HC Deb 08 June 1998 vol 313 c414W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what reports he has received from his French counterpart, concerning her decision to halt movement of spent irradiated nuclear fuel transport flasks on 6 May; how many flasks of this type have been transported into the United Kingdom; and if he will place the safety of spent fuel transportation on the Agenda for the next European Environment and Transport Council meetings. [44108]

Ms Glenda Jackson

I understand that consignments of irradiated nuclear fuel from power stations are currently suspended in both France and Germany following revelations of high levels of non-fixed radioactive contamination arising during shipments to the reprocessing facility at La Hague. I am not aware of any shipments from European power stations to Sellafield revealing similarly high levels of contamination in the United Kingdom. I further understand that my counterparts in France and Germany have set up a working group of the representatives of their safety authorities, charged to organise the bilateral co-operation of the specialists in the disciplines concerned. My officials have offered to participate in this working group. I believe it would be appropriate to await the findings and recommendations of this working group before consideration is given to putting this item on to the Agenda for the European Environment and Transport Council meeting.

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