§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the President of the Board of Trade when the United Kingdom signed the convention on nuclear safety opened for signature in Vienna on 20 September; what estimate he has made of the likely cost to the United Kingdom each year to implement the convention; and if he will make a statement on how he intends to keep Parliament informed of the United Kingdom compliance with the reporting rules contained in the convention.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
The United Kingdom signed the convention on Nuclear Safety at the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on 20 September. The convention will enter into force once it has been both signed and ratified by 22 states, including 17 states with at least one civil nuclear power plant. Arrangements for the reporting and reviewing process outlined in the convention will be decided by the contracting parties at a preparatory conference to be held within six months of the convention's entry into force. Until then, no firm estimate can be made of the likely annual costs to the United Kingdom of implementation of the convention. Nevertheless, the Government do not expect that they will be substantial; most are likely to be administrative costs associated with the peer review process. Once the mechanisms for reporting and reviewing are in place, I shall ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for keeping Parliament informed.