Sellafield: Plutonium

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 12th February 2016.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether her Department plans to begin a procurement process for a technology to reuse plutonium stored at Sellafield before 2020.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Safely and securely managing plutonium remains a government priority. My Department is working across government, with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and industry to develop a solution.

NDA submitted advice to support DECC in its considerations on the policy options for separated plutonium held in the UK, in December 2015. The report gives a view on the balance of attractiveness and risk of each reuse option (reuse as MOX and assessment of the credible alternatives PRISM and Candu); as well as immobilisation and continued storage. This, together with other sources of information and evidence, is informing DECC’s consideration of the options for the way forward.

Only when Government is confident that an option could be implemented safely and securely, in way that is affordable, deliverable, and offers value for money, will it be in a position to proceed.

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