor have an armed escort. The shipment has appropriate levels of security protection in accordance with the nuclear industry security regulations. These arrangements comply with the requirements of the UK regulator, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security.