Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of David Morris David Morris Conservative, Morecambe and Lunesdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to assess the credibility and value for money of technologies available for re-use of plutonium in the UK.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills , Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Government's position on plutonium management, as set out in our December 2011 consultation response, is that converting the plutonium into MOX is the most credible and technologically mature option for reuse, but that we remain open to any alternative proposals that offer better value to the taxpayer.

As part of the work to consider alternative proposals, the NDA has been working closely with both GE Hitachi on their Prism reactor and with Candu on their EC6 reactors. NDA has prepared advice on these alternatives as well as advice on the reuse as MOX option for DECC to consider as part of our policy development process for taking this work forward.

The NDA's advice will help us to understand the technical and commercial risks associated with all the options and form part of our considerations about how we should progress this work. In due course the NDA will publish its planned public version of that advice.

As we noted in our 2011 consultation response, there will be many steps to go through before we reach the point of taking a final decision, while this is expected to include a competitive tendering and procurement process to help secure best value to the taxpayer, only when the Government are confident that our preferred option could be implemented safely and securely, that it is affordable, deliverable, and offers value for money, will we be in a position to proceed.

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