HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 cc363-4W
Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what resources have been committed in support of her Department's Liabilities Management Unit; what developments have taken place towards the creation of a nuclear liabilities management authority; and if she will make a statement. [101998]

Mr. Wilson

By the end of the current financial year, the Department will have spent approximately £9.5 million in support of the Liabilities Management Unit (LMU).

As announced in the Queen's Speech, the Government will publish draft legislation later this year. This will set out the legal basis for creating the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (formerly the Liabilities Management Authority—the new name better reflects the Authority's role but its remit remains the same). We will also publish at the same time draft memoranda of understanding between the NDA and the nuclear regulators and a draft NDA management statement, setting out the basis of the relationship between the NDA and the Government.

In the meantime, I can report that good progress is being made in preparing the ground for the NDA. The LMU is developing a comprehensive understanding of the liabilities on legacy sites and working closely with BNFL and UKAEA and the nuclear regulators in a number of important areas including the development of comprehensive long term decommissioning plans for all the legacy sites. My officials are also actively seeking out and talking to relevant and interested stakeholders, in particular through regular meetings with stakeholders at regional level. The first round of these meetings is focusing on explaining progress to date and identifying the issues which stakeholders want to discuss. The second round, in the summer, will focus on how the NDA might work with stakeholders with a view to developing a draft stakeholder engagement framework that the NDA can build on once it is in place.