HC Deb 23 May 1990 vol 173 cc247-8W
58. Mr. Strang

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money was spent by his Department last year on activities connected with nuclear waste management.

Mr. Trippier

It is not possible to provide information in the form requested. My Department spent an estimated £8 million in 1989–90 on research related to nuclear waste management and an estimated £500,000 in 1988–89 on regulating nuclear establishments under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960.

Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps the radiochemical inspectorate branch of Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution takes to keep county councils informed of permissions to dispose of low-level radioactive waste within their areas; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier

Low-level radioactive waste may be disposed of only under the strict terms of authorisations issued by HM IP under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960. Consultation with local and other public authorities is required by the Act before authorisations are issued in respect of nuclear licensed sites and promises occupied by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. Consultation is also required by the Act where disposal from non-nuclear premises requires special precautions to be taken by local and public authorities. This statutory consultation has been extended administratively to cover these disposals where they take place on private landfill sites or on authorised premises.

In addition to this, and except for reasons of national security, copies of all certificates of authorisation are sent to local authorities, including county councils, in whose area the disposal is to take place, normally 28 days before the authorisation takes effect.