HC Deb 26 June 1989 vol 155 cc357-8W
50. Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what is his policy for the continuation of civilian reprocessing capability and the extraction of plutonium in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Michael Spicer

Reprocessing is a proven and safe technology for which there is a continuing demand. It is for the owners of the spent fuel to decide on safety, technical and economic grounds whether to reprocess spent fuel.

Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what evidence his Department has that plutonium created in Central Electricity Generating Board Magnox nuclear reactors up to 31 March 1969, and subsequently, put into the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority military stockpile has not been used in nuclear warhead production subsequently.

Mr. Michael Spicer

Plutonium created in the CEGB Magnox reactors and purchased by the UKAEA prior to 31 March 1969, was consigned to the United States before 1971 under the mutual defence agreement. The United States authorities have said that none of this plutonium has been used in weapons and that this continues to be their policy. For the civil uses to which this plutonium has been put in the United States, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, Central (Mr. Moore) to my hon. Friend the Member for Erewash (Mr. Rost) on 27 July 1982 at column438.

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