§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the policy of the Health and Safety Executive in regard to the commissioning process for the thermal oxide reprocessing plant under condition 21(2) of the Sellafield site licence.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
When granting nuclear site licences under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (as amended) the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has the power to attach such conditions as may appear to them to be necessary or desirable in the interests of safety. The Health and Safety Executive has developed a set of standardised nuclear site licence conditions with the aim of producing consistent nuclear safety requirements which are non prescriptive and flexible. This allows a nuclear site licensee to exercise responsibility for safety and develop arrangements particular to the circumstances of the operation.
The Health and Safety Executive has satisfied itself that British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) has made and implemented 434W adequate arrangements under condition 21(1) of the Sellafield site licence for the commissioning of plants or processes which may affect safety, and in particular for the thermal oxide reprocessing plant. There has been no requirement for HSE to exercise its powers under condition 21(2).