HL Deb 20 December 1989 vol 514 c332WA
Lord Jenkins of Putney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will place a moratorium on all construction of nuclear reactors until the problem of the disposal of nuclear waste is resolved.

Viscount Ullswater

Extensive research in the UK and elsewhere has demonstrated that geological disposal of low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes is a practical and safe option now. Work is in hand to identify an appropriate location for a repository for these wastes. The problems which remain are primarily those of securing public acceptance for disposal facilities.

For high-level wastes, the government policy is that such wastes should be vitrified and then stored for a period of about 50 years to allow heat and radioactivity to decay before disposal. With regard to the construction of nuclear reactors, I refer the noble Lord to the Statement made by the Secretary of State for Energy in another place on 9th November.