HC Deb 16 December 1999 vol 341 cc235-6W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what consultations he has had with British Nuclear Fuels plc concerning the quality control procedures covering MOX plutonium fuel manufactured at Sellafield for export to Japan; and what representations his Department has received from(a) Japanese customer companies and (b) the Japanese Government in respect of the monitoring of MOX fuel; [102176]

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the reports provided to his Department in the past year by BNFL concerning safety and quality assurance of MOX plutonium fuel. [102180]

Mrs. Liddell

Ministers were concerned to learn of falsified quality control data at BNFL's Sellafield MOX Demonstration Facility. The Government have insisted that the company co-operate fully with investigations both by the Japanese customer and regulator and by the HSE's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.

No representations have been received by my Department from BNFL's Japanese customers. Inquiries from the Japanese Embassy about the data falsification were referred by my Department to HSE (Nil) with a request to respond direct. With HSE's agreement, I am placing a copy of their reply to the Embassy in the Library of the House.

On 1 December I discussed with the BNFL Chairman, Mr. Hugh Collum, the progress of the investigations being undertaken and the company's strategy for dealing with management issues identified. Remedial measures are in hand to satisfy both HSE (NII) and BNFL's Japanese customers. I have asked the company to make these public as soon as it has satisfied HSE (NII) as to the adequacy of its proposals.

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