HC Deb 18 November 1966 vol 736 cc202-3W
Captain Kerby

asked the Minister of Technology (1) if he will give full details of the plutonium transaction between Great Britain and Italy;

(2) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government regarding the processing of fissile material in Great Britain on behalf of foreign agencies;

(3) what is the amount of plutonium that Great Britain has processed for foreign countries; and what was the value to Great Britain of those contracts.

Mr. Benn

It is the Government's policy to promote the peaceful exploitation of nuclear energy by encouraging the Atomic Energy Authority to undertake the reprocessing of irradiated reactor fuel for overseas customers on a commercial basis.

I am informed by the Authority that one foreign contract involving the separation of plutonium from irradiated fuel has so far been negotiated; this is with the Italian National Electricity Generating Authority for reprocessing the spent fuel elements discharged from the nuclear power station at Latina. It would be contrary to commercial practice to disclose the quantities and values involved or other contractual details.