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Overseas-owned Plutonium

Volume 619: debated on Thursday 19 January 2017

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has agreed to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA):-

Taking ownership of 600 kg of material previously owned by a Spanish utility.

Taking ownership of 5 kg of material previously owned by a German organisation.

These transactions, which have been agreed by the Euratom supply agency, will not result in any new plutonium being brought into the UK, and will not therefore increase the overall amount of plutonium in the UK.

The Department has agreed to these transactions on the grounds that they offer a cost-effective and beneficial arrangement, which allows the UK to gain national control over more of the civil plutonium located in the UK, and facilitates conclusion of outstanding contracts with the Spanish and German counterparties. The revenue from the transaction is also expected to be of significant benefit to the UK and sufficient to cover the cost of the long term management of the additional plutonium.

The UK has committed to publish annual figures for national holdings of civil plutonium at the end of each calendar year to improve transparency and public confidence. The most recently published data for 2015 can be found at the following link, published on the 14 November 2016:

This data will be updated in due course to reflect the changes described above.