HC Deb 28 June 1974 vol 875 cc1-2W
20. Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what steps are taken to ensure that waste material from atomic establishments is safe for this and succeeding generations, and that no radioactive waste is placed where it can under any circumstances be dangerous; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Varley

The bulk of the radioactivity produced by the nuclear power programme is separated from spent fuel elements and stored in specially designed facilities. These facilities are built to exceptionally high standards of integrity, and the relatively small volume of waste can be kept in this way as long as may be necessary. The control and management of these storage facilities are closely monitored by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to ensure that the high standards of safety are maintained. However, research and development is in hand on the methods of storage to reduce to a minimum the surveillance required over the longer term.

38. Dr. John A. Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is his estimate of the effect of the CEGB's proposed nuclear generating station expansion programme on the accumulation of stored radioactive waste in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Varley

Radioactive waste is produced in proportion to nuclear power generated. This waste occupies a relatively small volume and it is estimated that the CEGB's proposals would require storage facilities covering a space of a few acres.