HC Deb 03 December 2003 vol 415 cc100-1W
Mr. Hancock:

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether visits by the International Atomic Energy Authority include (a) military sites, (b) the inspection of military plutonium from Aldermaston stored under safeguards at Sellafield and (c) the inspection of plutonium waste stored at AWE Aldermaston; and if she will make a statement. [140924]

Mr. Timms:

The UK's voluntary offer safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Euratom applies to all nuclear material in UK facilities, subject to exclusions for national security reasons only. This means that the IAEA can designate any UK civil nuclear facility, or any part thereof, for safeguards inspection visits but has no right of access to nuclear material required for national security and sites such as Aldermaston. The IAEA therefore has the right to inspect the plutonium stored at Sellafield that was transferred from Aldermaston and brought into safeguards following the conclusion of the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. The IAEA currently chooses to limit its inspections to the plutonium in the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) plutonium product store and the Magnox Special Nuclear Material Store 9. All civil nuclear material in the UK, including the plutonium transferred from Aldermaston to Sellafield, is subject to Euratom safeguards as provided for in Chapter VII of the Euratom Treaty.