HC Deb 14 December 1992 vol 216 c50W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what procedural arrangements need to be completed before his Department can give clearance to the start-up of operations at the thermal oxide reprocessing plant at Sellafield in Cumbria; and what further reasons there are for the delay.

Mr. Maclean

No discharges of radioactive waste from the thermal oxide reprocessing plant (THORP) can be made unless they are authorised by the chief inspector of Her Majestys inspectorate of pollution (HMIP) and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF). Statutory consultation on their proposed draft authorisations for the Sellarfield site, including THORP has already begun and will end on 11 January. HMIP and MAFF will then consider whether there is a need to make changes to the draft authorisations in the light of comments received. Once they have decided whether, and if so how, the authorisations should be amended, my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State and my right hon. Friend the Minister MAFF, in accordance with statutory provisions, will offer British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) the opportunity of a hearing and will consider whether to offer a hearing to such local authorities or other persons whom they consider appropriate. BNFL also requires a licence to operate THORP from the nuclear installations inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive.

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