§ Mr. Mikardo
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what was the annual cost of the energy industry, in the last year for which the figure is available, of the storage of high-level nuclear waste; what is the projected cost of the disposal of this waste; and to what extent these costs will be borne by the consumer.
§ Mr. Goodlad
Most of the high-level waste arising from the reprocessing of irradiated fuel is stored at Sellafield. BNFL charges its customers for this service.
BNFL's own costs for the treatment and storage of high-level waste in 1985–86 were £10 million.
The generating boards make provision in their annual accounts for future treatment, storage and eventual disposal of the intermediate and high-level wastes stored at Sellafield. At the end of 1985–86 the accumulated provision made by the CEGB stood at £338 million, and that made by SSEB, for which my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is responsible, stood at £88 million. These costs form part of the boards' total fuel cycle costs which are borne by the consumer.
A small volume of highly active wastes, resulting mainly from research and development on fast reactors, is stored by the UKAEA at Dounreay. The operational costs of storage in 1985–86 are estimated at £20,000. The costs of storage and eventual disposal fall to the Department of Energy under the terms of the appropriate programme letters with the authority.
The Government's policy on the disposal of waste arising under BNFL reprocessing contracts with overseas customers was set out in my reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on 2 May 1986 at column 502.