HC Deb 13 November 1979 vol 973 cc506-7W
Q35. Mr. Foulkes

asked the Prime Minister what are the exact responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Energy, the Secretary of State for the Environment, and the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales on all aspects of nuclear generation, arrangements for the disposal of nuclear waste and allied matters.

The Prime Minister

The Secretary of State for Energy—

1. has overall responsibility for nuclear energy, including sponsorship of the nuclear industry and the electricity supply industry in England and Wales, and for the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority;

2. gives consent and deemed planning permission for generating stations, including nuclear, in England and Wales; and investment approval to the CEGB's capital programme, including nuclear provisions within it;

3. approves, with the consent of the Treasury, provision made by nuclear licensees to cover for nuclear damage claims and has a general responsibility in relation to arrangements made for the physical protection of nuclear materials.

The Secretary of State for Scotland has similar responsibility in relation to the operation of the Scottish electricity boards.

The Secretary of State for Wales shares responsibility for planning applications that are called in and planning approvals for nuclear power stations in Wales.

The Secretary of State for the Environment, the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Wales—

  1. 1. are responsible for radioactive waste management policy;
  2. 2. administer the Radioactive Substances Act (1960), which controls the accumulation of radioactive wastes from all sources.

Authorisation for radioactive waste disposals from UKAEA and licensed nuclear sites in England and Wales are issued:

  1. 1. in England and Wales by the Secretary of State for the Environment and by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food;
  2. 2. in Scotland and Wales by the relevant Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State for Energy—in England and Wales—and the Secretary of State for Scotland—in Scotland—are answerable to Parliament for the activities of the Health and Safety Commission and Executive in relation to nuclear safety.

The Minister of Transport is responsible for the safe carriage of radioactive material, including nuclear fuels, by road and rail in Great Britain and approves where required the design and shipment conditions for containers. Responsibility for carriage by sea or air rests with the Secretary of State for Trade, but the Department of Transport performs executive approval functions on his behalf.

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