Trade and Industry written question – answered on 7th April 2005.

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Photo of Mr Llew Smith Mr Llew Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, if she will make a statement on the future structure of Nirex.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Energy & e-Commerce), Department of Trade and Industry

Government have honoured their commitment, given in a statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 21 July 2004, to establish a new Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) to hold the shares of Nirex and oversee its business operations. These new arrangements took effect on 1 April 2005 with the CLG being jointly owned by DTI and Defra.

This CLG will, effectively, provide a means of placing Nirex assets and intellectual property into trust, whilst enabling it to continue with its important work that includes setting standards for the conditioning and packaging of radioactive waste, until the Government can take their decision on policy for the long-term management of the UK's higher activity radioactive waste, and the means of its delivery, in light of recommendations from the independent Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM).

These new arrangements achieve both of the Government's previously stated objectives, to make Nirex independent of industry and bring the company under greater Government control.

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