UK Civil Plutonium and Uranium Stocks

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform written statement – made on 22nd May 2008.

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Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister of State (Energy), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform

The Department will be placing the figures for the United Kingdom's stocks of civil plutonium and uranium as at 31 December 2007 in the Libraries of both Houses. In accordance with our commitment under the "Guidelines for the Management of Plutonium", we will also send the figures to the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who will circulate them to member states. The figures will be available on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the IAEA websites.

The figures show that stocks of unirradiated plutonium in the UK totalled 108 tonnes at the end of 2007. Changes from the corresponding figures for 2006 are a consequence of continuing reprocessing operations—for example, as reflected in the increased quantity of unirradiated separated plutonium in product stores at reprocessing plants. The main reason for the change in high enriched uranium (HEU) stocks was the transfer to waste of recharacterised historic operational residues. The increase in the civil depleted, natural and low enriched uranium figures reflects the increased stocks at the UK enrichment plant.

The stocks of civil plutonium and uranium in future years will be published on the HSE and IAEA websites without a written statement.