HC Deb 24 November 1983 vol 49 cc245-9W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what recent consultations his Department has had upon the disposal of nuclear waste.

Mr. Waldegrave

My Department has regular and useful consultations with the radioactive waste management advisory committee, and officials attend meetings of the local liaison committees for individual nuclear sites. Where it is statutorily required or otherwise justifiable, consultations also take place with the relevant local authorities and water authorities about proposals to issue authorisations under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960.

A meeting has been held with Members of Parliament for the area surrounding the site at Elstow in Bedfordshire identified by the Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive (NIREX) for further investigation, and a similar meeting will be held in the near future in relation to the Billingham site.

The consultation document published on October 25 set out draft principles which the authorising Departments under the 1960 Act propose to use in considering proposals for new disposal facilities. All concerned have been invited to submit comments on this document by March 31 and copies of it can be obtained free of charge from my Department. Copies have so far been sent to the 205 bodies on the attached list.

  • Advisory Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations
  • Amersham International PLC
  • Anglian Water Authority
  • Anti-Nuclear Campaign
  • A Power for Good Ltd.
  • Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Fireman
  • Association of Consulting Engineers
  • Association of County Councils
  • Association of District Councils
  • Association of District Councils (Welsh Branch)
  • Association of Local Authorities for Northern Ireland
  • Association of Local Authority Valuers and Estate Surveyors
  • Association of Metropolitan Authorities
  • Association of Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Association of University Radiation Protection Officers
  • Australian High Commission
  • Bank of America
  • Bar Council
  • Bedfordshire County Council
  • Brick Development Association
  • British Aggregate Construction Materials Industries
  • British Association of Nature Conservationists
  • British Ecological Society
  • British Gas Corporation
  • British Insurance Association
  • British Institute of Radiology
  • British Nuclear Forum
  • British Nuclear Fuels Ltd.
  • British Pre-cast Concrete Association
  • British Property Federation
  • British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
  • British Railways Board
  • British Waterways Board
  • Building Research Establishment
  • Building Societies Association
  • Central Electricity Generating Board
  • Centre for Environmental Technology
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting
  • Church Commissioners
  • Civic Trust
  • Cleveland County Council
  • Clyde Port Authority
  • Committee for Environmental Conservation
  • Confederation of British Industry
  • Confederation of British Industry (Northern Ireland)
  • Conservation Society Ltd.


  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Council for British Archaeology
  • Council of Engineering Institutions
  • Council for Environmental Conservation
  • Council for the Protection of Rural England
  • Council for the Protection of Rural Wales
  • Council for National Parks
  • Council of Science and Technology Institutes
  • Country Land Agents and Valuers Association
  • Country Landowners Association
  • Countryside Commission
  • Countryside Commission for Scotland
  • Countryside Commission (Wales)
  • County Planning Officers Society
  • Development Board for Rural Wales
  • District Planning Officers Society
  • Edinburgh City Council
  • Electricity Council
  • Engineering Employers Federation
  • Engineering Managers Association
  • Farmers Union of Wales
  • Fauna and Flora Preservation Society
  • Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors
  • 247
  • Federation of Small Mines of Great Britain
  • Forestry Commission
  • Forth Ports Authority
  • Freight Transport Association
  • Friends of the Earth Limited
  • Geological Survey (Northern Ireland)
  • Glasgow City Council, Industrial Waste Panel
  • Greater London Council
  • Green Alliance
  • Greenpeace Limited
  • Guild of Surveyors
  • Hartlepool Borough Council
  • Havering London Borough Council
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Highlands and Islands Development Board
  • Hospital Physicists Association

ICI Limited

  • Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers
  • Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Institute of Environmental Health
  • Institute of Health Service Administrators
  • Institute of Local Government (University of Birmingham)
  • Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Institute of Municipal Engineers
  • Institute of Nuclear Energy
  • Institute of Parks and Recreation Association
  • Institute of Wastes Management
  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Lake District Special Planning Board
  • Land Authority for Wales
  • Landed Property Consultative Council
  • Langbaurgh Borough Council
  • Law Society
  • Local Authority Associations Minerals and Reclamation
  • Group


  • Metropolitan Planning Officers Society
  • Mid-Bedfordshire District Council
  • Middlesbrough Borough Council
  • Mining Association of the United Kingdom
  • National Association of Agricultural Contractors
  • National Association of Estate Agents
  • National Association of Licensed Opencast Coal Operators
  • National Association of Lithographic Officers
  • National Association of Local Councils
  • National Association of Ratepayers Action Groups
  • National Association of Pension Funds
  • National Brick Federation
  • National Association of Waste Disposal Contractors
  • National Association of Women in Great Britain
  • National Coal Board
  • National Coal Board (Scottish Region)
  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • National Council of Building Material Producers
  • National Farmers Union
  • National Farmers Union (Wales)
  • National Federation of Clay Industries
  • National Federation of Community Associations
  • National Federation of Community Organisations
  • National Federation of Women's Institutes
  • National Housing and Town Planning Council
  • National Nuclear Corporation Ltd
  • National Trust
  • National Union of Railwaymen
  • National Union of Seamen
  • Nature Conservancy Council
  • North Bedfordshire District Council
  • North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board
  • Northumbrian Water Authority
  • North West Water Authority
  • Nuclear Installations Inspectorate


  • Peak Park Joint Planning Board


  • Political Ecology Research Group Ltd
  • 248
  • Quaker Social Responsibility and Education
  • Ramblers Associations
  • Rating and Valuers Association
  • Redbridge London Borough Council
  • Road Haulage Association
  • Royal College of Radiologists
  • Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
  • Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Royal Institute of Public Administration
  • Royal Society
  • Royal Society for Nature Conservation
  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Royal Society of Health
  • Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Rural Voice
  • Sand and Gravel Association
  • Scottish Conservation Society
  • Scottish Development Agency
  • Scottish Gas
  • Scottish Trade Union Congress


  • Severn-Trent Water Authority
  • Silica and Moulding Sands Association
  • Sizewell B Inquiry Secretariat
  • Society for Environmental Improvement
  • Society for Radiological Protection
  • Southern Water Authority
  • South of Scotland Electricity Board
  • South Wales Electricity Board
  • South West Water Authority
  • South Yorkshire County Council
  • Standing Conference of Rural Community Councils
  • Standing Local Authority Officers Panel on Land Reclamation
  • Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
  • Stone Federation
  • Surrey County Council
  • Swedish Embassy
  • Thames Water Authority
  • Timber Growers of Great Britain Ltd
  • Town and Country Planning Association
  • Trade Union Congress
  • Trade Union Congress (Wales)
  • Transport and General Workers Union
  • Treasury Solicitors Office
  • Tree Council
  • United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
  • Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
  • Vale Royal District Council
  • Wales Gas
  • Water Authorities Association
  • Waste Management Advisory Council
  • Welsh Association of Community and Town Councils
  • Welsh Counties Committees
  • Welsh Development Agency
  • Welsh Water Authority
  • Wessex Water Authority
  • Yorkshire Water Authority
  • Youth Hostels Association

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what, on average, is the amount of radiation emitted from the nuclear waste storage site at Drigg, Cumbria; and how it compares with the natural radiation in the area.

Mr. Waldegrave

Detailed information about Drigg is included in the annual report on radioactive discharges and monitoring of the environment published by British Nuclear Fuels Limited. Operations there do not give rise to any measurable airborne radioactivity. Surface and ground-water are drained into a stream which discharges into the Irt estuary, and levels of activity in this stream are such that cattle may freely use it. Even so, Drigg should not be regarded as the model for the more advanced shallow burial facility NIREX plan to develop.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the European sites at present being used for the storage of nuclear waste in European Community countries, and the date upon which each started operations.

Mr. Waldegrave

For non-heat generating wastes, in addition to storage at sites of origin and the use by some countries of sea disposal, a repository at Cap de la Hague near Cherbourg in France has been in use for a number of years and one at the Asse salt mine in the Federal Republic of Germany was used on an experimental basis between 1971 and 1978. A new repository in the disused iron ore mine at Konrad in the Federal Republic is due to open in 1987 and a new centre is also to be developed in the Netherlands.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he proposes to supply the European Commission with general data relating to a proposal for the disposal of radioactive nuclear waste in Bedfordshire and Teesside in accordance with article 37 of the Euratom treaty.

Mr. Waldegrave

Until NIREX put forward specific proposals for a particular site, it would be premature to make a submission to the European Commission under article 37.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations he has received since he made his statement in the House on 25 October 1983, Official Report, c. 156–67, relating to the disposal of nuclear waste.

Mr. Waldegrave

Up to 18 November my Department had received 89 letters and one petition about the sites identified for further investigation by the Nuclear Industry Radioactive Waste Executive. Of these, 30 letters and the petition related to the Elstow site.

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