HC Deb 15 December 2000 vol 359 c287W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures were taken by the Environment Agency to consult local people about the application by BNFL at Bradwell Power Station for the use of incinerators to burn low level nuclear waste. [142747]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 14 December 2000]: The application by BNFL for the use of incinerators at Bradwell Power Station to burn low level waste was one of four applications made by BNFL to the Environment Agency in January 1998 for the disposal of radioactive waste at Bradwell. A public consultation was held on these applications, beginning on 26 May this year and formally ending on 31 August.

The Environment Agency consulted widely, including members of the public, national and local public bodies, interested groups and organisations, and the Bradwell Local Community Liaison Council. Copies of the consultation documents were supplied to local authority public registers, local libraries within Essex and main libraries in Suffolk and Kent. Information about the consultation was made available on the Agency's internet site. The start of the three-month consultation period and the availability of the consultation package were advertised in the national and local press, and the Agency issued a press notice.

The Agency also arranged public meetings and "surgeries" in the neighbourhood of the power station, which provided an opportunity for face-to-face discussions between individual members of the public and Agency staff. On 22 November 2000 the Agency received a request from West Mersea Town Council/Colchester Borough Council for a further public meeting to discuss BNFL's applications for Bradwell. The Agency has now agreed to hold a public meeting and surgeries in the vicinity of West Mersea as soon as arrangements can be made.

The Agency will continue to give consideration to responses from members of the public received after the formal closure date of the consultation, for as long as it remains practicable to do so.