§ Mr. Collins
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he was first informed of negotiations between British Nuclear Fuels plc and Maine Yankee Atomic Power on the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel at Sellafield; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Battle
[holding answer 26 May 1999]: I understand that BNFL was one of the nuclear fuel services companies approached by the owners of the Maine Yankee reactor in New England, USA, about options for removing spent nuclear fuel from the now closed reactor. In the course of these informal discussions which took place during 1998, it became clear that it would not be possible for BNFL and Maine Yankee to conclude a contract which would be consistent with both UK Government policy on the importation of radioactive waste and US Government policy on reprocessing. The discussions were, therefore, brought to an end and this Department was so informed.