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Reuse of Plutonium

Volume 563: debated on Monday 13 May 2013

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will publish today the conclusions of its consultation on the proposed justification process for the reuse of plutonium.

The concept of justification is based on the internationally accepted principle of radiological protection; that no practice involving exposure to ionising radiation should be adopted unless it produces sufficient benefits to the exposed individuals, or to society in general, to offset the health detriment it may cause.

Before a new class or type of practice that involves a risk from ionising radiation can be undertaken in the UK, it must be justified. It is not necessary to show the class or type of practice being considered for justification is the best available option.

The consultation was published in May 2012 and views were sought on whether the proposed process was clear and proportionate, took into account the relevant factors for consideration and whether guidance should be specific or generic.

Having considered all responses received during the consultation period, the UK Government have set out the application and decision-making processes in a “Guidance for Applicants” document.

Copies of the consultation response and “Guidance for Applicants” have been placed in Libraries of the House or can be obtained from the GOV.UK website: