§ Mr. Robin F. Cook
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the implementation of the British contract for reprocessing Japanese nuclear fuel, in the light of international restraints on the shipment of their spent fuel.
§ Mr. Benn
It is usual for nuclear fuel to be supplied subject to a requirement that it will not be transferred by the recipient to another country without the supplier's authorisation. This is the only international restraint on the transfer of spent fuel from Japan to the United Kingdom for reprocessing. This requirement is not new, and authorisation has never been refused for a transfer to the United Kingdom.
The Government of the United States, who are a major supplier of fuel, are currently reviewing the conditions under which their authorisation for transfers is granted, against the conclusions of their recent review of nuclear export policy. President Ford, in announcing these conclusions on 28th October, stated that the United States sought no competitive advantage from the strengthening of controls on nuclear proliferation, and urged nuclear suppliers to provide nuclear consumers with fuel services instead of sensitive technology or plant. The proposed British contract for reprocessing Japanese fuel matches this request.